Sunday, December 18, 2011
He unexpectedly passed away on June 27th, 2011. Oftentimes you don’t learn of a person’s impact on others until they are gone.
Over 100 men and women from various fire agencies attended the funeral in uniform. A mixed honor guard of City, County, BLM and Forest Service firefighters participated in a special honor guard to salute and pay tribute to the man who had helped teach them to work together.
At the conclusion of the funeral, nearly 20 firetrucks from all fire agencies escorted our family on an hour and a half drive to the cemetery in Tooele, Utah. At the cemetery we were met by a special mixed honor guard and flag presentation.
Our family was deeply touched by the show of love and support.
I recorded this song to say thank you to all men and women who serve each day and sometimes give their life to make our lives better. Whether they be a member of the US Forest Service, a firefighter, police officer, soldier, or teacher. Thank you.
This song is dedicated to my father and those who set an example for all of us to follow...
The first video is the music video that we filmed in Little Cottonwood Canyon.
This video shows many of the photos and video from the funeral showing the firetrucks, honor guard and flag presentation that was made for my father, Robert Tonioli. It was primarily intended to share with family, friends and others who knew my dad.
Thursday, October 6, 2011
So we've been trying to put together a music video as a tribute to my dad. I wrote an arrangement to Amazing Grace a few days after my dad passed away this summer and then recorded it a few weeks after the funeral.
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
One of my favorite things to do is be in a boat floating down a river.
Monday, August 15, 2011
My family and I spent the past week in Waterton, Canada. Waterton sits on the USA, Canada border and is part of Glacier National Park. We had a wonderful time, but had our fair share of adventures. The one I'll share on this blog post was the closest I have come to losing my life, and I've had several close calls.
My Aunt Bev sent an email to her family after the event and she asked me to add my own words to it. I think her email did a good job of capturing both the onlooker perspective and my perspective of the event.
The glacier cave is barely visible on the far end of the lake in the two white dots.)
We packed a picnic and went to Cameron Lake. Nellie and Garth came too. Jason brought up his kayaks and had fun with Tyler and Kallie. Even Jean took a turn. Then, he went for a journey on his own.
And, this is when the major miracle and blessing of the day took place. He was at the end of Cameron Lake by the glacier ice cave, the visible entrance of which was roughly 15 feet above the water line and more than 30 feet across. He was taking pictures, and considering going through the cave to see the lake on the other end of the tunnel when he heard something like dynamite or a loud artillery shell exploding in the ice. It was part of glacier which made up the ice cave, the size of a train car, likely bigger, and it was beginning to break off. He had time to back stroke twice before the glacier smashed into the water. He knew he was facing death.
Below: This is on a wide angle, next to the entrance, right before the ice fell. The lip of the entrance was roughly 15 feet above me.)
"I watched as the main piece of the glacier crashed into the water less than 3 feet in front of my boat. My boat was thrown sideways by the water that was displaced and a huge wave crashed into the side of the boat while huge chunks of ice smashed into the water and sides of the boat. I was rolled 3/4ths of the way over and my body was protected by the bottom left underside of the fiberglass Dagger RPM whitewater kayak and likely more than one guardian angel. I was able to quickly roll back up and catch a four to five foot wave of water that surfed me away from the rush of ice chunks and snow that followed behind the crest of the wave. Had I not caught this wave, I likely would have been smashed by hundreds of chunks of rock hard ice that soon covered a 40 x 40 yard area.
When the waves and ice settled and I was able to survey the damage, it revealed a gap in the snow larger than a large box car, at least 15 feet high, 15 feet wide and 50 or more feet across. As the waves settled, two deer walked tentatively across the remaining archway and paused to look at me, I'm sure to shake their head and smile.
The only damage was I was completely soaked and my sunglasses came off when i had rolled in the water. Amazingly, I didn't have a scratch or bruise on my body.
Below: Notice the dirt that is now visible, as well as the rock on the far right.)
A canoe and 2-man kayak quickly pulled up to see the damage and asked if I was ok. They said they had seen the entire thing and thought i had been crushed by the ice fall. They said that i completely disappeared and was engulfed by the water, ice and mist spray that followed. They were relieved when they saw I was safe and had reappeared from the water. They were thinking they were going to be part of search and recovery, not a search and rescue. They commented that they thought that at least it would have been quick and I wouldn't have felt much pain from several tons of ice crushing my body.
