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SALLY COLE: Youth chorus gets some help from composer

Chorus director Don Fraser, left, and composer Andrew Melzer, are excited about a new song marking the 150th birthday of Confederation, recorded by the Confederation Centre’s Youth Chorus. Melzer is asking the public for support for the Canada 150 project.
Chorus director Don Fraser, left, and composer Andrew Melzer, are excited about a new song marking the 150th birthday of Confederation, recorded by the Confederation Centre’s Youth Chorus. Melzer is asking the public for support for the Canada 150 project.

CHARLOTETTOWN, P.E.I. - Thousands of school children took to Canadian streets to celebrate the country’s 100th birthday in 1967. 

I was one of them.

I remember skipping along with fellow glee club members on the streets of my hometown, Sackville, N.B., waving a Canadian flag and singing this song:

Ca-na-da

(One little two little three Canadians)

We love thee

(Now we are 20 million)

Can-na-da

(Four little five little six little provinces)

Proud and free

(Now we are 10 and the territories sea to sea)

Then, after the parade, we attended a reception where birthday cake and centennial medallions were handed out to everyone. And the high-energy song became a hit, inspiring feelings of pride in many others and me.

That song launched the career for producer Andrew Melzer.

Now, 50 years later Melzer, who lives on P.E.I., wants to give this generation of school children a similar experience.

He has written a patriotic song, “We love you Canada” and has recorded it with the Confederation Centre’s Youth Chorus, under the musical direction of Donald Fraser.

“The kids sounded so fantastic and they were so enthusiastic that I knew that after 50 years I had to do this all over again,” says Melzer.

Fraser is also pumped about the project.

“For the 150th (celebration), the song is perfect. It’s got great lyrics and a message that is celebratory and should resonate with all Canadians.”

JUST THE FACTS

-       P.E.I. composer Andrew Melzer is getting ready to launch a new song, “We love you Canada” as a Canada 150 project with the Confederation Centre’s Youth Chorus and he’s asking the public for support.

-       More on the project is available at www.weloveyoucanada.com and www.facebook.com/weloveyou canada.

 

CALL IN AND WIN

The question is: What song launched Andrew Melzer’s career?

The prize: A copy of Jayme Stone’s new CD, “Why Did I Stay?”

Last week’s winner:  Irene Szwarc and Mary Mayhew won tickets to see Derek Edwards in Charlottetown and Summerside, respectively.

To enter: Call The Guardian’s Phone and Win contest line at 902-629-1707.

I got to hear “We love you Canada” last Tuesday night when Meltzer played it for me during choir practice. Listening to the upbeat melody I was thrilled with the beautiful harmonies and the patriotic words. During our conversation I learned the song is more than notes on a page to its creator.

“It’s a labour of love,” says the composer/producer who is going to Toronto next week to edit, mix and master the tracks. “So in two weeks we’ll actually have a finished product.”

The only challenge so far? Funding.

“We need the community's support as well as a few companies stepping up to the plate to become official sponsors for this worthwhile Canada 150 project.”

Now that the recording is finished, there will be post-production, graphics, video, manufacturing, PR and marketing ahead. As well, award-winning P.E.I. filmmaker John Hopkins of Bluefin has agreed to shoot a video of the choir performing the song. Melzer also needs funding for marketing and graphics, as well as costs involved in releasing the recording nationally.

“I’m convinced we can make a great recording and I’m asking people to contribute so we can make ‘We love you Canada’ a reality,” says Melzer.

Fraser rates the experience highly.

“Andrew composes very catchy, singable tunes that are always well-crafted. His work with the studio musicians is first rate, and I think the choir tracks are at the same very high standard. And, we always have an enjoyable time working together.”

 

Sally Cole is an entertainment writer with The Guardian. She welcomes comments about her column as well as suggestions for future columns from readers. She may be reached at Sally.Cole@TC.TC or by phone at 902-629-6000, ext. 6054

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