Today Angela Morrison is at The Hiding Spot, celebrating the release of her new novel, SING ME TO SLEEP! Angela is currently in London, Ontario at the Amabile Festival – a place and event that had a huge impact on the novel.
To celebrate SING ME TO SLEEP’s debut, I decided to return to London, Ontario where the people who inspired me are. I flew up to Detroit Friday evening–and drove through a snowstorm to get here. The highway was even closed. It took me five hours, instead of three, but I made it! Phew!!
Saturday I spent the whole day at the Amabile Festival practice signing the very first copies of SING ME TO SLEEP to be sold to the public. I signed over 100 books! Books sales in London all this week will benefit the Amabile 25th Anniversary Fund in the name of the Matt Quaife Leadership Award.
Sunday evening was the main event. The choristers were in their gowns and concert black. Canada won the hockey gold about an hour before the concert started. Promptly at 7:30 PM all the choristers filed on stage–350 singers! One of the tallest guys in back brought in a big Canadian flag on a pole and started waving it. The crowd of over 1200 went wild. And then the guest conductor and the pianist came out wearing hockey jerseys (the guys all have Canada red and white jerseys with musical notes built into a Maple leaf) and led the entire audience in, “Oh Canada!” It was so much fun to see Canadians get patriotic!
Then the concert began, and we were all mesmerized. The Mayor of London read a citation, a representative from the province also had praise, and Amabile was even inducted into the London Musical Hall of Fame. Carol Beynon told a beautiful story about Matt and then introduced SING ME TO SLEEP and me. I said a few words–mostly thanking the choirs for letting me fill the holes in my art with the joy of theirs, and Joyce for graciously accepting this tribute to her beautiful boy, Matt.
Then I took my seat and, “Beth’s Song” had its live debut. Shayna had on her long cream-colored satin AYS gown and the guys were all in black tuxes. It was beautiful.
The scene at the book signing table during intermission was WILD!! The line went out the door. I couldn’t sign books fast enough. But I got to see so many old friends and new ones who helped me get the launch ready.
I got back to my seat just as the mass was starting. Oh, it was exquisite. Those pure children’s voices blended with mature and maturing sounds of the older youth and adult choristers and the orchestra was mesmerizing. So peaceful. And such a huge achievement for the choristers and conductors.
Crazy book signing again after the concert. And then it was all over. A night I will always be grateful for and forever remember.
This week I’ve got a packed schedule of London area schools to visit. I even get to visit Matt’s high school and grade school. And meet the teacher who introduced him to Amabile.
Plus a local TV interview on Thursday. More unforgettable moments.
I’ll stop by this evening and give you an update!
All best, Angela