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Anne Murray helps pay tribute to teaching during Halifax visit

Nova Scotia’s most famous songbird made a brief landing in Halifaxyesterday, much to the delight of legions of fans who turned up togreet her.

Nova Scotia’s most famous songbird made a brief landing in Halifax yesterday, much to the delight of legions of fans who turned up to greet her.

Anne Murray spent the day in her home province’s capital city, and then last night signed copies of her new book, All of Me, at the Chapters location in Dartmouth.

“This will always be home to me,” the 64-year-old songstress told Metro earlier in the day. “I never feel like this anywhere else in the world.”

Murray’s 320-page autobiography, co-written with Globe and Mail reporter Michael Posner, chronicles her life and career, from her humble beginnings in the small town of Springhill to her present status as one of Canada’s most beloved and honoured musicians.

Murray said that penning her own story was extremely important to her, although it often meant delving into some of the more painful parts of her past.

“There were a lot of roads I had to go back down that I would have chosen never to go back down,” she said. “But if I was going to tell the story, I had to include a lot of that stuff. These are things that really happened.”

Normally private and guarded about her personal life, Murray is remarkably candid in All of Me, writing about her experimentation with pot, encounters with music legends like John Lennon, and the challenge of trying to make her mark in the 1970s in an industry fueled by drugs and alcohol.

Halifax is one of the first stops on a cross-Canada book tour that will take Murray all the way to Vancouver and back by Nov. 20. While her jam-packed schedule might make the average person’s head spin, it’s a walk in the park for the seasoned performer.

“All I have to do is sit and sign books and talk to people,” she laughed. “I was on the road for forty years - people have no idea. This is easy.”

Singer helps honour music teacher

During her visit, Murray took time to present this year’s national MusiCounts Teacher of the Year award to Scott Leonard of Bridgewater.

Leonard, who has been teaching music at Park View Education Centre for 21 years, said he felt “privileged” to represent music teachers across the province.

“Teaching music is an extremely rewarding career,” Leonard said. “One that has afforded me the opportunity to work with exceptionally talented individuals.”

Murray said people should never underestimate the power of music programs in schools.

“The naysayers use words like ‘frivolous’ and ‘unnecessary’,” she told the crowd. “They should read some of the letters I’ve received over the years. I’ve experienced firsthand the impact of music on people’s lives.”

The MusiCounts award is sponsored by a different recording artist every year, and includes a $10,000 cash prize, along with an additional $10,000 donation to the music program at the award winner’s school.

 
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