Back in the @SCDSB @NPSSnews

Jenna, James, Ryan & Jordan Getting used to this particular stretch of highway 400 - all the way to Barrie for the SCDSB back on May 10th, up to highway 11 on the way to Cobalt for the SPARC Symposium tomorrow and cutting off at Cookstown today on my way to Nottawasaga Pines Secondary School in Angus ON.

It's a great looking school, nestled into a complex with the local library and police station - with a big, bright common atrium right in the middle built around the well-equipped auditorium, where I was greeted backstage by the student crew captained by Dave. Teacher Jordan Hughes (pictured, right) who had seen my presentation at the OMEA conference, brought back the students slated to play in the "performance pocket" (l-r Jenna McCarthy, James Bridges and Ryan Cranston) so they could get comfortable with Voyageur before the show. Soundcheck and set up were accomplished in no time at all and we were ready for students to start filling the seats.

The school is located near Canadian Forces Base Borden - historic birthplace of the Royal Canadian Air Force and home to the largest training wing in the Canadian Armed Forces. That meant that a good third of the students in that audience were from military families. Knowing this, I planned to include a section on our work with veterans and the Canadian Forces College, which made the presentation a little longer than normal. All three performers were terrific - James doing "Freight Train", Jenna doing "Share the Land" and Ryan doing an original song (always great to hear from a student player!) but we came up right against the lunch bell at that point so there was no time for art teacher Chuck Baker to take his turn of for me to make my closing remarks. So instead we retired to the backstage as students headed off to lunch and a good clutch of 20 or so people hung out back there taking turns with Voyageur and doing photos. Chuck was there with his mother and his daughter, Ella, who sang harmony as he finally took his turn on the guitar with an original song entitled "Falling Down". I've posted the video on the Six String Nation YouTube channel with their permission.

Thanks to all the players today and all the staff and students at NPSS who attended today's presentation. Special thanks to Jordan Hughes.

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