A Toronto District School Board (TDSB) principal and one of her former students have combined to produce a gospel CD that was launched last Saturday at a concert at the Full Gospel Mission Church.
Lorraine Linton, the principal at Western Technical-Commercial School in Bloor Village, released her first 12-track CD with the help of Samuel Williams who she taught Geography in Grade Nine at Central Technical School 14 years ago.
“We had lost contact over the years, but I knew he was moving on with his music career,” said Linton. “I didn’t realize how good he was as a music producer/arranger until his name came up when I was thinking about putting out this CD.
“He’s the one teaching me now. I have learned a lot of lessons in doing this album. I have always loved to teach and inspire people and I really think it’s important to connect with young people because they keep you young and they teach you a lot as I am now experiencing.”
Linton began singing in her local church choir at age six and was writing songs two years later. Over the past 15 years, she has been the worship minister at The Chief Cornerstone Tabernacle of Praise Ministry which was one of three Etobicoke churches that received nearly $100,000 in provincial funding five years ago to break the cycle of gun violence in the neighbourhood.
As a young adult, Linton sang the Canadian and American anthems at a Blue Jays game at SkyDome (now Rogers Centre) and she has also toured Central and South America, Asia, Europe, the Caribbean and North America.
The talented singer/songwriter has successfully combined her enthusiasm for the arts and teaching. A vice-principal for two years at three different schools, Linton has been a principal since 2008.
“What I do professionally is about education and about inspiring people to do the best they can,” said the African Heritage Educators’ Network’s (AHEN) social convenor. “I also think it’s wonderful to be able to sing and express some of your passion. I have been on a very unique journey and I think what’s great about it is that the journey is part of what inspires me. It’s pretty exciting.”
Several of Linton’s colleagues, including AHEN co-chair, Jamea Zuberi, attended the concert and CD launch.
“Music is food for the soul and it feeds our human emotion which drives us,” said Zuberi who is a Grade Eight Math, Science and Physical Education teacher at Ryerson Community School. “It’s no surprise that Lorraine is such a high-functioning professional and great musician. The fact that it’s religious-based speaks to her character and genuineness that she espouses on the job as an educator. She is a walking role model for our children.”
The CD contains a worship medley featuring Judi-Ann Favours, Dwayne Linton, Richard Edwards and Lorna Hylton.
By RON FANFAIR