We are wonderfully fortunate to have Donna as our pianist. Not only is she an accomplished accompanist and performer, but she also has “perfect pitch”, which is something of both a blessing and a curse. It is a blessing for us because she can tell when a section is having trouble with their part, and if you listen carefully you will hear that part being played just a little louder than everything else to help them out. It is a bit of a curse because we know that sometimes our rehearsal singing pains her – you can look over at her and see her trying hard not to cringe noticeably.
We all look forward to the piano solo interludes in our pieces because Donna plays them so musically. Her talents also show themselves in her choral arrangements, which have been sung by her church choir and sold to other choirs as well. We had the great pleasure of singing her arrangement of Silent Night/Kumbaya during our 2016 Christmas concerts. A few times we have had the delight of having her sing solos at our concerts and once in a while she and our director, Anita, join forces (formidable forces!) for duets.
Donna started playing piano at age 4 and sang her first public duet when she was 10. She is the youngest of 6 musical sisters who play piano and various other instruments and enjoy singing together when they are in each other’s company. She also plays guitar, ukulele and organ and has been the organist at Deer Lake United Church in Burnaby for 26 years. She has been a rehearsal assistant and accompanist for many years, having previously played for the Coquitlam Chorale and BC Girls’ Choir. She is also in demand as an accompanist for soloists and small ensembles and plays for vocal, instrumental and ballet exams as well as weddings and other special events.
It is easy to understand how she earned the nickname “Magic Fingers”.