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						Lögberg-Heimskringla • Föstudagur 8. apríl 2005 • 11

A musical life

éi
David Jón Fuller
Wynyard, SK
Jakobina (Bina) Keyser
was introduced to music and
dedication at an early age, and
it changed the course of her
life.
Bina was born on a farm
east of Dafoe, SK, the young-
est of five children. Her fa-
ther, Jon (Asgrimur) Reykdal,
taught her to sing and play pi-
ano as a child. "He had us do-
ing a lot of singing," she says.
"They tell me I could sing be-
fore I could talk."
Unfortunately, he died of
cancer when she was six years
old. It was from her mofher Jo-
nina that Bina says she learned
the importance of education
and hard work. "She didn't
want us, particularly my sister
and me, to be in a spot that she
was in — widowed at a young
age and not able to make a liv-
ing," she says.
Bina went to school in Da-
foe for grades 1 to 10, where
she met Maurice Raycroft,
who taught music and inspired
her. In high school, which she
attended in Wynyard, she also
sang in the Icelandic Choir
under the direction of Stein-
grimur Kristjan (S.K.) Hall.
She remembers singing in the
summer Icelandic celebration.
There were other Icelandic
music directors, but she says,
"I never got a chance to sing
with them, which is unfortu-
nate. I would have liked that.
[We might have] gotten some
pure Icelandic pronunciation.
And a lot different songs. We
First Lutheran Church
580 Victor Street
Winnipeg R3G 1R2
204-772-7444
www.mts.net/~flcwin
Worship with us
Sundays 10:30 a.m.
Pastor Michael Kurtz
always felt we were short of
Icelandic song."
Music played a strong role
in her career. After attending
Normal School, she became a
teacher at the age of 18. "They
told us to think about our fa-
vourite teacher, a teacher we
felt did a good job, and what
they did. And it was my first
teacher — Maurice Raycroft."
Bina taught both junior
high and high scool. She tried
different approaches, such as
using pop music to teach mu-
sical elements, or having ju-
nior high students sing choral
music.
Some approaches worked
better than others. "I met a
student a few weeks ago, a
former student. He said, 'Oh,
Mrs. Keyser! I remember re-
corders. I liked that.' I thought
he was going to hit me with
something," she says.
She encouraged students
to join church choirs and au-
dition for the provincial choir.
One year, 11 out of 11 students
succeeded.
The dedication she learned
from her mother has also
served her well. After taking
14 years off to raise a fam-
ily, she took correspondence
courses and summer school to
have her teaching certificate
reinstated. She later complet-
ed her B.Ed. at the age of 47.
Though Bina retired from
teaching in 1980s, she direct-
ed musical theatre productions
that are still remembered fond-
ly in the Vatnabyggð area, as
well as directing and singing
in many choral groups.
PHOTO: DAVID JÓN FULLER
This past February, the Partners for Rural Family Support presented Bina Keyser with an award
recognizing her musical contributions to the community.
Today she's a member
of the singing trio "Genera-
tions," made up of herself, Au-
drey Shepherd, and Frances
Blyth. They have performed
in churches, at a reunion of
World War II fighter pilots,
and lately at the community
þorrablót, among other occa-
sions.
Her dedication to the com-
munity has been recognized
with numerous awards, most
recently by the Partners for
Rural Family Support. For
this, she has her parents to
thank. "I was thinking before
who had the most influence
on my life, whether it was my
mother or my father. And yes,
I got the musical genius from
my dad, but it was my mother
who gave me the drive to do
well in school arid study."

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