Some­thing to sing about

2012 New­found­land and Labrador Sum­mer Games set to rock with catchy theme song

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER THE COM­PASS

The count­down to the 2012 New­found­land and Labrador Sum­mer Games has now en­tered the home stretch, with only 19 more sleeps be­fore the open­ing cer­e­monies Satur­day, Aug. 18.

To help ig­nite the ex­cite­ment sur­round­ing the Games in the host com­mu­ni­ties of Har­bour Grace and Car­bon­ear, as well as the sur­round­ing area and the prov­ince, last week event or­ga­niz­ers rolled out the Games’ of­fi­cial an­them.

When one thinks of a Games’ theme song, campy sounds of­ten come to mind.

That is not the case for “Ig­nite the Light,” the aptly named theme song for the 2012 NL Sum­mer Games which was pre­miered at a press con­fer­ence at Fong’s Ho­tel in Car­bon­ear Thurs­day, July 26.

Writ­ten by Car­bon­ear na­tive Kyle O’Grady and recorded by the Kyle O’Grady Band, the song can be clas­si­fied as an up­beat folk-rocker with a lit­tle edge to it, and or­ga­niz­ers hope it be­comes an an­them for both these Games and the area in gen­eral as ex­cite­ment be­gins to build for the start of the event.

When the song was rolled out for the first time, it fea­tured only Kyle and his gui­tar per­form­ing an acus­tic ver­sion of the tune.

He said the fin­ished prod­uct is go­ing to fea­ture elec­tric gui­tars, bass, drums and a bit of the fid­dle.

“It’s go­ing to sound a lot big­ger,” said Kyle of what he ex­pects the fin­ished prod­uct to sound like. “It sounds a bit more New­found­land in­flu­enced on the record­ing.”

Games co- chair­man Mil­ton Peach said he thought the song will ap­peal to the ages of ath­letes com­ing to the area for the ath­letic event..

“I was pleas­antly sur­prised,” Peach said. “It re­ally blends into the mu­sic our youth would want to hear to­day.”

The lyrics of song evoke im­ages of ath­letes striv­ing to suc­ceed on one of the grand­est stages in pro­vin­cial sports.

It’s folk-rock sound is sure to ig­nite the pas­sion of the host com­mu­ni­ties and the thou­sands of ath­letes de­scend­ing on the re­gion from all over New­found­land and Labrador.

Ori­gins

Stand­ing ova­tion

The Kyle O’Grady Band fea­tures three other mem­bers who all hail from the Car­bon­ear area — Liam Peacock, on base gui­tar Brady Pil­grim, per­cus­sion and Josh Pynn, fid­dle

Kyle started writ­ing the song af­ter a dis­cus­sion he had with his for­mer Car­bon­ear Col­le­giate mu­sic teacher, Anne Whe­lan, dur­ing which Whe­lan asked Kyle if he would be in­ter­ested.

“I said yes when she called me and I wrote the song the next day,” he said.

Kyle said it took him a cou­ple of hours to write the song and then he went im­me­di­ately into the stu­dio to lay down the tracks.

Tak­ing the “Ig­nite the Light” slo­gan as his cen­tral theme, Kyle weaved to­gether a catchy tune that should work its way into the heads of lis­ten­ers and re­main there well past the time when they first hear it.

“It was for the Sum­mer Games, so I wrote an in­spi­ra­tional song about achieve­ment,” he said.

When Kyle strummed the first notes of his open­ing riff, the crowd of spon­sors, event or­ga­niz­ers and gov-

“It was for the Sum­mer

Games, so I wrote an in­spi­ra­tional song about achieve­ment.” — Kyle O’Grady

ern­ment of­fi­cials no­tice­ably inched fur­ther up in their seats.

As he pro­gressed through the song, fu­ri­ously strum­ming his gui­tar and his voice drip­ping with emo­tion, the au­di­ence’s eyes never left him.

Af­ter his per­for­mance, he was greeted with a stand­ing ova­tion. Kyle humbly bowed his head in ap­pre­ci­a­tion.

Kyle’s fa­ther, Brian O’Grady, said he was proud of the song his son had put forth.

“I think it has a rock sound, and has a lot of en­ergy,” he said. “It fits the en­vi­ron­ment.” A cou­ple of firsts The Sum­mer Games com­mit­tee also took the op­por­tu­nity last week to of­fi­cially an­nounce its of­fi­cial mas­cots and the pa­tron of the Games.

Dr. Les­lie Wells was of­fi­cially in­tro- duced as the pa­tron for the event.

Dr. Wells, 87, is a well-known and re­spected physi­cian in Con­cep­tion Bay North. The na­tive of North­ern Ire­land who prac­tised surgery at the old Car­bon­ear Red Cross Memo­rial Hospi­tal and Car­bon­ear Gen­eral for more than three decades be­fore re­tir­ing in 1990, said he was “hon­oured to have been asked” to be pa­tron.

Peach said the choice of Wells was a “sim­ple one.”

“He played a very cru­cial role in our 1992 Sum­mer Games. He ded­i­cated a tremen­dous amount of work, par­tic­u­larly in the sport of tennis,” he said.

The com­bi­na­tion of Zippy, Bolt and Peppy will be very vis­i­ble over the next 19 days and for the du­ra­tion of the Games as its mas­cots.

Donned in body suits, they rep­re­sent the of fi­cial colours of the Games— green (Peppy), blue (Bolt) and orange (Zippy).

About the ath­letes

Car­bon­ear-Har­bour Grace MHA Jerome Kennedy was on hand to take in the fes­tiv­i­ties.

“This is go­ing to be a great sum­mer games,” Kennedy pre­dicted. “In 1992, it was a first class event and I’m sure it will be the same in 2012.”

Kennedy wanted to place the fo­cus on the youth who will be par­tic­i­pat­ing in the Games this sum­mer.

“Ath­let­ics give kids all kinds of great lessons in life,” he said.

Be­ing a part of a team, push­ing one’s po­ten­tial and meet­ing new friends are all as­pects of the ath­letic ex­pe­ri­ence, said the min­is­ter of Nat­u­ral Re­sources.

“There’s also hav­ing to learn to deal with both win­ning and los­ing, but most of all it has to be fun,” he said. “The key as­pect we have to keep in mind as we put off these Games, is that the kids have to have fun.”

Photo by Ni­cholas Mercer/the Com­pass

Car­bon­ear na­tive Kyle O’Grady pre­miers the song he wrote for the 2012 New­found­land and Labrador Sum­mer Games at a press con­fer­ence at Fong’s Res­tau­rant in Car­bon­ear, July 26.

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