Meet Christa Lowry — the Musical Mayor of Mississippi Mills! - theHumm November 2018
Meet Christa Lowry — the Musical Mayor of Mississippi Mills! - theHumm November 2018
By Tony Stuart
Like many of you who are reading this column, I was thrilled when Christa Lowry was elected as the newest mayor of Mississippi Mills. Christa is a thoughtful, dedicated, and articulate individual. What some of you may not know is that Christa is also a professional trumpet player. Despite being incredibly busy in the aftermath of the municipal election, Christa took the time to thoughtfully answer some questions about how her musical journey has helped her to prepare for this new role. I’m grateful to her for doing this, and I hope that you gain some new insight into the person who will be steering the Mississippi Mills ship for the next four years.
Tony Stuart: Tell us a little about your musical background.
Christa Lowry: As toddlers, my sister and I pulled all the ivories off my mom’s piano, so I guess that was the beginning of my fascination with all things musical. My folks put me in piano lessons when I was five and I sang in choirs and played other instruments until I came upon the trumpet in high school. My fate was sealed and I’ve been playing trumpet now for over twenty years! In high school I played in the Ottawa Youth Orchestra before graduating and then pursued a Bachelor of Music at McGill. Leaving my parents’ farm outside Almonte for downtown Montreal was an education in itself. Most weeks I went to hear the Montreal Symphony — twice! I was surrounded by great musicians every single day and was eager to elevate my own skills and musicianship by this influence.
From there, I completed a Certificate in Performance at the University of Toronto followed by a double Masters in Performance from Laval University in Quebec City. I also pursued Advanced Studies at the Domaine Forget Academy and the Banff Centre for the Arts. I was on the audition circuit for Canadian orchestras for years while freelancing in Toronto where I was a founding member of the Toronto Brass Quintet. I’ve performed with symphonies and various chamber ensembles throughout Ontario and Quebec; I’ve recorded for television and film as well as for the Analekta label, have been broadcast on CBC Radio and Radio-Canada, and am a proud member of the Canadian Federation of Musicians.
What skills that you learn as a musician are most transferable to real life situations?
There are many skills that are learned or honed as a musician that are transferable to real life situations or to other career paths. For example:
creative thinking/thinking outside the box
ability to think critically and understand patterns
problem solving skills
ability to develop long term strategies for goals
dedication and sticking to a goal
ability to prioritize tasks
multi-tasking — handling several projects at a time
communicating with sensitivity/tact
collaborate and work effectively to meet goals
How have these skills served you in your political career to date?
All of the skills I’ve listed have played a role in how I approach my responsibilities as a Councillor. These transferable skills have enabled me to be organized, prepared, open-minded and eager to look at alternative solutions from my seat at the Council table. For example, if I’m rehearsing with another musician and I think they’re flat, I would politely ask to check our tuning. I use the same tactful and sensitive language if someone at the Council table brings up information that doesn’t quite sound accurate to me. There is an enormous volume of technical documents to read and understand thoroughly which requires me to manage my time and be very detail-oriented. There are always responsibilities to Council and to committees, as well as community events and professional development to handle and prioritize.
How do you think your background as a musician will help you moving forward? What skills will you call upon the most in your new leadership role?
In my new role as Mayor, I see myself as the team captain, not a soloist. We’ve all heard recordings or gone to concerts where several soloists are put together in an ensemble and it just doesn’t work. My approach in leadership positions has always been one of inclusion, collaboration and compromise. For any team to thrive, a collaborative spirit and dedication to a common goal is essential — our new Council is no different. A successful musician listens and always forgoes ego in favour of the ensemble’s greater good. This is key to teamwork of any kind. With musical endeavours or governmental bodies, the whole is always stronger than the sum of its parts.
What advice do you have for young student musicians, whether they choose to pursue music later in life or not?
Any pursuit of excellence is time well spent. It is an investment not just in yourself as a musician — it is also an investment in countless skills that grow you as a person. For the long game, few people who pursue music at college or university actually continue on as professional musicians. But musicians develop transferable skills and a unique capacity that is complimentary to many other fields. Just ask me how many music friends of mine are now successful lawyers, doctors or business owners! Beyond those transferable skills, being a musician simply for the joy of creating, sharing and inspiring is a worthy pursuit. In the words of Leonard Bernstein: “It is the artists of the world, the feelers and the thinkers who will ultimately save us; who can articulate, educate, defy, insist, sing and shout the big dreams.”
Thank you for your thoughtful responses, Christa! All the best over the next four years!
By Sally Hansen
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Who Let the GIRLZ Out? - theHumm November 2018
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Hosted by Rachelle Elie and featuring music by Luke Jackson, the Rag Bag Cabaret GIRLZ Night Out will also include award-winning sketch comedy by Crush Improv, stand-up comedian Jenn Haywar......
A Sure Thing (or Three…) - theHumm November 2018
By Rob Riendeau
There aren’t that many sure things in this world, that’s for sure. Death, taxes, and an excellent beer from a local craft brewer are about it most of the time. But this month, I have three guaranteed-to-be-great shows for you to check out.
First of all, music fans should definitely make plans to catch Joey Wright with Brownstone when they play The Cove Country Inn in Westport on November 23. This show will also feature Jenny Whiteley.
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By — Judith Scott
Well, that is a slight exaggeration, but I am taking a break from the sewing machine to tell you about a show you should put upon your list. Make sure it is not missed!
It’s a lot of fun to play with the words of a well-known comic song, one that features in the upcoming Mississippi Mudds production of The Mikado. This lively, funny, colourful and entertaining show opens at the Carleton Place Town Hall on November 30.
Many months ago I was invited to manage the costumes for th......
By Tony Stuart
Like many of you who are reading this column, I was thrilled when Christa Lowry was elected as the newest mayor of Mississippi Mills. Christa is a thoughtful, dedicated, and articulate individual. What some of you may not know is that Christa is also a professional trumpet player. Despite being incredibly busy in the aftermath of the municipal election, Christa took the time to thoughtfully answer some questions about how her musical journey has helped her to prepare for this new role. I’m gr......
By Miss Mills
I sure hope you’re reading this column early in the month, ‘cause you’ll want to get an early start on all the happy happenings in Mississippi Mills.
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Books for Podcast Lovers - theHumm November 2018
By — Meriah Caswell is the Manager of Library Service at the Carleton Place Public Library
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Jul 12 - Sep 6 Eric Uren
Aug 2 - 31 Exhibit: Ghosts of the Highway
Aug 4 - 31 Jazz Night w/Spencer Evans Trio
Aug 11 The Tempest
Aug 12 - 14 Puppets Up! International Puppet Festival
Aug 12 Jeff Callery
Aug 13 - 14 Perth Lions Garlic Festival
Aug 13 Eric Uren on the Patio
Aug 15 Mellow Lily
- David Dunn — Doing What Comes Naturally
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- 3 Galleries; 3 Shows
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