As I think back to my graduation, what stands out is a grey suit jacket, a grey suit jacket that I purchased from Tip Top Tailors. I remember sizing was completely new to me. Unlike track pants, I was to discover that suit jackets are not just Small, Medium and Large. There are chest measurements involved, and jacket length too—labelled as Short or Regular….or at least mine was. The fabric was slightly stiff, the smell was new, suburban outlet mall new. I was excited; I had never bought such an item before.
Of course, I also recall my family, my friends, my professors, my teachers. And as I looked around on graduation day at all my classmates, I wondered why we all purchased new duds, when they were only to be hidden under recently-rented graduation robes. As I have gotten older, I see more the purpose and the joy in marking milestones. I have also seen how sometimes it is easy to let such markers pass without much notice. These times are difficult, these times are fraught, these times are daunting. But these times also offer us the possibility of change, of hope, of a new age. Maybe it is in times like these that we need to most especially recognize and lift up your life achievements.
The class of 2020 is coming of age in a difficult age. Your decisions will likely be more complex than choosing the right suit jacket. But for right now, on This Graduation Day, in this moment, we salute you. We honour you, and we celebrate with you. Congratulations Class of 2020.
This Graduation Day was written and performed by Scott Anthony Andrews and produced by Ryan Hicks in celebration of the graduates from the Faculty of Education, the University of Regina.
Well dear friends…what a time we are in. Social distancing. Physical distancing. …And all the while trying to stay emotionally close. One of the projects in which I have been involved to stay present is the song “We’ll Be Free” by Lyn Besse McGinnins and Terry Hoknes. This made-in-Saskatchewan song included artists from across the province. “We’ll Be Free” is a community response to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Lyn wrote the lyrics; Terry composed the music. Lyn coordinated all us singers to record & submit via our phones. The song has been featured in the Prince Albert Daily Herald, CTV Saskatoon… just to start! I have been humming the song for days now….
“When the voices sing again, we’ll be free. When the hand I long to touch, touches me; we’ll be free. When we pass through this valley, rise up and greet the dawn, we’ll gather close together
and move on…”
Well said Lyn & Terry.
So honoured to be included…here is the link, friends
We’ll Be Free
I recently had the pleasure of being in the FMP Matrix studio with Scott Ferguson in Dartmouth, NS. Scott is a veritable who’s who of Maritime musicians…what a fantastic memory he has! I was amazed at the people he knows. Scott mentioned Mr. Steve Amirault, (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GNefDBCFTnA&feature=youtu.be) with whom I had taken some piano lessons quite some time ago…
(While technically I did take some lessons from Steve, I would not want to claim that I was a student per se, such a proclamation suggests a substantive connection—which I would have enjoyed, but is not the case…). I downloaded three of his CDs, “One Existence,” “Hold On, Let Go” and “Breath.” I listened to them all on the plane, I listened without interruption….and in fact, am listening to them now. I really enjoy all three, and in particular “One Existence” and really enjoy the tracks “Perfect World” and “Heroes.” Steve’s voice is a pleasure to listen to—comfortable and engaging at the same time, sits well in the mix, and has a great quality to it; his lyrics are interesting and thoughtful, the arrangements and solos are great! It has been such a pleasure to listen to Steve Amirault’s CDs and to see what a stellar international music career he is making! What a career! McGill…TO, Montreal…
It has indeed been a joy to get to re-acquaint myself with the music of Steve Amirault… from Nova Scotia to the world!
I had an awesome time performing some “Songs from Beginning Teachers,” which is my Arts-Based Educational Research contribution to the project about the growth of inclusive practices in beginning educators that I am involved in. I performed them as part of the International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disability (IASSIDD) in Glasgow at the Scottish Event Campus alongside some wonderful colleagues. Scotland was wonderful…Check out the photos from the Kelvingrove Museum and Art Centre
From songs about the evolution of inclusive practices to songs about Music Festivals. I have tackled some interesting themes. “Jazz on the Harbour” is a song about the Halifax Jazz Festival. In my song “Running Away with the Stars,” I write of live jazz ‘neath an expansive Saskatchewan Sky “…isn’t it grand, isn’t it thrilling?” To complete this trio of jazz songs is title track of my new CD “Young Man on Scarth Street” written for JazzFest Regina.
