Robin Hood Association is a non-profit organization that serves individuals with developmental disabilities in Strathcona County, Alberta. Mark is a mentor to The Robin Hood Ensemble, a group of songwriters with developmental disabilities with whom he co-wrote the album New Day Dawning (CSJR #1 Folk/Roots chart). On the making of the album, he says:
“This recording project is the result of a collaboration between participants in the songwriting, singing and basic rhythms classes at the Robin Hood Centre for Learning. The songs we present to you were written at various times over a three-year period. The songwriting process was a cooperative one wherein groups of individuals discussed a variety of styles and themes, and with the guidance of an instructor, organized their ideas into cohesive songs. Decisions about words, chords, keys, rhythms and structures were made collectively.
With so many talented and passionate individuals participating in our music program it made sense to attempt to record our songs. When the idea was pitched to Robin Hood’s C.E.O. and Board of Directors, enthusiastic approval was unanimous and immediate.
Rehearsals took place over a period of three months. All participants took the project very seriously and many practiced very diligently. Their excitement was infectious and their pride was palpable; these qualities shine through in the final product. Each individual involved can hold his or her head high and tell the world “I am a musician”.
We hope that listening to our songs brings you as much enjoyment as writing and recording them brought us.”