On October 7th, 2017, I performed my first solo classical recital in a decade. I had this idea on simmer while I was completing my Ph.D. I had barely played piano for those five years. I wanted to return to playing on my own terms, which includes a short-notice, quiet announcement, and not involving public promotion and worries about filling a concert hall. So, with a million thanks to a couple of close friends as my hosts, I performed an old-fashioned house concert in downtown St. John's on a gorgeous Steinway, in front of an incredible, privately-invited audience of family and friends. My friends included close personal friends, as well as prominent musicians and music educators who have supported me over the past 20 years, my PhD supervisor who was also once my piano student, and other students of mine. It was a fantastic night and fitting that it coincided with Thanksgiving. This was my dream coming true. I delivered a demanding program of Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin and Ginastera. There could not possibly be a more inviting setting for the recital that doubled as my comeback and swan song in solo performance. Forever grateful to my guests.
Convocation - May 31st, 2017
This was the proud moment I received my Ph.D. in Sociology from Memorial University of Newfoundland.
Thanks to videographer Paul Hayward.
Sometimes you wanna go....
...where nobody knows your name. Late-June small icebergs make an appearance behind our rural Newfoundland getaway. Most of my Ph.D. was written here.
My friend Tom came up with my new nickname. After four-and-a-half years of course work, research proposals, research, analysis and defence, I received my Ph.D. in Sociology from Memorial University of Newfoundland on May 31st, 2017.
"I'm 80 and still have a kid in school."
And we may not be done yet. Mom and Dad by my side, literally and figuratively.
Is there a doctor in the house?
There are two doctors in the house. There's no way this would have happened without Joan's love and support.
Joan and I celebrated my graduation with a big dinner bash to thank everyone who encouraged and helped me along the way. This table in particular is pretty amazing.
You just never know.
A trombone music major kid chased me down the hall in 2006 asking me if I would be his pianist. Musically, we connected instantly. Socially, we became friends for life. I played for him through his undergraduate music degree, I played for his wedding day, he is now a physician, and a Dad to two boys - the oldest named in part after me. Here's Dr. Philip Holloway with William David Holloway dropping by for a spontaneous Saturday afternoon visit.
And the winners are...
The Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council (ArtsNL) presents several awards every year to honour the province's artists of all disciplines who are making big waves on our cultural landscape. What a terrific honour it was to attend the April 28th gala that honoured two of Newfoundland's living legends in choral music. Centre of the photo is my friend and colleague Chad Stride, Artistic Director of Cantus Vocum Chamber Choir and this year's recipient of the award for Arts Achievement. On the right is Dr. Douglas Dunsmore, honoured with a place in the Hall of Honour for Lifetime Achievement. Bravo, Gentlemen!
This is one of the most exciting new projects I've been a part of for a long time. Atlantic Boychoir is the only province-wide boychoir in Canada. And if you know the geography of Newfoundland and Labrador, you'll have some idea of the ambitiousness of this undertaking. In just one season, Atlantic Boychoir has more than 100 singers province-wide, with satellite instructors throughout the province, while founders and artistic directors Jakub and Jennifer Martinec work their magic with the whole ensemble. A successful first tour of Newfoundland was quickly followed by a tour of Ontario, complete with countless standing ovations and encores. This is a choir to watch for many years to come.
Atlantic Boychoir St. John's Debut
It was one of those magical evenings for a musician. We weren't sure if anyone was going to come on a chilly Tuesday mid-April night. It was standing room only in a church with seating capacity of 800. And the kids brought the house down with one fantastic performance after another.
Cantus Vocum in Rehearsal
Every Tuesday night, Cantus Vocum is busy rehearsing for one of our many concert and gig events. Here's artistic director and founder Chad Stride guiding his loyal and wonderful singers through a recent rehearsal.
Left to Right: Pianist Dr. Kristina Szutor, Master of Music Eric Probst (tuba), and me. This was moments after Eric's successful masters graduation recital on April 7th, 2017. It was the first time Kristina and I collaborated on stage, and it was Eric's birthday and mine.
"Congratulations, Dr. Chafe."
This is moments after ending my Ph.D. defence, February 3rd, 2017. By far, this was the biggest challenge of my life. I couldn't have made it through without everyone in this photo.
Ph.D. Examiners and Advisors
The most brilliant minds... and me. My supervisor Dr. Judy Adler is seated, front row left. She was my piano student 15 years ago. Then I became her student five years ago. Life is funny like that.
Price of a Gift
My thesis. A four-and-a-half-year study on the work and lives of professional musicians based in St. John's, Newfoundland.