Donna & Andy
9th Annual Children’s Song Nominee
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Red Castle Publishing
HOMEBASE/COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Canada
NAME OF BAND MEMBERS: Donna Rhodenizer, Andy Duinker
NAME OF ALBUM NOMINATED SONG IS ON: Blue Skies and Pirates
WHERE IS YOUR MUSIC AVAILABLE? www.redcastlepublishing.com
WHICH GENRES BEST DESCRIBE YOUR MUSIC? Children’s
DESCRIBE THE STORY BEHIND THIS SONG: Thinking about going out on a cold snowy day. I thought about the hibernating bear, warm, cozy and sleeping. Also thought – they eat and TRY to get fat; they can be hairy and grumpy and no one gives them grief for it; they get to sleep all winter and they have their (babies which are the size of a walnut) while they are sleeping and three months later, they wake up to find a cute and cuddly cub. I’d rather be a bear.
WHY DID YOU SELECT THIS TRACK TO SUBMIT TO THE IMAs? It makes us laugh and wiggle our bums like waddly bears and we thought it would be fun for the IMA panel to hear. (Honestly now, did you try that when you heard it?)
WHY DO YOU WRITE MUSIC FOR CHILDREN? It has no stylistic limitations. I am an elementary school music teacher and it is a natural extension of what I do every day.
WHAT IS THE SECRET TO CREATING APPEALING MUSIC FOR CHILDREN? Authentic music, imagination, good rhyming, good stories, in a pitch they can sing along with.
DO YOU FACTOR IN HOW PARENTS WILL RESPOND TO IT? Perhaps in the recording/production process, but the children’s enjoyment of the song is the primary focus initially.
DO YOU ALSO RELEASE MUSIC FOR OLDER AUDIENCES? Yes, we do.
HOW DOES THE PROCESS DIFFER WHEN WRITING FOR ADULTS? Bigger words and less imaginary creatures; more delving into the human consciousness for the things that make us human and connect us as people. Still, there is lots of room for humor and play on words in adult songs, as well. The humor may be more subtle.
WHERE HAVE YOU TOURED? We have performed in every Canadian province except Manitoba, British Columbia and Prince Edward Island. Something we plan to change as soon as possible. Being from the east coast, it is a pretty big venture to aim for British Columbia, but it will happen eventually.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE VENUE TO PLAY? Elementary schools where there are 500 kids from kindergarten to grade 6. Some who can’t wait to be entertained, others who are not sure, and by the end of the concert all have had a great time and line up for autographs.
WHAT HAS BEEN THE BAND’S MOST EXCITING MOMENT TO DATE? Being nominated for a JUNO in 2007- we got to walk the red carpet and be part of a great experience. We can’t wait to do it again.
WHAT’S IN THE WORKS FOR 2010? A new Children’s CD and an instrumental CD of original fiddle/violin tunes. Plus, a two-week tour in Newfoundland, several weeks in New Brunswick and Ontario, two printed music books that support our recordings that can be used in elementary school music programs…. and much, much more!
FINISH THIS SENTENCE: THE MUSIC INDUSTRY IS… Busy, exciting, tiring, thrilling, changing, open for new music of all kinds, a great field in which to be able to play and call it work.
WHAT IS YOUR DEFIINITION OF SUCCESS? To be able to devote more time to writing, recording and performing and have money left at the end of the month after the bills are paid.
WHAT’S ON YOUR IPOD THAT WOULD SURPRISE YOUR FANS? Rachmaninoff, Josh Groban, Bela Fleck, Cadence, The Kings Singers, James Hill (ukulele wizard), Steve Bell, Vince Gill and The Boston Pops Orchestra.