Folk \ Bluegrass \ Gospel
Lets start with a thought: Through both blissful euphoria and adversarial failings, music is the thread this binds the melodic soul within each of us! For centuries, extending through past to future, music remains the matrix that catalyzes the mind into harmonic meaningful peace. A recognition of this soul may not reveal a person of greatness, nor prize, yet it lives, ready to be celebrated by many. With no recordings to call his own, other than a few discarded Super 8 movie films from the 70’s, and a couple of digital gems, Derrick has had a very rich lifelong exposure to making music. Finding a set of bongos under the Christmas tree at the age of 5, the addiction took hold and continued to blossom. The first real exposure to classical performance was in junior high school as lead percussionist in a 30-piece youth orchestra. Having learned a few basic guitar chords shortly thereafter, the experiences broadened throughout his post-secondary schooling. Though remaining a closet performer, playing for close family and friends, the desire to share the love of music persisted; though not in a performance setting. Derrick recognized another way to share his talents. Teaching guitar and percussion at various stints totaling some 23 years while employed as a classroom teacher, he passed along his passion of music to many who were eager to learn. Post retirement and having returned to St. John’s, Derrick capitalized on the opportunities which came his way. Derrick is a past president of the Anchormen Barbershop Chorus, where he learned the skill of singing in a chorus as well as a quartet. He has served as percussionist at St. Thomas Church and St. Mark’s Church. Derrick also plays banjo in the folk group, ‘MJ and the Masons”, where he plays for the elderly at various senior’s homes on the Avalon. During the summer of 2018 Derrick could be found at the Rooms sessions playing along side such great musical artists as Dermot O’Rielly and Ronnie Power. In recent times, Derrick can be found writing lyrical tributes to life and times in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Derrick holds a Bachelor of Arts (Education) and Diploma in School Resource Services from Memorial University of Newfoundland, along with a Master of Education degree and an Advanced Graduate Diploma in Distance Education Technology from Alberta. He has completed courses from the Atlantic School of Theology, and University of New Brunswick. Having taught nearly 40 courses at the elementary, junior high and senior high school grades, he still found time to continue volunteering in his community and indeed, helping to shape the cultural fabric of our province. The Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers Association recognized these efforts by awarding Derrick with the NLTA Special Recognition Award for 2012. Derrick is the founding member, and past president of Literacy Newfoundland and Labrador, past president of the Hyron Economic Development Corporation, amongst others.
The most recent additions to Derrick's ever growing collection of musical instruments are the Irish bouzouki and the banjulele.
Derrick's statement of musical note is, “The kaleidoscope of human emotion glows ever brighter amidst the unity of song and soul!’