Monday, December 15, 2014

Toy Mountain in Song

There are only a handful of people who know this. The information cannot be found on google. I couldn't locate anything on youtube. Perhaps, I'll create my own youtube entry in the new year and put a link on here.

At the end of November, the charitable organization which collects toys for needy children , "Toy Mountain" celebrated an anniversary. It has been in existence for over twenty years. I know this because my children and a few others played a small role in its inception. Let me explain.

I had directed a choir in the early 90's that auditioned for the musical "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat". They made it to the finals, and had it not been for an error in judgement on the part of this choir director, they would most likely have been part of the live Toronto show.

Nonetheless, opportunities arose from the experience. The children participated in a Santa Claus parade and several live performances prior to receiving an interesting invitation. Someone from a Toronto radio station CISS FM asked for a dozen or so of our singers to come to Toronto. They were to sing backup to two country singers one male and one female and record the song "Toy Mountain". We were sent words and music to practice in advance of the trip into the city. There would be a studio recording made and it was to be the theme song for a new Christmas toy drive called "Toy Mountain".

The day finally came. We travelled by GO train, two adults and a dozen or so young people who were known as, "The Duffin's Bay Chorus". The children were welcomed by personnel and toured the facility. The studio was an amazing experience for kids from the 'burbs. Then they sang. I was stressed because even after all our practice, it took three or four or five takes for their portion of the recording.

We were treated well, given drinks, treats and souvenir radio station mugs along with copies of their work on a cassette tape.
We were all thrilled when we first heard the song on a television promotion for the toy drive. The radio station also played it frequently.

 I have not heard the song used in Toy Mountain ads for many years now. As I said, I couldn't find any evidence of its existence through any search engines.  From time to time, I listen to my copy of the cassette. What a lovely song and beautiful children's voices. The memories, the voices and the song bring tears to my eyes.

When I remembered the name of the female vocalist, a Canadian country singer, Patricia Conroy,  I contacted her on the source of all the world's  essential info...facebook, where she has a fan page. My query was as follows:

I have a rather strange question. About 20 years ago, I directed a children's vocal group that recorded a portion of the song "Toy Mountain" at a Toronto radio station/studio. I believe you were the female singer involved in that. If so, do you know who the male singer was? I'm digging through some memories and found a cassette recording which we were given at the time. Thanks...Hilde

I was thrilled to receive a response in which she confirmed her participation in this recording. Unfortunately, she couldn't recall who the male singer was. Perhaps that too will come back to me one day.

So for now, I'll share some words from the song with you. Perhaps in the future, I can add an audio clip or my youtube effort on here. In the meantime, why not drop off a toy at your nearest participating mall to help build a little toy mountain?

Let's help to build toy mountain,
Let's make the children smile.
Toy mountain makes it possible.
A simple gift, for a child.
Great things are going to happen.
Great things will come to pass.
Look inside you one already has...


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