Finding my passion

by Jim Grieve RTOERO CEO

“Please stop tapping on that table!”I heard that phrase thousands of times from my mother and some teachers. The need to drum out rhythms and my fascination with marching band percussionists, with their twirling sticks, seemed a part of my DNA and definitely a passionate part of my future.

With apologies to Bryan Adams, “I got my first real snare drum … in the summer of ’62.” I became immersed in a world of paradiddles, English beats, djembes, hi-hats and cowbells. (“We need more cowbell!”)

Throughout university, I was fortunate to play in the rock band Saraband with three wonderful musician friends. If you went to parties during the 1970s, in and around the University of Toronto or dozens of high schools across Ontario in places like Oshawa, Neustadt, Niagara Falls, Marmora, Barrie or Toronto, you probably attended a Friday or Saturday night dance with Saraband.

Throughout my career in education, that passion for drumming continued. I sat in with numerous very accepting and deeply talented student stage bands and was even a last-minute substitute percussionist in school performances of Oliver.

I love this edition’s theme: Retirement Redefined — Passion and Purpose. Although I qualify as retired-ish, the love of music, in all forms, still remains my passion. Some RTOERO members may recall that I even introduced a drumming circle to more than 200 members who were attending an annual meeting. Very cool!

I am proud to still be playing with Saraband. Tim, Jean, Stewart and I have been creating music together for almost 55 years, constantly learning new songs, new harmonies and never losing the passion. We will play as long as there is great music to make and musical adventures to experience together.

So, what is your passion and purpose post-retirement? I would love to hear the creative directions you’re exploring following your career in education.

Hey — if you see me at a stop light, don’t be surprised to see me tapping a syncopated rhythm with the turn-signal click track. Can’t stop that tapping!

Best wishes,