Tarrant family of Lawn giving back with new CD
A family, originally from Lawn, are using their love of music and the holiday season as a way to give back to their community.
The Tarrant Family will use the proceeds from their new CD entitled a “Tarrant Family Christmas” to purchase ukuleles for Holy Name of Mary Academy, for the introduction of ukulele program.
“We are hoping that we can get between 10 and 12,” said Bob Tarrant. “We don’t want cheap quality (instruments), we want the best quality, because if you get something that’s cheap it is frustrating for the teacher that is trying to (teach) it and also frustrating for the kids trying to keep those things in tune.”
Tarrant, who recorded the album, explained that he that the CD was very much a family effort.
“There’s 12 children in our family and all 12 of them are singing either lead or back-up on the CD,” Tarrant said. “We’ve been a musical family for many, many years.
“Our dad was a great volin player and a mandolin player, and my mom was a great singer when she was younger as well, so gen- etically it was passed along.”
As a young girl their mother Margaret would perform concerts with her twin sister Mary in Lawn and surrounding areas, as well father Isadore played the fiddle and the mandolin — he was a staple at dances throughout the region.
Christmas has always been a special time of the year for the family. Tarrant recalled growing up his father Isadore Tarrant would often provide the entertainment during gatherings at his childhood home.
“My sisters have been involved in choirs, I’ve been involved in choirs, they’ve been performing Christmas music for many, many years (but) this is the first time we’ve got it put to a CD,” he explained.
Tarrant said their father was the inspiration behind the recording.
“My dad and I used to perform at all the folk festivals and outdoor events around the Burin Peninsula,” Tarrant said. “He always wanted his children to (do), what he called it at that time — a tape together — he always wanted that to happen but everybody was all over the place and it was pretty much an impossible thing to do, especially with the cost, cause it was quite expensive having to go into a studio.”
Tarrant explained now having his own recording studio it was a great time to bring his fathers dream to light.
“Everybody jumped on board and it took a year,” explained Tarrant to complete the cd. “I started last November, and by the time you get everybody who’s outside the community in to do the recording part of it, it took a long time but we certainly punched a lot of hours at it — we got it completed.”
Proceeds from the sale of the CD will be in aid of the Julian Edwards-Isadore Tarrant Memorial Foundation.
Tarrant and fellow musician Gordon Edwards, also of Lawn, started the foundation in 2014.
In launching the foundation the pair produced a CD of unreleased original material entitled “The Greener Project” to purchase recording equipment for Holy Name of Mary Academy in Lawn.
“What we were doing is promoting the preservation of traditional music in the community, so we brought a 32-track recording unit,” he explained, “and the other part of that was for young people to be able to record their own original music, so we brought a commercial drum machine and of course a recording mic.”
He said the equipment would also allow town historians to convert old audiocassette recordings of residents into a digital format for preservation.
“There was a while purpose in what we were looking at doing,” said Tarrant, who has worked as a music teacher in the school system for 16 years. “A three prong thing really, one was to help young people write and record their own music, the second part was to preserve culture within the community.
“Of course the third part to just enhance the music programs in rural schools, who don’t have the same resources that larger schools have and you try to tailor a program to the size of the school.”