From an office newletter in 2010 - a little background about me.
If you see Ken Rushton humming around the office, it's because he is practicing for his performance this weekend. The Maple Leaf Singers, a Broadway show chorus group that he belongs to, will be serving up a rocking good time at their 42nd Annual Spring Show at the Massey Theatre.
Being musical didn't come easily to Ken, who grew up in a family where nobody could sing on key.
Ten years ago, though, Ken decided that he wanted to learn how to sing. May be it had something to do with being married to a professional musician. His wife Marilyn - who was born totally blind - learned to play the piano at the age of 5 and blossomed into a highly accomplished pianist. Living with someone who can memorize a score and play at such a high level is "like living with Mozart" and fueled Ken’s desire to be able to sing with his girl.
Being a self-confessed geek, Ken started his musical quest by reading a "whole bunch" of books on psychoacoustics and pretty much figured out the theory for singing on key.
To put theory to practice, he joined The Gentlemen of Fortune, a barbershop ensemble. “They were very supportive and provided tapes which I played to learn my part in the four-part harmony,” says Ken.
It took a year and a half to acquire this complex skill and Ken compares it to learning to walk if you have never walked before. After three years in this 50-member group, Ken decided to switch to The Vancouver Orpheus Male Choir.
"The Vancouver Orpheus has a repertoire of about fifty songs which was a massive undertaking for me to learn. This group is similar to The Gentlemen of Fortune but they sing a different style of songs,” explains Ken.
It wasn’t until Ken and Marilyn joined The Maple Leaf Singers in 2003, however, that he managed to fulfill his dream of singing with her in a group.
The Maple Leaf Singers show chorus has been around for 42 years. Their mandate is to provide free performances for those who are housebound such as seniors' groups and disadvantaged children.
Ken now has achieved the wish of his life and so now you know why he is humming away.