What a complete joy it is to create music with the help of talented artists….especially in my VERY OWN FAMILY! Last night my 3 sisters, Paula, Pamela and Mary along with my cousin , Lindsay joined me in a studio here in sunny( read : humid) WIndsor to sing beautiful back up harmonies for one of my songs . ( I only wish we had many many more days here to record more but time is fleeting here with visits to beloved family and old friends) . Lindsay played digital violins/strings and made 5 songs rise above the ordinary.
I can’t wait for you to hear my new 14 song C.D.. I ‘HOPE’ you will enjoy it!
Step by step I am having the joy of watching my new C.D. ” Hope Is ” take shape. My latest project was to bus down to Calgary to spend the best part of my Friday at The Station Recording Studio.
Spencer Cheyne had the studio prepared for the arrival of a bus load of grade 3,5 and 6’s that I had previously auditioned from Falconridge School. The children were SO excited and in fact one little girl told me that the night before she ” had cried because she was too excited “.
The children had been coached by their teacher, Ross Snashall, and my friend and recording artist, Marie Bridge, and because of this the children were in great form for their sessions.
We took them in groups of about 6 children at a time to sing my song, ‘ Close Your Eyes ‘ in the studio while the others had snacks in the lobby or drew/wrote on work sheets prepared about their experiences so far while they waited their turn. They were SO talented and so cute I must say. This was no professional choir but just normal children who had sung my song at their Christmas concert that year. Ross loved the song and I thought that if they knew it already (and I had envisioned children singing it anyway……)I was already ahead :)
It was so much fun to listen to their pure voices and to watch their excitement as they sang in a real studio! I can’t wait until we start mixing these songs ….but I will have to as I still have a beautiful cello player from Winnipeg to add and gorgeous strings from Ontario coming as well.
( I spent weeks putting together my very first try at a Grant Application and I could really use the financial help….FOUR studios…Yikes! ha ha)
Anyway, a BIG thank you to Falconridge School, Calgary , for their wonderful singers !
What fun to be hanging out at City Hall on market day …just jammin’ with Jim ( McCloskey) .
We had a great time with Jim’s original tunes and I although I was his guest artist for the day I got to sing one of my own tunes too.
Friday night I am honoured to be able to sing for the folks at Hope Mission. There are 2 Easter Dinner sittings and I will be playing with some old friends….and some new friends! I have a dinner in a warm home or restaurant every night. It is good to remember that…..
Last night Terry Ropchan and my sister, Paula and myself sang for a nice crowd of about 50 people at the hospital.
I worried all weekend that I might have to cancel due to a wicked cold that took away my voice and left me with a nasty cough. But since our participation in this monthly concert/performance series had been booked for a month and recently confirmed I felt terrible about having to let folks down.
I did everything we singers know how to do from being quiet to drinking a ton of ‘throat coat’ . Last night I felt I might be able to get through the hour concert so I packed up our gear with Terry and away we went. Imagine my surprise to find out that Paula has the same cold!
We let the audience/patrons know about our situation ( they stayed back…ha ha) and we did our best to provide a nice sound for our set list. My voice somehow hung in there ( just a few high notes wanted to cut out) but no embarrassing coughing fit so I was happy.
The best part was that the folks ( patients, caregivers, relatives of the patients) seemed to truly enjoy the music and banter ….that’s what we volunteered for : to bring a bit of sunshine into an otherwise dark situation. It turned out to be a very warm reception and I am glad we were able to perform despite the colds. At least Terry was healthy! ( There was a lot of hand washing going on :)
What an incredible ( but exhausting !), thrilling , creative, blessing of a week this has turned out to be. I am just home and winding down from a very full week of working with some of Edmonton’s most talented musicians. I have decided to call my new C.D. ” Hope Is…” . Included are 14 of my original songs which have been made MUCH better by these talented folks ( who include Terry Bachynski, Paula Drew, Albert Felicitas, Thom Golub, Dean Pierno, John McNichol, Dominique Roy and Ray Sabourin) and they will soon be joined by other talented folks from Windsor , Montreal, Winnipeg and Calgary via sending tracks back and forth. This is turning out to be a much bigger endeavour than I planned but it is going to be an incredible project. I am very excited about including a children’s choir from Falconridge School in Calgary .
I am so thankful to God for the chance to try and create another beautiful C.D. . It is my hope that others will love it as much as I ( already!) do.
I cannot tell you how uplifted I feel when I surround myself with amazing talent!
The rehearsals for my new C.D. are SO much fun. I am confident that I have chosen a good batch of songs from my original music but when I play my guitar (together with some of the other artists that will be recording with me next week )and hear the professional quality they bring to the tunes I feel speechless.( Not a good thing for a singer..ha ha)
Albert Felicitas on Keyboards and Jembé drum is every artist’s dream in a player. His lovely miracle girl wife ( my sister) Paula, has the most beautiful voice for the harmonies I am looking for…( although I will very much be missing the gorgeous voices of my other 2 sisters who live in Ontario and who sang with me on WAITING) .
We are having one last rehearsal tomorrow night before recording week and I am excited to be adding the lovely flute playing of our friend, John McNichol , to one of my songs.
I have incredible players locally ( Thom Golub, Dean Pierno, Domique Roy to name few) and some sending me tracks from Montreal, Windsor, Winnipeg and I have a group of children singing with me from Calgary’s Falconridge School too. I am really looking forward to going to Calgary for that recording session.
I am so happy and blessed to be able to share this new music soon.
O.K. : so lifting heavy sound equipment to and from my car at 9 a.m. on a – 27 morning might not seem like your idea of a good time but after I picked up the rest of my ‘band’ , unloaded the equipment at the Cross Cancer Institute in Edmonton and started to play and sing….it became a wee slice of Heaven.
It was only 45 minutes but I felt so happy to have my sister, Paula, sitting and singing beside me. One year ago she was bald and in 4th stage breast cancer with no hope of survival. She , a newlywed, was told to plan a holiday , get her affairs in order because even the strongest chemo was not even touching the hundreds of tumours in her lungs.
We were asked to return in 3 weeks and we decided to ‘storm Heaven’ with requests for a miracle. Did we believe she would actually get one? You bet we did! And we were honoured and rewarded with the miraculous disappearance of ALL signs of her cancer . She cannot officially be deemed cured until she has lived cancer free for 5 years but I am here to tell you that her hair is now curly and long enough to put in a pony tail and she is alive and very well.
So when I found out that Paula would be able to join me in performing at the Cross I was thrilled! Talk about coming full circle. It felt so good to see smiles , a few tears maybe, and feel love from our guests in the lobby. We just wanted to sing and play to help a few minutes perhaps pass with a little less darkness.
Paula stood beside me and she taped a photo of her bald self to the front of her music stand.
Just another cold day in Edmonton but I have a little more warmth in my heart. I hope we were able to spread some of that warmth to others today :)
Well, I sure had a great weekend visiting Calgary! Not only did I get to celebrate the birthday of a dear friend but I got to go to see another friend in Spamalot a show that rivalled any pro version I have seen ( aka Broadway!).
But …on top of that …I approached Pink Lime Hair Salon ( directly below where I was staying) and they agreed to FILL their space with our ( my husband, Terry’s ,and my) original paintings! They even promised to contact the Edmonton Salon so we can do the same in this city. Wow!
I have decided to get back into the volunteer circuit and look forward to giving back a little bit to the community with musical help from my buddy, Terry Ropchan.
On January 30th you can find us singing and playing at the Cross Cancer Institute at 10:30 a.,m.
So far the next show will be Mar. 12th from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. at the Glenrose Hospital.