Holland College Blog

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Posts Tagged ‘music performance program

Destiny and the monks

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DestinyBestDestiny Best has always been interested in singing in different languages. As a child in the Toronto Children’s Chorus she sang in approximately 15 languages, and as a student in Holland College’s Music Performance program, she sang in Italian, performing Nessun Dorma from Puccini’s Turandot during the opening gala of the Florence Simmons Performance Hall.

But this time, she’s taken on not only a different language but an entirely different musical style – singing Buddhist sacred music in Sanskrit, Tibetan, and Mandarin for an EP in collaboration with the Great Enlightenment Buddhist Institute Society (GEBIS).

Destiny met some of the monks this past May, during an open house at the GEBIS centre, located in Little Sands, Prince Edward Island. After discussing her interest in music with the monastery’s executive secretary, Geoffrey Yang, he proposed an interesting project: to record more than 800 songs of praise composed by the group’s leader, Master Zhen-Ru.

Destiny is provided with a recording of the songs, along with a Romanization of the lyrics, and instrumental tracks recorded by members of the Dream Lotus Symphony Orchestra. So far, Destiny has recorded four of the songs, which you can hear on the EP Do It With All Your Heart, along with a Mandarin version of Brahms’ Lullaby:  https://destinybest.bandcamp.com/album/do-it-with-all-your-heart.

Plans are in the works to develop a video of one of the songs.


Written by Sara Underwood

May 1, 2017 at 2:34 pm

Music Performance students meet local musicians with international reputations

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Students in the Music Performance program at Holland College’s School of Performing Arts had the opportunity to meet two of Prince Edward Island’s finest young musicians last week. Tim Chaisson and Kinley Dowling stopped by to talk about their careers, life on the road, and what it takes to be successful in the music business.

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Tim, a singer, songwriter, and band leader for Morning Fold, recent returned from a 26-day solo tour of Australia. In just the last two years Tim’s work has garnered him Australian and Canadian management and agency deals, a # 1 and # 8 music video on Much More Music, # 41 on the Canadian Alt Rock charts, had the most #1 singles on the East Coast Countdown, voted as one of the Top 10 Gigs of the Year for 2011 by Australia’s GETMUSIC.COM, headlined opening night of Atlantic Canada House at the Olympics, played two Gibson All Star Parties, played eight shows at Juno Fest, headlined two shows at Indie Music Week, played Canadian Music Week, North by Northeast, Burlington Sound of Music Festival and Indie Music Week, toured across Canada with The Trews, He and his band have shared the stage with The Tragically Hip, Finger 11, Danko Jones, Joel Plaskett, Johnny Reid, Matt Anderson, Haywire, Michelle Wright, Lennie Gallant, Crash Parallel, Sweet, Chris Caddell, David Myles, Lady Antebellum, and Catherine MacLellan.

Kinley Dowling is a freelance musician, singer, and songwriter who performs with Hey Rosetta and The Express, has toured or performed with Jenn Grant, Broken Social Scene, Lily Frost, Anne Murray, The Heavy Blinkers, Lennie Gallant, Rose Cousins, Daniel Ledwell, In-Flight Safety, Dalhousie University Orchestra, Jubilee Quartet, Cortland Quartet, Mary-Jane Lamond, Brent Randall and his Pinecones, Kelly Sloan, Christina Martin, Gabe Minnikin, Catherine Maclellan, Dance Movie, Ra-Dawn Sun Cult, and Classified, Classic Albums Live. She has also recorded with Gabriel Minnikin, Dale Murray, Brent Randall and his Pinecones, Jenn Grant, Christina Martin, Dave Christensen, Adam Puddington, Two Hours Traffic, Dirty Poets, Hour Glass Class, Reels, Oh No Forest Fires, Olympic Symphonium, Kelly Sloan, In-Flight Safety, Classified, Mary Stewart, Share, Prospector’s Union, Rose Cousins, Ruth Minnikin, Jason Haywood, Dance Movie, Andrew Watt And The Glory Glory, Modern Men, Molly Rankin, Buck 65, Dennis Ellsworth, Raccoon Bandit, Rich Aucoin, Matt Mays, Adam Baldwin, The Details, Gianna Lauren, Doug Taylor, Haunted Hearts, Chloe Jones, Milks and Rectangles, and The North Lakes.

As part of The Express, which she formed with Liam Corcoran of Two Hours Traffic to enable them to express themselves as singer/songwriters outside of their regular touring groups, they have received 2012 Music PEI nominations for Album of the Year, Group Recording of the Year, Roots Contemporary Recording of the Year and SOCAN Songwriter of the Year. Kinley was also nominated for Musician of the Year.

Hey Rosetta, based in Newfoundland, was #2 in CBC Radio’s Top 50 International albums of 2011, has won four Music NL Awards in 2011, has record deals in Australia and the U.S., won The Verge Music Awards Prize of $25,000 cash, was nominated for three Polaris Music Prizes, has shared the stage with Metric, The Tragically Hip, Great Big Sea, Bare Naked Ladies, Sarah Harmer, Broken Social Scene, and The Weakerthans, and is currently preparing for a three-month European Tour.

Needless to say, both had lots of useful information for the aspiring musicians in the Music Performance program. The students had plenty of questions, and learned a great deal from these two talented young people.

The students wrote down the concepts that stuck with them most from the visit.

“Although they have had great success, each one of them is down to earth,” wrote one student, noting that they had both talked about how much preparation touring demands.

Another wrote, “You will need to put in far more effort than you’d think, and the first returns you see will be small. Cliché, yes, but perseverance and commitment is key.”

Both Tim and Kinley had stressed to the students the importance of treating your career as though it were a business. As one student noted, “Don’t underestimate the business side of being a successful musician.”

Bringing thriving professionals from the music industry into the classroom is an important facet to the Music Performance program. While their instructor, a seasoned and highly-acclaimed musician himself (and Kinley’s father), may share his own experiences, talking with high-calibre young performers reinforces the message that a career in music requires more than just raw talent.

Meeting Kinley and Tim was a real treat. We wish them all the best, and we’ll be following their successes with great interest.

Written by Sara Underwood

January 23, 2012 at 10:52 am