BAIE VERTE, N.B. – The spirit of the holidays will continue to shine this year as Santa C makes regular visits to local nursing homes, special care homes and the elderly in their homes.
Baie Verte man Carman Murray – aka Santa C – has been taking his singing and entertainment routine to various local homes for the past several years. He said he enjoys the visits and hopes to reach out to even more seniors care homes in the region in 2019.
“I like to sing and I’ve wanted to entertain musically for more than 40 years, so I really enjoy going into the nursing homes and special care homes,” Murray said recently.
He admitted to being less than happy when, as a young child, he sang in Sunday school and later in the church choir.
“My mother and my grandfather before her, both sang in the church choir – Mom actually sang for 65 years. So she kind of dragged me along too,” he admitted.
He also recalled singing along with classmates, in the annual local music festival, now grinning as he remembered he and several fellow classmates moving their lips with the appropriate song lyrics while not uttering a sound.
“We were lip-syncing long before it was the ‘in’ thing to do; most of us boys just opening and closing our mouths during festival competitions. But as long as we went through the motions, the teacher didn’t seem to catch on,” he laughed.
As an adult he spent 20 years in the church choir, later honing his baritone voice with the help of a voice coach.
“After three weeks with a professional voice coach, I’d learned more than I had done singing in the entire previous 50 years, and it gave me more confidence to sing on my own in public,” he said.
Murray admitted he can’t play any musical instruments and doesn’t even read sheet music, but does know the note values so he’s able to follow along and figure out the tunes to new songs.
A few years back he began to contact some nursing homes and special care homes in the Sackville, Amherst and Port Elgin areas and was invited to entertain the residents residing there; he admitted that he enjoys the time spent at each facility.
Because he spent many years singing hymns and gospel songs, these make up a large portion of his repertoire. But he’ll often include some Frank Sinatra tunes and has been known to belt out a bit of Johnny Cash too, interspersed with a bit of witty comments.
Most of the time he sings acapella, but also likes to sing with musical accompaniment as well.
Last year he created his own singing company, called ‘Singing Santa Events,’ which features Santa C. His long, white beard accentuates his Santa features during the holiday season, but during the remainder of the year Santa C dresses in non-seasonal apparel and entertains for the appropriate time of the year.
Murray admits the heart and soul of his musical entertainment is the time spent with the elderly and those unable to leave their homes.
“The people love to hear the songs and they like a bit of funny banter too; it makes me happy to see them happy,” he said.
Murray has also done a bit of musical work with singing telegrams and birthday parties, and he says he would be open to doing more of that type of entertainment in the future. He admits to having a couple other music oriented initiatives in the works, but these are still in the preliminary planning stages.
“There is power in music. It makes people happy, it brings back memories and it makes you smile – I can’t think of anything else I’d rather be doing at this stage of my life,” he said.
For more information on Santa C and his musical entertainment, Murray can be reached at 506-540-1089.