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Working extra holiday hours: a Tafelmusik chorister

Working extra holiday hours: a Tafelmusik chorister featured image

Friday, December 12, 2017

During the hectic holiday season, people in the service industry work longer hours: courier drivers, retail workers, and airline staff – but we don’t think about the performers who also put in extra hours entertaining us. Curious, I approached a few of them about how they get through the holidays without strain. This the last Q+A of a five-part series.

Keith Lam
Title: “that short little guy who has the heartiest laugh in the bass section of Tafelmusik Chamber Choir” (Photographic evidence:
Organization: “Whichever choir will pay me, I’ll sing.”

Q: The holidays can be a lot of fun for the fans who love to be entertained – but it’s a lot of fatigue for the performers. What is the hardest thing about performing over the holidays? Be honest.
A: Fatigue really is it. You try to find the stamina and focus to sing 5 Messiahs back to back in one week. Also my birthday often falls on a day of rehearsal so I don’t always get to have big celebration parties. However, to get the birthday song sung to me by my Tafel family is pretty friggin’ sweet.

Q: What is the best thing about performing over the holidays?
A: So every year when I revisit Messiah, I find myself loving it all over again. Excuse me while I get super nerdy for a sec. The fugal version of “The sound is gone out” is one of my favourite numbers to sing and it immediately launches into the aria “Why do the nations”… that, my friend, is total rock and roll. I live for moments like that PLUS I get paid to do it.

Q: How do you de-stress during the month of December?
A: I take the week off from my day job during Messiah week, how’s that for de-stress? HAHA.

Q: What do you look forward to most when you’re done the last holiday performance?
A: Did I already say paycheque? Actually, I will get all mushy and say that my mom comes to our Sing-Along Messiah every year ever since I joined the Tafelmusik choir. And I love seeing her after the show and the holiday spirit the entire audience brings while leaving Massey Hall. It really is quite endearing and beautiful.

Previous Q+A:
Joseph Johnson, cellist:
Noel Edison, Artistic Director and Conductor:
Christopher Gerty, dancer with the National Ballet of Canada:
Aaron Schwebel, violinist:
James Parret, General Manager, Cineplex Cinemas:


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