But, just who is this young man? Of course, Carter Powley is the “Young Man on Scarth Street Playin’ Saxophone.” I dare say that many who have heard him perform are quite taken with his playing, which is why I wrote that he met his fiancé as she heard him play on Scarth Street during Jazzfest (although I think they met her at music school…equally touching).
On this CD, “Young Man on Scarth Street Playin’ Saxophone” you get to hear Carter’s tenor sax, but also his alto sax—and the flute too. Many performers play with Carter in these parts, and I am glad to say that I have been one of them. But I have always wanted to record with Carter, and am grateful that it come to be. So…that my friends solves the mystery of exactly who the “Young Man on Scarth Street Playin’ Saxophone” is, and the so-named CD drops on Oct 4 (soft release) on CD Baby, iTunes and Apple Music among other places. The CD Release show (live performance release) is a shared concert with the choir, the Sisters of Mercy Dec.5 at the Artesian in Regina.
I sang from my suite of songs, “Songs of Beginning Teachers” which is part of the ongoing research project “The Beginning Teachers’ Study”. What a lovely audience in downtown Vancouver at SFU Harbour Centre for the Artful Evening. Here are a few pics of me performing, as well as one with Laurel Hart, who is the current president of the ARTS (Arts Researchers and Teachers Society). Thanks to SFU’s Faculty of Education for sponsoring the wine and cheese Artful event.
The view was truly spectacular from that space…the harbour, the water, the sky, the historic Gastown clock. I was part of a great group of Artists/Academics—there was a performed excerpt from a play (as a dissertation), some photography, some acting, some poetry… a great collection of performed talent! An Art-filled Evening, indeed…and I can say I played Vancouver!
Looking forward to Provoking Curriculum, a conference sponsored by the Canadian Association for Curriculum Studies (CACS), the University of Regina (UofR) Centre for Teaching and Learning and the UofR Faculty of Education. As performative scholarship, I am presenting/ performing “Songs of Beginning Teachers,” which is a song cycle based upon data drawn from the “Beginning Teachers Study” (BTS). Headed by Dr. Jacqui Specht from Western University, inclusive education researchers collected survey and interview data looking at new teachers’ instructional practices, beliefs and overall confidence in teaching in diverse classroom. The name of this pan-Canadian study is “The Development of Inclusive Educational Practices for Beginning Teachers.”
From the large sample of questionnaires, 37 beginning teachers were interviewed; these interviews were transcribed. Researchers were interested in which of the following 11 salient areas offered the most educational significance within these three afore-mentioned factors (instructional practices, beliefs and overall confidence). These areas are:
- Knowledge from courses and workshops
- Personal experience with people with disabilities
- Personal experience general
- Personal learning experience
- Experience with learners in practicum
- Discussions with school personnel
- Observations with school personnel
- Interactions with parents
- Associate teachers general
- Practicum general
- Work/volunteer experience
After these outcomes, the work here began, which followed at times a more conventional qualitative data analyses, and at times more unconventional Arts-Based Education Research (ABER) stratagem. The 37 transcriptions were read in their entirety several times, data were coded; categories created and themes emerged. Songs were written based upon these themes. Lyrics were fashioned from participants’ actual responses. The hope is that the songs lay the foundation to foster a deep emotionality of the experiences of teachers in their beginning inclusive practices, beliefs and confidence. These songs/themes are so named: Everybody Learns in the Circle, You Would Go to a Different School, BTS Dirt Bike Rider, Key People at Key Points, and We Could Do Something Amazing!
How appropriate on the heels of National Inclusion Month!
So looking forward to the Globe’s Musical Theatre Writers’ Workshop! …..Busy listening to musical and learning lyrics!