I paddled back towards the ice cave to see the amount of ice in the water. It covered so large an area, you couldn't get within 40yards of the cave entrance where I had been before, because of the ice in the water. Most of the chunks of ice near the edge were slightly larger than a basketball and were harder than rock. The size of the ice chunks grew larger, the closer it was to the entrance. The ice was so thick that there was no possible way to pass through the ice in the water. The ice was so compact and heavy that I could not lift a basketball sized ice chunk out of the water.
Below: This is the zoomed out shot they took with my camera to show the entire hillside.)
When Jason got back to shore, Jean asked if he had fun. Jason said, "No! I almost died!" He then gave Stacy a BIG hug, which was touching. This morning he said, "I would have rather fought a bear. I would have had a better chance.". It was a humbling experience for him, which he has relived over and over. Art says that all the times he rowed for Aunt Lou, she never let him take her close to the glaciers.
Monday, April 11, 2011
I am a piano teacher and have lots of LDS piano students. I have 32 students living in several different wards and stakes. I use your hymn arrangements for my students to perform in their sacrament meetings. I just have to keep track of who is in what ward, and which hymns have already been done in each ward. I love that your hymns are beautifully simple and not over done. I have a student that is doing Green Hill and My Redeemer lives, back to back, for Easter. Keep up the good work! We love you, Carrie Allen
So I get asked to perform and accompany choirs or play at baptisms. I was playing for a private baptism for a little boy, Tanner. After he was baptized and we were waiting for him to get dressed, I played Kolob, I Know That My Redeemer Lives and Be Still My Soul. He came in, was confirmed, closing song and prayer..........As soon as the Amen was said, 30 people came up to the piano to ask me what song was that???? (Kolob) Where did I get the beautiful arrangements, etc? I had to remind everyone that maybe they should go congratulate Carter on his baptism and not to be distracted by the beautiful music.
I now have a piano solo arrangement of this song, as well as a flute/piano duet for the song. We've also finished full string orchestra to accompany the piano on the song. There will still be a few changes on that version, but it will be available soon.
Email Received: 4/10/2011
"I am overwhelmed! This is so beautiful, and the melodic changes in the 4 “verse” are stunning. I wondered how it would translate into piano from the flute part, and it is truly breathtaking. I had no idea that you would pick this up and run with it as you did. I can tell you have enjoyed this melody as much I do. I hope your family is also enjoying it. It should be shared.
May I make a confession? I just couldn’t help myself (which may give you an indication of how well this will sell). I got 15 pieces of music on Wednesday night at midnight for a violinist and Thursday night I got another 13 pieces for a flautist, both of whom were to play Saturday for 1 hour each at the Temple open house. It wasn’t easy music, I had very little time to rehearse, and am only able to practice after 7:00p because of my business. I went to a member’s house to practice on a “real” piano (don’t ask), and as part of my “gift” to them for having to endure 2.25 hours of unrecognizable accompaniment music, I gave them a peaceful departure and played 15 minutes of some of the music I will perform on the 23rd in my solo time slot. As part of that gift I included what I knew to be her absolute favorite hymn, Be Thou My Vision (your version), as the closing number. When I finished, the house was quiet and peaceful, just as I hoped it would be. That was this past Friday. Yesterday I ran into her at the open house (she was an usher) and she told me when she heard that song she told her husband to let her listen and enjoy. She could feel the spirit wash over her as she listened to your beautiful music. Here is the confession…I felt “compelled” (moved by the spirit is more like it) to play it for the open house. It was our stake’s “day” to run the open house, and knowing it was a favorite to those who surrounded me, the flautist joined in and we played a stunning duet that nearly quieted an otherwise noisy tent full of visitors that was 85 degrees. It was the piece that hushed the soul, brought the spirit to us all, and stopped a crowd in their tracks. One woman ran over to see what it was, and I told her it wasn’t published yet, to which she replied, “That’s a shame. That’s the most beautiful music I’ve ever heard.”
I hope you’re not mad at me for taking the opportunity to share so much of what I felt in my heart with the members of our Stake and the community who came to see the Atlanta Temple. You are a remarkable artist with a talent to give life to music; a life that allows the spirit to touch the souls of those who are blessed to be within the range of such melodic notes. This is Elder Giddens favorite piece of music and I will be playing it for him on Easter Sunday. THANK YOU! You will never know how much this means to any of us who are blessed enough to play or hear it."
Linda P - Georgia
Friday, March 25, 2011
"I am sitting here listening to your CD - Simple Gifts. In your note you said that it makes you feel calm and peaceful, and that is exactly how I am feeling right now. I put it on this morning as I was trying to get my house cleaned and doing some laundry. The morning has gone so much better than usual. It is amazing how, by just having it play in the background it can invite the Spirit and make me feel so good. Thank you so much!"