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Local folk singer writes song for Canada's 150th

Sackville folk singer R.A. Lautenschlager has penned a new tune, 'Canada We Love You', to help commemorate Canada's 150th birthday.
Sackville folk singer R.A. Lautenschlager has penned a new tune, 'Canada We Love You', to help commemorate Canada's 150th birthday.

SACKVILLE, N.B. - As Canada celebrates its 150th birthday, a local singer and songwriter has penned a new song to help commemorate the special occasion.

'Canada We Love You' is a new tune from Sackville's R.A. Launtenschlager, who wrote the song last July, thinking it would be a perfect fit for the upcoming 150th.

'Canada We Love You' is a new tune from Sackville's R.A. Launtenschlager, who wrote the song last July, thinking it would be a perfect fit for the upcoming 150th.

Launtenschlager says the song, with its simple yet touching lyrics, was initially sent to R&B studio in Halifax, where the piano backing was added and a YouTube video created.

“It's just beautiful. The images really pull it all together. They fit so wonderfully, it's incredible,” he says.

But Lautenschlager isn't done with this latest piece of work just yet. With an anthem-type feel to the song, he says he is excited plans are in the works to re-create the song by adding local children's voices  and other instrumentation into the mix, bringing another dimension to the recording. Lautenschlager says the lyrics refer to “we” and “us” througout the song, so it just makes sense to record it with more than just one voice.

Grade 3 and 4 Salem Elementary students will be learning the song over the next few weeks and will record it at the school under the tutelage of music teacher and choir director Lisa Steeves.

Steeves says she was approached by Lautenschlager several months ago about this project, which she thought would be “a perfect fit” for what she was teaching her students this year related to the country's birthday.

After getting approval from the school administration and then permission from parents to record/videotape their children, as well as awaiting a lead music sheet (which was developed by Mount Allison music professor Jennie DelMotte and a group of her students), Steeves says she is now all set to proceed with teaching the song to her older choir students.

“I think it's going to be fun,” she says. “And it's going to be a great experience for the kids to be able to collaborate with a singer and songwriter from right here in Sackville.”

Steeves says the song will also tie in nicely with the musical she has planned for her choir this year, entitled Sing Canada's History.

“It's neat that it all kind of ties in together with what I wanted to do,” she says.

The original solo version of Lautenschlager's song has been entered into CBC's Searchlight contest, a competition that seeks to bring attention to musical artists in Canada.

Lautenschlager says he hopes to have the new version completed by early spring, and it will be made available to the public with 25 per cent of the proceeds going to Salem's music program.

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