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Wendy Norman

Musician and SFU employee Wendy Norman attributes some of her newfound comfort onstage to skills she acquired teaching students.

Staffer nurtures budding music career

July 9, 2009

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By day, Wendy Norman runs SFU’s student development leadership initiatives. By night, she takes the lead in her own musical performances at local venues such as The Roundel on Hastings and open-mike nights at various cafes and bars on Vancouver’s Eastside.

Norman has been singing her entire life, and played classical guitar and cello into her high school years. However, she began writing her own songs about eight years ago. She calls them old-timey songs—dust-bowl porch music with a Canadian twist.

They’re not to everyone’s taste, she admits, but she has found a surprising following since arriving in Vancouver two years ago from a much smaller musical scene in Halifax.

Her move to Vancouver’s welcoming and diverse musical scene also gave her the courage to perform on-stage. She attributes some of her newfound comfort there to the skills she’s developed teaching and working with SFU students.

What’s more, she has suddenly found the courage to record her first professional album on CD, with an accompanying band. "Recording an album is like having a second job," she says ruefully.

It’s also expensive. She has eschewed a mortgage and a car to pursue her dream of a part-time musical career and says, "I’ve had enough feedback about my music to feel that it’s not completely ridiculous to think I can make money from it."

Norman hopes to self-distribute her new CD Reasons for the Waiting, which debuts later this summer. For information on the CD release party and other performances, or to sample some of her tunes, visit: www.myspace.com/wjnorman

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Aunty Deb

Hi Wendy,

Picked up your "Reasons for Waiting" from Michelle & Ben when they came over for Thanksgiving (Graham also picked one up to bring back to Calgary for the possibility of using it in on the CBC series he is currently filming, Heartland) and had to tell you how MUCH I am enjoying all of it!!

You go girl!!

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