Skip to content

What’s Happening – September

  • by
News From Our CBSO Musicians

Where Do You Get Your Live Music Fix?
Oh how we miss live music in the city! Some musicians, however, are making music wherever they can. Murray Finklestein, Larkin Hinder, Arthur Forer, Carol Marx and Christine Fong have been playing woodwind quintets in Arthur’s beautiful backyard recently. Hopefully, the weather will hold out a bit longer.
Managing Fear & Anxiety
by Mary Thomson MSW, RSW, RP*
  Anxiety continues to be a big part of what people are facing during this
pandemic. Fear is the result of a perception of threat, of thinking that
something terrible is going to happen to our health or security, or to
those we love. In the face of uncertainty, humans tend toward the worst-case
scenario as a way to be prepared and to protect ourselves and others.
Unfortunately, the result is often feelings of anxiety or physical discomfort
(the ‘Fight/Flight’ reaction). In addition, some of the things that we do to
cope with these distressing emotions (for example excessive worry or
avoidance) can actually make our anxiety worse or possibly lead to other
uncomfortable feelings like guilt or shame. As well, behaviours like obsessive
rumination or procrastination can negatively affect the people who love us or
live with us.

The reality is that many situations in life are distressing and
out of our control, especially in recent months. We do not effectively reduce
our fear by denying that bad stuff happens. The good news is that we can do
things to cope more effectively with uncertainty and build resilience,
regardless of the situations we are presented with. Here are some ideas:

REFLECT: It is important to tune in to our thoughts and perceptions in order to
build a more balanced view and make healthier choices. We can start with
validating that there are indeed things to be afraid of and be cautious
about. This is realistic. However, it can be helpful to then step back and see
situations as being on a continuum – neither perfect nor catastrophic – but
somewhere in between. Accept reality without over-reacting, and with hope.

REFRAME: To reduce our sense of being overwhelmed and fearful, take a breath
and admit that the worse case scenario is not the only one nor the whole
picture. There are other possibilities that are at least neutral or maybe even
the slightest bit positive. It is likely we can come up with alternative
thoughts that are equally or even more likely than a single catastrophic

REDO: Move away from focusing only on what we fear and what is not in our
control. Pay more attention to what is actually in our control. Ask: “What can I do,
in this present moment, however small?” Consciously choosing a specific action
that is more practical and manageable can help reduce anxiety. Decide to make
slightly healthier choices for today as this can prevent guilt. Be mindful to think
and behave more compassionately toward ourselves and others in any
moment. It is about taking small steps to rebuild a sense of capacity and

REASSURE: We can reassure ourselves not only that there are things we can
do but we can also remind ourselves of how we have proven capable in the past
by noting our previous successes and strengths.
As well, we can recall moments where we have felt inner peace and deeper
meaning from the arts, works of great literature or spirituality, and the daily
display of nature’s beauty. We can also find reassurance from others when we
utilize our communities of support both reaching out and receiving the love,
kindness and support of others. It is good to remember that we are not alone in
this time of uncertainty.

So, while at times we will feel fear, we can reduce our sense of helplessness by
focussing on what is in our control, considering possibilities
and trusting in ourselves and our community.

Take care until we can meet and play together again.

*Mary Thomson MSW, RSW, RP (Percussionist) applies over 30 years’ experience as a Registered Social Worker & Psychotherapist to her practical & engaging presentations on Mental & Emotional Health issues.

Community Spirit in the Far North
It looks like our librarian, Ingrid Soans, and Norman Reintamm have been keeping busy in the far reaches of Ontario in a little hamlet called Ceylon where they are renovating an historic schoolhouse and getting involved in the community.

According to the South Grey County Newspaper, there have been several instances of objects flying off passing vehicles endangering local pedestrians.

Ingrid and Norman joined a group of concerned citizens and approached the Mayor in order to see if they could get some safety measures implemented in their community. Mayor  Halliday made some recommendations to Transportation Services but, so far, little has been achieved.

Please see the link below to read the complete article.

The Latest in Playing It Safe
  Designers at a British outfit called United Sound have come up with designs for woodwind and brass players to be able to play without spreading droplets to surrounding musicians. While these may look promising, it remains to be seen whether these accommodations affect the sound of the instrument.

Perfect Caption…
We would love to hear your idea of the perfect caption for this photo!

Please send your ideas to
Your Support is Greatly Appreciated!

We are extremely grateful to you for your dedication and support as we all navigate through this difficult situation.  Cathedral Bluffs, as with other arts organizations in Toronto, is facing unprecedented financial challenges due to the effects of COVID-19.  We respectfully ask you to consider making a donation which would provide urgently needed support to our organization to weather the current storm. The orchestra is a registered non-profit charitable organization and provides tax receipts for donations of any amount (Charity # 89036 4573 RR0001). 

Thank you for your support!

Click on the logo below to be redirected to the orchestra’s Canada Helps page, where you can make a one-time or recurring donation via credit card.