Beauty and the Beast
West Side Story
Well friends…it is most certainly the Holiday Season… or perhaps, more accurately a Holiday Season. I have two things I would like to share with you: a new Lyric Video of “I Still Say Merry Christmas” and a new lyric video for a song for my New Year’s Song “The Chronoscope Trips.” Who remembers Tinker Toys? Spirograph? Etch-a-sketch? The Slinky? Lite-Brite? The Sears Wish Book? Lite-Brite was fun…until you lost some of the coloured pegs and you needed like two more green or two more red to complete your picture. Etch-a-sketch was fun…for those who had patience to move those L and R buttons with infinite precision to create a picture…Nevertheless, “I Still Say Merry Christmas” hearkens back to “The Carpenters” and “Barry Manilow”…when harmonies were “in”….Incidentally, I not only say Merry Christmas, I also say Happy Hanukkah, Gong Hei Fat Choy, Gong Xi Fa Cai (Happy Chinese New Year), Joyeux Noel, Feliz Navidad, Happy Diwali Wishes….and…
My New Year’s Song and New Lyric Video is called “The Chronoscope Trips.” Brian Greene, physicist and “superstring” theorist, published The Hidden Reality: Parallel Universes and the Deep Laws of the Cosmos (2011). I read it and was thankful for the everyday explanations that preceded the complex mathematical ones. More than anything I was intrigued with the implications about our assumptions about matter. If the amount of matter is fixed, then there are, necessarily a set number of combinations in which it may be arranged (as I understand it). So, it is possible that there is more than one universe existing, more than one me, and more than one you, right now. This concept became fodder for this track…”Parallel lives can confound you…In the temporary ether of love’s warm embrace, is this all it comes down to:
You and I in this time and place?
And with each missing thought that searches for a believer,
the Chronoscope Trips…
I think such reflection about Time, Time Travel, the everyday magic within each piece of time are especially salient for the New Year. May all your moments find each other easily… And may your Festivus holiday and/or non-holiday be a season of Peace. (Check the videos in the Video Tab… or click here http://scottanthonyandrews.com/epk/)
Music is all about numbers…numbers of spins, of plays, of streams, of tweets, of views, of concerts, of tours, of weeks on chart…of……
For me, numbers might make more sense if I think about all the wonderful people with whom I have the pleasure to meet, all the interesting projects that I have been privilege to be part of over the last (1) year…
- Released 1 CD “I Don’t Do Lazy Like That” with 12 songs: Isn’t That the Reason Why You Came? Wisdom is Waitin’ on Me, I Don’t Do Lazy Like That, And I Wanted To, Feel It in Your Bones, Our Story Began in These Seats, Jazz on the Harbour, Let the Spring Come to Collect Me, A Blanket of Horses, Muskoka, Running Away with the Stars, and Light a Candle for a Dance (1year + 1CD Released +12original songs on CD)
- Created & released 2 lyric videos for the songs, Jazz on the Harbour & Running Away with the Stars (1year +1CD Released +12original songs on CD +2 lyric videos from CD)
- 3 choreographed/directed videos produced from CD, I Don’t Do Lazy Like That, Isn’t that the Reason Why You Came, Wisdom is Waitin’ on Me, which featured 6 yogis performing 12 awesome yoga moves (1year +1CD Released +12original songs +2 lyric videos +3choreogrpahed videos +6 yogis +12 awesome yoga moves/tricks)
- From CD release concert 1 live highlight video + 1 live video of A Blanket of Horses, performed with a Spirit Drum (1year +1CD Released +12original songs +2lyric videos +3choreographed videos +6 yogis +12 yoga moves/tricks +2live videos from CD release concert)
- Arranged 2 of my songs for 4-part choir (SATB) “I Say Amen to That” & “Muskoka” (2×4) Performed said songs with 1 choir, the Amici Singers, which has 1 director a good friend (1year +1musical +1CD Released +12original songs +2lyric videos +3choreographed videos +6yogis +12 yoga moves/tricks +2live videos + 2choral arrangements +4 parts per song +1performance with live choir +1awesome choral director)
- Grateful to share CD release concerts with 2guest artists/friends in YQR and 2guest artists/friends in YXE friend (1year +1CD Released +12original songs +2lyric videos +3choreographed videos +6yogis +12 yoga moves/tricks +2live videos + 2choral arrangements +4 parts per song +1performance with live choir +1awesome choral director +4guest artists)
- CD concerts were produced with multimedia elements; they had 2videos within them. One video was of Dr. Brian Greene, theoretical physicist, who explained how time travel may actually happen, which introduced—and was the impetus for—the song “The Chronoscope Trips” friend (1year +1CD Released +12original songs +2lyric videos +3choreographed videos +6 yogis +12 yoga moves/tricks +2live videos + 2choral arrangements +4parts per song +1live choir +1choral director +4guest artists +2multimedia elements)
