Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 42 > Page 34 - A Talk with Marie MacLellan, Pianist

Page 34 - A Talk with Marie MacLellan, Pianist

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1986/6/1 (515 reads)

eventually, I did. You know, I picked up some. And she was getting sort of inter? ested in me. So she taught me a little bit. And then--we were schoolchildren, of course. In the summertime, there was a Miss Burton--she was from Margaree. She was married to a Maclntyre in Whycocomagh-- Burton Maclntyre's mother. She was the schoolteacher, she was a sweet, sweet girl. And she used to come around. She had a small little car, rumble-seat car. There were 6 of us on our road, from Cleveland to West Bay Road--there were 6 young girls taking lessons from her. She taught me how to read the music and she taught me how to play the organ enough that I could play in the church and do different little things like that. So that's how I learned to play the organ. (Were your first tunes mostly church tunes?) No. I used to chord with my bro? ther Donald0 And my father, of course, he used to be after me all the time to try to leam to chord the tunes. So I picked up then, from that, you know, playing with him. (So they weren't thinking of the or? gan as a sacred instrument.) Oh, no. Not in our home. We played it any time. Any time we wanted to, we always played it. There were 6 or 7 homes on our road had or? gans. And there was the rare, rare piano, very, very rare. There was one house with? in 20 miles, I guess, had a piano. And that was just a novelty. That was in the parlour for keeps! (And were you learning the violin tunes...?) We were hearing the violins played so much. Like my father, my brother Joe that passed away, and of course Donald, he was learn? ing too, and Theresa--there were 4. They were small. But my father used to play so much that we knew just about every tune. I'd say at 15 I knew every tune in Scott Skinner's book. Just to hear them, you know. And different collections. I had them all in my head. I knew every one of them. I could play some of them on the or? gan the last few years. (You would not be trying to play the tunes.) Oh no, no. When you were playing with him, you just played what he told you and that's it. And he told you to accom? pany this way and that way, and play this chord and that chord. (So if he was doing a tune--say, "Coilsfield House"--you would not play the tune to "Coilsfield House.") No. They say that it's not professional to play a lot of tunes. So he always told us to chord, to play the accompaniment in? stead. (The violin would be sort of featured then.) Oh yes, it's the featured instru? ment. (People don't talk as much about pi? ano players.) No, they don't. Piano play- ' ers play a big part. I think they play a bigger part than they get credit for. (It's nice now that some of them are even playing without the violin.) That's right. That's an art in itself, to be able to do that. (Do you do much of that?) I used to do a lot of that at one time. A piano is a nice solo, if you have lots of tunes and you tear in--it's great. But here of late I don'tv Because I play for so many dances, and I just chord and play different round dance pieces. You know, I don't get a chance to. (34) International Youth Year Publications During 1985 many special initiatives and projects were undertaken by young people throughout Nova Scotia to mark Intemational Youth Year The Province's observance of Intemational Youth Year was co-ordinated by an Inter-departmental committee representing departments, agencies and sectors of government that play a role in meeting the needs of youth. During Intemational Youth Year, this committee published the Nova Scotia Directory of Youth Services. As one of its final undertakings the committee produced another publication, International Youth Year 1985 in Review, which lists the principal lYY activities carried out throughout the Province to mark Intemational Youth Year. Copies of both publications are available, free of charge, by writing to: Publication and Reference PO Box 578 Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J 289 Tel: 424-5570 Nova Scotia Department of Education Honourable Thomas J. Mclnnis . Minister
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