This book is dedicated to my siblings. They are, individually and collectively, the most humorous (in a good way), kindest and bravest people I know. Each mousie reflects personality traits and talents of four generations of my family. Not to mention a cat named Carmen. Ellie is named for my sister Ellen who still zooms everywhere.
Thank you to six talented family members: Firstly, Kate, Ken, Jen and Mike for putting up with my imagination while you grew up and beyond. My everlasting gratitude to Mike and Kate for your glorious music. Likewise thank you Richard for sharing your many talents; plus all your creativity at your studio, Mosaic Music in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. Thank you Don for your lovely ability to capture many musical mousies on paper, and Ken for your patient final edits.
For readers who shudder at the greatest composers appearing as musical mice, I beg your indulgence, if not forgiveness. Those one hundred or so trebles I have had the privilege to hear over the past thirty years introduced me to this music. Their beginning “wee” voices were not unlike those of my imagined mousies.
I was raised listening to the music of Hank Snow, Tommy Hunter and Don Messer. Memories of these Canadian classics still manage to melt one’s heart with nostalgia. However, it is Bach, Mozart, Handel et al, who cause my heart, nay, soul to soar- especially when played and sung by Sammie and Ellie Churchmouse.
P.S. I know a nightingale is not natural to Northern Ontario, not to mention Canada; nor was this music to me. Besides, I like the word nightingale.
I confess I cannot resist a nightingale, especially a nightingale named Sebastian wearing a periwig.
And finally … Well Kate and Mike, this all started when you were eight and five respectively – Kate, a tap dancing, singing Jill in the Box and Mike, a singing, piano-playing Littlest Angel. Not much has changed really. Here we are once again amidst laughter and your combined courageous, wonderful and willing talent. Let this be a cautionary tale to all unsuspecting children and talented mousies everywhere. With much love and admiration, your very own MAAKAEI
(Mumsy Aunt Also Known As Evil Impresario)