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Red Tuque Books Inc.  Bernadette_Griffon

Bernadette Griffin

Bio: What will I do now? I asked myself on leaving high school, my piano books now stuffed away in a drawer. First, you better leave home, I thought, the world is waiting and it may tell you who you are and what to do. So I went to Montreal and to nursing school, and after graduation and caring for patients and teaching students as a clinical instructor, again I asked, What now?

'You can marry me,' my piano-playing musician boyfriend said, and I did, and we made a home, a real home with children and a dog and a cat-and a piano. And there I was, caring for my children and playing the piano, playing, playing , scales, chords, arpeggios, studies, inventions, partitas, sonatas, until the Royal Conservatory of Toronto said, 'Enough, take this diploma.'

Soon I was in my studio, teaching others to play the piano, all the while also singing at church and soon conducting the church choir. Why not learn about singing now and conducting a choir with and without orchestra? I thought, and I did, founding the Donovan Chorale, a concert choir, and later Les Chanteurs d'Orphée de Montréal, a chamber ensemble dedicated to the performance of contemporary works, the two groups singing and singing, their singing so fresh, so heartfelt, enough to win the praise of music lovers and critics alike, not to mention one prize after another, their performances regularly airing on CBC radio and Radio-Canada.

What will I do now? I asked myself, looking at my bank account. First go to school again, learn more about the languages you speak, French and English, read and study. And I did, read and study until Concordia University said, 'hey, you deserve a diploma for all that, you can translate from one language to another, medical texts and documents.' And I did, all the while learning how to write my own words and sentences and stories, and that is what all of it has come to... trying to make it all true and beautiful.