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YouTube holiday music playlist turning into 'nice little community tradition' for local artists

Local musicians Dan McLean Jr. and Meg Shuebrook put together this year's playlist
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Dan McLean Jr. singing a cover of the song 'The Happiest Tree' in this year's playlist.

Another festive music playlist made by local artists is out on YouTube.

Titled Guelves and Friends Seasonal Music Project 2021 the playlist features 25 videos of artists performing all new classic and original holiday music. The playlist was published on Monday, Dec. 18 and can be seen below:

Dan McLean Jr., who put together the first playlist in 2020, said he thinks this year’s playlist is even better than the previous one.

“I think it was easier to get people involved this year because a lot of them had already done it last year,” he said. "I watched it this year, and I thought it was better this year. People's performances were better, the video and the audio was better, I think because of COVID, people have gotten a lot better at using their camera phones."

Since releasing the video, McLean said people are responding 'very well' to the playlist and it is being shared online by many of the musicians involved.

"It's doing exactly what we wanted, it's sort of each of us making a holiday gift for ourselves, for each other, for our family and friends, for the community, just for everybody to see," said McLean. "You can tell from the videos that people love doing them."

This year, McLean said he offered other artists the opportunity to help with the playlist, and another Guelph musician, Meg Shuebrook, stepped up to help. 

"I helped her with a couple of little things, but really, she pulled the whole thing together," said McLean about Shuebrook.

Shuebrook said her interest in helping Dan with the playlist was to hear from friends she hadn’t seen live yet during the pandemic. 

“Between the two of us we reached out to more than 80 musicians, so it was casting a broad net for area musicians,” said Shuebrook. “These folks are genuine, dear-hearted people with talent and a desire to connect with others, and it’s just a beautiful project to be a part of.”

Shuebrook adds she hopes people who use the playlist will get a sense of the talent within the community and the sense of goodwill.

“It’s quite an eclectic mix, and that  just kind of represents the range of interests and intentions of musicians within this community,” said Shuebrook, who also performs a cover in the playlist called ‘For a Winter’s Night.’ 

“Everyone interprets Christmas in a different way, a unique way. To have some traditional, to have some original, to have some rock ‘n’ roll traditional and some dating back to the 1600s, it’s a cool reflection of our diverse community, our fairly diverse community.”

As a musician himself, McLean said many musicians have missed being able to perform together and hopes more join in future playlists.

“I'm really happy with it and I really do hope that someone else will pick it up every year and it will just keep going,” said McLean.

"It's a nice little community tradition, and Guelph is still small enough that we can do that kind of thing."

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Ariel Deutschmann

About the Author: Ariel Deutschmann

Ariel Deutschmann is a feature writer and reporter who covers community events, businesses, social initiatives, human interest stories and more involving Guelph and Wellington County
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