St. John’s musicians, who allow Pete to record a collection of lullabies, are a rare choice for their debut album by musicians in their twenties.
Lullabies for Theo is a collection of gentle acoustic songs designed to bring babies and toddlers to sleep.
“That’s the exact opposite of what I feel in my life right now,” Pete said. “Everyone feels very stressed, burned out, scared and worried …. [Album] is for everyone to listen, take a deep breath and calm down.”
Pete, also known as Peter McDonald, grew up in St. John’s, a family devoted to performing arts.
His parents, Peter McDonald and Ronauda Hatton McDonald, run a music theater production company.
Peter McDonald Jr. has been singing and playing on stage since he was 5 years old.
McDonald is currently starting his own career in performing arts, focusing primarily on music in his band With Violet and his own solo career.
Inspired by children
The music for Theo was motivated by the babies and toddlers in MacDonald’s circle among family and friends.
MacDonald said that it is fascinating energy created while children are involved in singing and creating magic through their innocent.
Pete and his musical collaborators – Spencer Fitzgerald, Sarah Newell, and her mother – listened to a variety of children’s, singer-songwriters, and acoustic folk music to develop their collection of songs and their soothing singing.
Not very comfortable
So does playing a song to follow make Pete relax and get ready for a nap?
“It makes me nervous,” says MacDonald. “I’m still thinking about all the work that’s needed. But I hope that one day it will calm me down.”
Rehak, 36, has been part of NACC’s mentorship program for more than a year and has been among the Yellowknife-based arts performers building a community of comedians in town, said Coderre.
“I think that during the pandemic, we really need to laugh right now and we really need funny content,” she said. “We are used to having music shows for Christmas and stuff like that, but I think a parody comedy show around Christmas will be quite different and quite relevant in these unprecedented times.”
The lineup will also feature comedians Skye Plowman and Emily Blake, a brief appearance by Tom Parker and other surprise acts.
The musical guest is Ryan McCord and there will also be a special appearance by David Thomas Micheal.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, there are only 50 spots available for the live act in the cultural centre. However, the event will be broadcast via Facebook and Northwestel later that day at 7:30 p.m.
All sales will be online as the box office is closed and people who attend are asked to take public health precautions.
Coderre said the show will be a Christmas-based parody and viewers are advised there could be adult content involved.
NACC hosted a Martin Rehak event in August at the Willideh stage and he said that audiences can expect a similar performance.
“It will be like a late-night talk show format with multimedia and local acts with some silly bits in-between and sketches,” he explained. “The one at Willideh was the first of its kind that we had done and this is the next installment as a Christmas edition.”
One of Canada’s most celebrated classical music trios, the Gryphon Trio comprises pianist Jamie Parker, cellist Roman Borys and violinist Annalee Patipatanakoon.
Tickets are also on sale for that event. The show will include a pre-recorded performance of Beethoven’s G Major Piano Trio Op. 1, No. 2 and the Piano Trio in Bb Major, Op. 97, nicknamed the “Archduke.”
The event will only be seen via screen, exclusively for ticket-holders.
“All the classical music lovers will love that show and we’ll have a chance to talk to the members afterwards,” Coderre said. “I will be on stage with them on the screen and we will have a discussion and the audience will be able to ask questions. “
She said that show will be a reunion of sorts as the Gryphon Trio have toured in the NWT in the past, the last time being December 2016 as part of the Broken Hearts and Madmen Project.
“So yes, it’s good just going to be a reunion with the Gryphon Trio who have been an important asset for the community here and who have done so much for the Northwest Territories,” she said. “I’m sure they will be thrilled to to see a few patrons even though it will be just 50 people.”