Voyageur returns to Cannington @McCaskillsMills @DurhamDSB

Richard McIntyre and Logan Keeler I spent June 15th - which is both my birthday and the day Voyageur came off the workbench in Nova Scotia in 2006 - doing presentations at schools in a couple of communities I'd not been to before. But this wasn't the first time that Voyageur had visited Cannington, home of the first school. Way back at the beginning of the project, I'd commissioned friend and Canadian guitar master Don Ross to write a piece for the guitar, which did not have a name at that point. Don was living in Cannington at the time and we figured it would be best if he had some time to spend getting to know the voice he'd be writing for. And so he took the guitar home for a couple of weeks and ended up writing a spectacular piece of music that he debuted with the guitar on CBC Radio back in 2006. The song went through a few variations and by the time it was in final form and ready to commit to tape, we had nicknamed the guitar Voyageur and so that's what Don ended up calling the piece. It appears on his 2012 album "Upright & Locked Position" on CandyRat Records.

Teacher Lindsay Bauer had seen the presentation back in the fall at the OMEA Conference and wanted to share the experience with her students. And for the "performance pocket", it was fitting that she lined up two performers: Richard McIntyre (pictured, left) has a grandkid at the school and he shared music from his generation (a medley of Gordon Lightfoot and Johnny Cash tunes) while Logan Keeler (pictured, right) - a recent graduate from McCaskill's who has moved on to the neighbouring high school - returned with a song of his own composition that perfectly reflected this stage of his life. It's rare but always a total thrill to hear original songs from the young people who play the guitar at these school presentations.

Thanks to all the staff and students at McCaskill's Mills and especially to the group of girls who came up to sing me "Happy Birthday" after the presentation!

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