- CD received airtime in 10 provinces across Canada; Debora Windover, Host of “Soul of Jazz” on CKOL 93.7 in Campellford and 100.7 in Madock played CD in its entirety. Still humbled by stellar review in Canadian Beats “Andrews shines when performing upbeat contemporary pop tunes that feature a jazz flair; Andrews vocals soar” My voice teacher would be proud… (1year +1CD Released +12original songs +2lyric videos +3choreographed videos +6 yogis +12 yoga moves/tricks +2live videos + 2choral arrangements +4 parts per song +1live choir +1choral director +4guest artists +2multimedia elements +10provinces radioplay)
- Composed words and music for 1 musical “Ducks on the Moon, A Parent Meets Autism: A Play with Music” (1year +1CD Released +12original songs +2lyric videos +3choreographed videos +6 yogis +12 yoga moves/tricks +2live videos + 2choral arrangements +4 parts per song +1live choir +1choral director +4guest artists +2multimedia elements +10provinces radio play +1musical theatre)
- Wrote 7 songs for said musical: All Is Calm for Now, Not Necessarily Me (Was that a Clue?), So Lovely, So Short-Lived, Guess I Missed Those Cumulonimbus Clouds (Wendy the Weather Girl), I Don’t Know Anymore (What it Means to be Mum), It Ain’t No Thang (No, No), Just Take Your Bow” (1year +1CD Released +12original songs +2lyric videos +3choreographed videos +6yogis +12 yoga moves/tricks +2live videos + 2choral arrangements +4 parts per song +1live choir +1choral director +4guest artists +2multimedia elements +10provinces radio play +1musical theatre +7songs)
- Videotaped musical in its entirety 1 time; from which were created 7 song-focused videos; performed and showcased excerpts from musical at 1 national education conference and 1 international conference in Athens Greece (1year +1CD Released +12original songs +2lyric videos +3choreographed videos +6yogis +12 yoga moves/tricks +2live videos + 2choral arrangements +4parts per song +1live choir +1choral director +4guest artists +2multimedia elements +10provinces radio play +1musical theatre +7songs +1presentation of musical at national education conference Congress of Social Sciences in Education (CSSE) + 1excerpted presentation of musical at international conference in Greece, International Association of the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disability (IASSIDD)
- Composed (1), performed (1) and created lyric video (1) for the 10th Anniversary of Jazzfest Regina, “Young Man on Scarth Street.” Also, composed (1), performed (1) song for Pridefest Regina, entitled “I’ve Left a Smile for You,” based upon Layton Burton’s short, entitled “Separate Beds” (1year +1CD Released +12original songs +2lyric videos +3choreographed videos +6yogis +12 yoga moves/tricks +2live videos + 2choral arrangements +4parts per song +1live choir +1choral director +4guest artists +2multimedia elements +10provinces radio play +1musical theatre +7songs +1presentation of musical at national education conference (CSSE) +1excerpted presentation of musical at international conference in Greece (IASSIDD) +1Pridefest song +1jazz festival song with +1lyric video)
- 1 co-chair of Regina Chapter of Songwriters Association of Canada; as such, co-coordinated 2concerts & delivered 3lectures: rhyme scheme, repetition, song structure. Graduated with 1 Berklee College of Music Songwriting Certificate. Co-authored 2 articles for Sask Music’s Session Magazine ” (1year +1CD Released +12original songs +2lyric videos +3choreographed videos +6yogis +12 yoga moves/tricks +2live videos + 2choral arrangements +4parts per song +1live choir +1choral director +4guest artists +2multimedia elements +10provinces radio play +1musical theatre +7songs +1presentation of musical at national education conference (CSSE) +1excerpted presentation of musical at international conference in Greece (IASSIDD) +1Pridefest song +1jazz festival song with +1lyric video +1SAC co-chair +2concerts coordinated +1BerkleeCertificate +2articles =81moments of musical gratitude.
- Of course, none of this would have been possible without the wonderful communities that support me, Sask Music, the Regina & Saskatoon Chapters of the Songwriters Association of Canada, and Regina Jazz Society…and countless others…
Saskatchewan is a large province filled with many talented songwriters. There are two groups of the Songwriters Association of Canada; one in Saskatoon and the other in Regina. As co-chairs we wanted to support some inter-city songwriting; so, we paired up ten songwriters. Each partnership has a songwriter from both cities. We have songwriters of different genres and different levels of experience. We are so looking forward to hearing these collaborations!
At the same time as these co-writes, Wanda and Annie are coordinating SAC Regina’s very own 4-Week songwriting challenge… I have completed only two so far, so I best get writing and co-writing!
And for more tips on songwriting collaborations, see this link: