It seems like Julie Husband is surrounded by the sound of elegant music everywhere she goes.
Husband, 58, will be among several individuals to have their portraits hung on the Rainbow Stage Wall of Fame before the curtain is raised on opening night of the organization’s second show of the summer season — The Producers — at a ceremony at 5 p.m. on Fri., July 4 at the stage, located in Kildonan Park.
Husband, the first person to be inducted in the musician category, noted the other inductees include Debbie Maslowsky (performer); Brenda Gorlick (performer); Danny Carroll (creative); Scott Peter (performer/creative); and Marian Peter (volunteer).
The show will be Husband’s 38th in the musician’s pit for Rainbow Stage, in which she plays a variety of instruments, depending on the musical score of the show, including various members of the flute, piccolo, bassoon, clarinet and saxophone families. Her first show was Mame in 1985 and apart from a brief hiatus between 2006 and 2010, the St. Vital resident has been a mainstay at the stage for the last three decades.
"I’m so excited. It’s kind of neat," said Husband, who runs Elegant Music with her musician husband Tony Cyre, where the couple plays at weddings and dinner parties.
"I can only imagine how rock ’n’ roll artists feel when they are inducted into a hall of fame. Rainbow Stage has held a special place in my heart for half my life."
Music is clearly is Husband’s bones. She teaches woodwind techniques for musical education students at the University of Manitoba and Canadian Mennonite University and is she also on the books of Pembina Trails School Division as a creative arts educational assistant at École Charleswood School.
Aside from the lifelong friendships she has made in the Rainbow Stage community, Husband also enjoys the variety of musical demands that each show brings.
"You need a range of skills to adapt to different shows, which is what makes it fun. It’s wonderful to do something you love with friends and get paid for it. It doesn’t feel like work. I also get to play with my husband, so it’s like a date," Husband said with a smile.
Husband has a mental scrapbook of highlights of playing at the numerous shows down the years, including the time her daughter, Patricia, was in the cast of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in 2003.
"I watched her from the pit performing in this huge dance sequence. The musicians weren’t playing during that particular scene, so I watched her every night and I was such a proud parent," she said.
Then there was the time in 1993, during a performance of Fiddler on the Roof, when the pit flooded due to torrential rain.
"Our trumpet player noticed there was water trickling in and before we knew it, the conductor was waving madly to shut the power off. After moving everything and a 45-minute delay, we were finally ready to go again and the audience clapped and went crazy. That was kind of exciting."
Husband has also released a CD titled Bach to Bolling and Beyond as the Julie Husband Quartet, where she jazzes things up a bit.
"I’ve always had a love of classical music and I got hooked on jazz after listening to Claude Bolling. And always loved the melodies of Bach," Husband said.
The live performance album is available at cdbaby.com and McNally Robinson. For more information, go online at elegantmusic.ca