Dunphy CD Sparks Songwriting Contest
In August of 2003, nine judges at The Eastern Shore Talent Showcase Finals were unanimous in their decision for the first place winner at the Stone Soup Festival. Sixteen-year-old Adrianne Dominica Dunphy was a shoe-in for a trophy, a $500 cash award, and a Martin Backpacker Guitar signed by a guitar great, Chet Atkins.
One judge, a local ex-drummer from the host community of Moser River, was heard to say that Adrianne's voice brought tears to his eyes. Another, a retired CBC producer from Edmonton said, "There was no question about the choice for First Place. Adrianne is an amazing talent". The audience spoke of "goose bumps on their arms" and "the voice of an angel".
Adrianne's beautifully clear soprano voice is engaging and expressive. Her choice of music covers a wide range from old folk ballads, to contemporary songs, like Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You". To top it off, she plays the piano like a seasoned performer. Her favorite music? "All of it", she says simply, "but I especially like jazz, folk, country, and Celtic".
Although Adrianne grew up on the Eastern Shore, her Cape Breton roots have had a strong musical influence on her. Her mother, Rose, is thrilled with her daughter's achievement. "Maybe her talent was inherited from her great uncle, Winston 'Scotty' Fitzgerald, or her great great Gammy Morrison, who sang like a bird."
She was exposed to music early, and began singing publicly at the age of eight at community events, such as variety shows and weddings. By age ten, she began studying the piano. Adrianne has never taken voice lessons, although she started singing with her elementary school choir in grade four, and then moved on to the Halifax County Girls' Choir at the age of ten. She sang with the Nova Scotia Youth Chamber Choir, and currently sings with the Nova Scotia Youth Choir and the Symphony Nova Scotia Chorus.
Since receiving the award from the Bay of Islands Centre on August 5, 2003, Adrianne has taken part in Symphony Nova Scotia's production of Handel's "Messiah" which is performed annually, and this month, took part in "Mozart's Mass".
Her involvement is reaching a wider audience, and of course, she is already famous with her voice and piano students, both in Cape Breton and on the Eastern Shore. "I never had a desire to become famous," says Adrianne, "but I would like to do what I can to help revive local musical traditions. That's why I teach, and eventually, I would like to help establish traveling music clinics.
Somewhere along the way, Adrianne learned to be an independent thinker, which may have played a part in her success. When she announced in Grade 7 that she wished to be home educated, her parents agreed, knowing that their daughter was self-motivated and persistent enough to excel.
Adrianne's inherent determination to be the best she can be, flows over into her manner. She is poised and articulate, possessing a relaxed stage presence that belies her youth. With a gracious and humble demeanor, she expressed thanks to the organizers of the Talent Showcase, accentuating the boost she received from the Bay of Islands Centre and their sponsors, HRM, the Province of Nova Scotia, Music Stop and many others.
Her thanks didn't stop at words. To show her appreciation to this community economic development Centre, Adrianne will record a CD at the "Bay of Islands" studio and donate the proceeds ("If any." she jokes) to the non-profit organization's various projects. The CD will be distributed as a demo of Adrianne's music, and an introduction of her unique talent to a larger audience.
But, as with many good things, there's a snag. "I haven't ventured into song writing yet," says Adrianne, "but I would like original songs to record, to get around some copyright issues."
"What better way to find original music for Adrianne than to create a sequel to the first songwriting contest?" asks Bob Moser, Vice-President of the Bay of Islands Centre Association, and originator of the Eastern Shore Talent Showcase. The rest of the Board agrees and another musical event is born for Eastern Shore musicians. Last year's songwriting contest was won by Arthur Zilkowski of Head of Chezzetcook.
The Bay of Islands Original Songwriting Contest 2004 seeks submissions of song lyrics with original content. Winners of the songwriting contest will have the opportunity to hear their songs sung by Adrianne Dunphy and will be fully credited on the promotional CD.
What kind of songs? "We are still looking for that elusive "Bay of Islands" song that describes our mission to help build a sustainable future for our rural coastal communities," says President Jurgen Teuwen. "I think if someone were to write a song that spoke to people about our diminishing natural resources on the Eastern Shore and the lingering struggle of our small coastal communities to survive, I would be thrilled. The Bay of Islands Centre will sponsor a special award for such a song".
"Beyond that" he continues, "the field is open, as Adrianne has a wide variety of musical interests. She will ultimately be the final judge. She's the one who has to sing."
If you think you have a winning song or would like to sponsor the 2nd Annual Bay of Islands Songwriting Contest, or you would simply like more information, please contact:
Bay of Islands Songwriting Contest
(Contest Press Release to Follow)
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