doc marten outfits Musical family conquers adversity
You might call Airdrie Amstutz family a musical one.
Harold is a classically trained musician who went on to become a church music leader, then later a senior pastor. His wife Lori, who was raised in Calgary, played the trumpet well enough to be part of the Calgary Stampede Band for several years.
All of their three adult children play multiple instruments, and one was recently on tour overseas with her band, Makeshift Innocence, singing and playing bass guitar.
has always been there, it is just part of our lives, said Lori, adding she and Harold still perform often at the Grace Baptist Church, which they regularly attend.
us it hasn been about the success of music, but the love of music, added Harold.
So it isn surprising when life took an unexpected turn, the Airdrie couple turned back to their roots.
Things started to take a turn for the worse in late 2004, while the couple was living in the United States.
That when Lori eyesight deteriorated to the point that she could no longer work in her administrative job at a dental office.
It wasn unexpected, as Lori was born with retinitis pigmentosa, an inherited, degenerative eye disease that causes severe vision impairment and often blindness.
came to a crux, said Harold. was very discouraged and despondent and I said to God, need to help me serve my wife, because I don know anything about going from a sighted person to a blind person. after the heartfelt prayer, Harold met a renowned piano tuner, who also happened to be blind.
It was an exciting realization that tuning pianos might be the perfect fit for his wife, but Harold said he was cautious about sharing the information.
mentioned it in passing, and from there it has literally been like pouring gas on a flame, he said.
Thanks to a grant from the Washington State Services for the Blind, Lori was able to attend the School of Piano Technology for the Blind.
She was an instant success.
was music, and I love music. the end of her two years of schooling, Lori was able to achieve her professional certification, and is now a Registered Piano Technician with the Piano Technician Guild, a worldwide organization.
She was the first person to complete her Guild requirements which include a very rigorous set of examinations while still a student.
Wanting to return to their Alberta roots, the couple moved back to the region and Lori began tuning pianos at the now out of business Irene Besse music store in Calgary.
In 2008, the couple set up their business, Amstutz Piano Tuning and Repair.
A health setback for Harold, along with continually deteriorating eyesight for Lori, motivated the couple to make the decision to work together, and Harold is now working towards earning his papers.
The duo loves working together tuning and servicing pianos, and even rebuilds antique instruments, placing the well loved pianos up for sale.
couldn get to calls if he couldn drive, said Lori of working with her husband. Harold and I working together we get so much done. was trained to tune pianos aurally, and uses technology as a opinion and sometimes for efficiency.
The result is a piano that sings.
rely on (electronic tuning devices) alone your tunings won come out the way you want the to, said Lori. you are listening to the nature of the piano each piano has a different character. is thrilled to see his wife of 31 years once again blossoming after her days that came as a result of her feeling she had nothing to offer.
felt this was a direct answer to our prayers, said Harold. been obvious that we need to do this together. We don feel like it is a stretch at all. Lori face lights up when she talks about the pianos she has tuned, which range from small studio pianos to a 9 foot Yamaha concert grand piano that was then played by Elton John at a private concert in Springbank.