An Airdrie resident and student-teacher at Good Shepherd School has been carving a name for himself in the Canadian country music scene for the last few years.
But since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, he’s been performing for a different kind of audience.
Budding musician and soon-to-be graduate of St. Mary’s University’s Bachelor of Education program, Brandon Lorenzo, has taken to performing for students and staff during his practicum in hopes of bringing music and smiles into the halls and classrooms of Good Shepherd School in Airdrie.
According to Lorenzo, many music classes at the school have been cancelled or modified due to the pandemic, but every Friday, he brings his guitar to school and goes around to different classrooms to play a song or two for the kids. He also sings over the intercom in the mornings.
“To be able to bring my guitar and sing for the kids and incorporate music back into school is a great opportunity and I think kids really see that because you see their faces light up when you start singing,” Lorenzo said. “That’s a good feeling – to know that they’re not getting a whole lot of music right now but you can be that little bit of music that they are getting to experience.”
Lorenzo said he grew up attending Good Shepherd School, and sang there a lot during his time as a student.
“To be back there as a student teacher, 10 years down the road, is quite insane for me,” he added.
Lorenzo began singing at an early age and as a young man, would sing songs that he had heard during church services. At the prompting of his grandmother, his parents enrolled him in singing lessons.
Shortly thereafter, Lorenzo began singing with the Calgary Boys Choir. He went on to pursue music studies at the Royal Conservatory of Music, where he specialized in voice and opera.
In his teen years, he said he began playing guitar, singing and performing R&B music. It wasn’t until he moved to Airdrie, however, that some friends prompted him to try country music.
“I never listened to [country music] growing up and so I thought ‘I don’t know,’ but I’ve been doing country music for about five years and making a career of it,” Lorenzo said. “There have been some really good opportunities that I’ve been given through the country music scene.”
Prior to the pandemic, the 22-year-old performed in and around Calgary, where he’s developed his fan base. He was also the winner of the CKFM Star Search competition in Olds, and the recipient of the 2019 Don Weldon Award at the Calgary Stampede Talent Search.
In January of 2020, Lorenzo released his debut single, “Spread Some Good Time Around,” and later that month, released his first music video for the single. In 2021, he released his latest single, “Kissin’ in the Kitchen.”
Lorenzo said his favourite part of being a musician is being able to hear his music played on the radio or getting to be able to play local gigs and see the effect his music has on people live. He added the pandemic means it's been a tough year to be an artist.
“The most challenging thing would be just trying to make the best out of the world, because a lot of shows that I would have been playing have been cancelled, [I'm]just trying to stay positive and know I'm going to come out of this at the end and put 2020 in the rear view,” he said.
According to Lorenzo, looking beyond the pandemic, he hopes to make a successful career as a musician and would like to continue to incorporate music into his teaching career, as well.
“Music is where I’d like to spend most of my time – music is first for me, but as a teacher, I can definitely incorporate music too,” he said.
“Music is such a great way for kids to learn.”
Those who would like to stay up-to-date with Lorenzo’s music career can find his music on various social media platforms, including Instagram and Facebook, by searching @brandonlorenzomusic
Follow me on Twitter @carmenrcundy