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New Christmas Album – Comfort & Joy on sale now!!!

November 1, 2014 | by   Filed under Blog, News

Comfort & Joy Cover
Hello Friends and Fans! I am so pleased to announce that after a year in the making my new Christmas album is finally here. The album is called Comfort & Joy and features the stellar Vancouver Island Symphony recorded at the Port Theatre in Nanaimo. I’ve included a few audio clips below for you all to get the first peak at the album. I don’t know what to say other than I am really proud to have been able to see this project through from beginning to now. It was a real thrill for me the moment I heard these fabulous, original arrangements for the first time with the orchestra. Taking the tracks back to the Woodshop Recording Studio in Duncan to add the finishing touches with engineer Zak Cohen was challenging and educational and that is where we did a lot of the detailed work to make sure every bit of it shines from the first track to the last. I am honoured to have had the chance to work with such amazing musicians and professional technicians. I sincerely hope you like it and will consider purchasing the album for yourself or as a gift for someone you care about. From my family to yours, I wish you all the comfort and joy of the holiday season!

  1. The Christmas Song 
  2. Thankful 
  3. Silent Night 
  4. O Come O Come Emmanuel 
  5. It Came Upon A Midnight Clear 
  6. In The Bleak Midwinter 
  7. I’ll Be Home For Christmas 
  8. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen 
  9. Away In A Manger

There are 12 stellar tracks on the album – for a full track list and to order Comfort & Joy for download go to this link!

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October 1, 2014 | by   Filed under News, News

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Walt Disney’s Favourite Song

September 10, 2014 | by   Filed under Blog, News

Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks in Disney's Saving Mr. Banks

Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks in Disney’s Saving Mr. Banks

One of the most enigmatic and influential figures in showbiz history, Walt Disney’s legacy transcends the impressive body of work he produced throughout his lifetime. His family name has become synonymous with family entertainment, and his films and theme parks have entertained literally billions of people worldwide. Sometimes, it’s easy to forget that Disney was an actual person who strived tirelessly to build his brand. He also had a soft side, however, and he loved the music that was featured in his films. His favourite song was written by Richard and Robert Sherman–the brothers behind many of the classic Disney tunes from the 1960s and ’70s. The lilting ballad “Feed the Birds” from Mary Poppins never ceased to put a smile on Disney’s face, and the song lives on as a tribute to the man behind the magic nearly half a century after his death.

It’s been 50 years since the movie-going world was first introduced to Mary Poppins, as portrayed on screen by Julie Andrews. The 1964 film, which was one of the final efforts produced and overseen by Disney himself before his passing in 1966, drew rave reviews from critics around the globe. It also earned Andrews her first Oscar–one of five accolades heaped on the film by the Academy. The making of the film was chronicled in the 2013 movie Saving Mr. Banks, which featured Tom Hanks as Walt Disney and Emma Thompson as persnickety Poppins author P.L. Travers. Recently, I had the opportunity to watch Saving Mr. Banks and I was struck by the openess of Disneys creative team and their process. Of course everything was dramatized to have us believe that they were all walking on eggshells around the ultra serious P.L. Travers, but it seemed that being part of such a creative journey would have been a lot of play and fooling around on the part of the musicians.

Of course, one of the main reasons why Mary Poppins has endured as an American classic for so long is because of the gorgeous score by the Sherman Brothers. Richard M. and Robert B. Sherman began writing songs together in the early 1950s, and they had made a name for themselves at Walt Disney Studios by 1961. After composing hits for Disney movies (including “Let’s Get Together” for The Parent Trap) and theme park attractions (including the iconic earworm, “It’s a Small World”), the brothers were recruited to write the score and songs for Mary Poppins.

The memorable tunes written by the Shermans for the hit film included “Spoonful of Sugar,” “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” and the Oscar-winning “Chim Chim Cher-ee.” It was a simple tune written by the brothers for Mary Poppins to sing to the Banks children, however, it made a big impression on Disney. “Feed the Birds,” which expresses the idea that simple acts of kindness make all the difference in the world, struck a major chord with “Uncle Walt.” After the brothers played the tune for him for the first time, the studio head was obviously touched and offered the Shermans a contract as in-house composers.

Even after the film had wrapped, Disney never grew tired of hearing “Feed the Birds.” According to Richard Sherman, the boss would show up in his office every Friday afternoon to ask what the brothers were working on. After hearing their latest tunes for films like Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree, Disney would ask to hear his favourite song to conclude their meetings. One of the entertainment industry’s most powerful men would go into a sort of reverie as he heard the iconic lyrics, “Feed the birds, tuppence a bag.” On more than one occasion, Disney turned to them after hearing the song and said, “That’s what it’s all about.”

In the years since Disney passed away, the song has become something of a link between the brand’s devotees and the late creator. Richard Sherman, who is still actively performing even in his late 80s, always makes a point to sing the song at his concerts and recounts the story of its connection to Disney. Though the man is gone, his legacy lives on with the song, and it clearly expresses his views about the world and the importance of giving back.

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