Nelson actor, singer and director Pat Henman isn’t the only talented musician in her family. There are nine more.
She and her siblings have just released Edge of Heaven: 10 Kids 10 Songs — The Henman Family CD.
The musical talent of their parents, Julia and Bill Henman, fostered a passion for music in each of their children. Local church choirs, stage plays and rock bands usually had a Henman in them. Many years later the siblings, aged 56 to 70, are all still either making or enjoying music.
“I grew up in Nova Scotia,” Pat says, “with constant kitchen parties, or ceilidhs, in our home where all ten of us siblings would harmonize and sing for hours. Music is part of my family’s DNA.”
All of the siblings except Pat still live in the Maritimes. Several of them have had careers in the performing arts. Pat is a 35-year veteran of live theatre, and in 2012 won the Kootenay Music Award Song of the Year for her solo debut album.
Jim is one of the founding members of the Canadian rock band April Wine, and a Juno Hall of Fame member. Jean (Beks) has three CDs to her credit, including featured performances on various other artists’ projects. She has performed in Germany and Canada as a solo and group artist.
The youngest brother, Paul, has been composing and performing for many years. Joan (MacLeod) makes her debut as a lyricist on the new CD, working closely with Paul and Jim, while the remaining five – Jack, Bob, Harold, Judy and Stephen – have been working behind the scenes to develop the song list, and are featured singing lead vocal spots and background.
As a bonus, their mother’s recording in her late eighties of “In the Chapel in the Moonlight” will be included on the CD.
“My Mom had a beautiful trained voice.” says Pat. “She was a big reason music was so prominent within the family so having a bonus recording of her at 83 years old on our family CD closed the family circle for us.”
Proceeds of the CD will be donated to MADD Canada (Mothers Against Drunk Driving). In 2013, Pat and her daughter Maia were seriously injured by a drunk driver in a car crash, prompting the family to unite in support of the cause.
“MADD was one of our greatest source of strength and support during the most devastating period of my family’s life,” Pat says, “so by donating CD proceeds to this charity, MADD Canada can continue to support other grieving families because, I am sad to say, there will be more families in need of the support we were given.”