Now I have to tell you about small country high school graduation commencement ceremonies. The graduating class is small. The Foremost School 2012 Graduation Class had 16 students graduating and two of them were mine. The nice thing about a very small graduating class is the students have the time to showcase their school days to the friends and family that pack the school's gymnasium. Most of these students came up through the small school together from ECS (Early Childhood Services) - another more governmental name for Kindergarten (? I don't know....) - all the way to grade 12.
We as parents and members of the same small community know each other and have watched our babies grow into young men and women together. This makes for a very intimate celebration. You don't sit through all the boring stuff about everyone you don't know before they get to your child...every moment of the ceremonies is a treasured moment.
It would only make sense that the guest speaker chosen to motivate these young adults with words of wisdom would be someone who comes from a very similar place. The fact that the guest speaker was also a musician was a bonus as the two young men that belonged to me in this class are musicians themselves.
Trevor Panczak was farm raised just outside of Magrath Alberta...about an hour's drive from where we are located. He's been playing music for more than half his life and for the last 10 years with his band Rough Stock. Trevor's music is quite popular across Alberta and he plays more than 100 shows a year... I myself have seen him play a number of times.
I loved that Trevor spoke to our graduates. He's the perfect example of one who refuses to give up on their dreams. The music business in Canada is a tough nut to crack and many popular musicians have to work day jobs to put food on the table. Trevor is no exception. For years we saw him behind the counter at UFA (United Farmers Association is a chain of co-op stores for farm supplies in Alberta and Saskatchewan) and now he's part of the the sales team at North Lethbridge Dodge. Regardless, Trevor is still recording and performing his smooth country stylings for fans in Alberta Canada and beyond. I hope my sons take his example and continue to express themselves through their own music, regardless of the measure of success they receive from the industry.
Even though the above video is of Trevor covering a Merle Haggard tune and not one of his originals I did want to share it because not only does it showcase Trevor's amazing musical talent but his easygoing sense of humor and charm as well! Thank you, Trevor for your words at our grad ceremonies and for the example you set for young musicians. Thank you, Marco and Moe for growing up so bright and good... I'm very proud of you and I look forward to your accomplishments as you make your mark on this world.......... ; )
Be sure to drop by Trevor's official website: