Santa C en­joys time spent en­ter­tain­ing

Baie Verte res­i­dent per­forms year-round at nurs­ing, spe­cial care homes

Sackville Tribune - - TANTRAMAR/OBITUARIES - BY JOAN LEBLANC SPE­CIAL TO THE TRI­BUNE- POST

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.

JOAN LEBLANC PHOTO

Car­man Mur­ray, also known as Santa C, was dressed for the hol­i­day sea­son re­cently be­fore head­ing off to en­ter­tain res­i­dents of a lo­cal nurs­ing home. Mur­ray spends a lot of time pro­vid­ing mu­si­cal en­ter­tain­ment to the el­derly in the Sackville, Amherst and Port El­gin ar­eas.

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