2016: Tim Hicks/Brian Vollmer
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One of my proudest accomplishments is when I see my vocal students become successful, as in the case of Tim Hicks, Canadian country superstar.  In this picture (taken at Planet Helix) Tim poses with a signed guitar which was later auctioned off at the Country Auction to raise money for the cancer hospital in London, Ontario.

A little story about Tim:  Tim originally came to me years ago because he was getting sore throats from his rigorous touring schedule.   One day he came in and proudly told me that he had gotten a try out for Canadian Idol.  He was allowed one guest to go see him audition and he wanted me to be that person, to which I agreed.  So…on the morning of the audition I went with him at 9A.M. and sat for about 2 hours with nothing happening.  Eventually I had to go teach, which forced me to leave before I could see him sing.  He sat there until about 7P.M. at night when finally he got his chance.  He sang about 1/2 line of his audition song when he got “buzzed” by the judges, one of whom commented, “We don’t need another rock singer!”  Tim refused to leave however, replying, “I’ve waited here all day-I’M GOING TO SING MY SONG!!!!”   The security had to escort him out of the building.  At the next week’s vocal lesson Tim told me he was thinking of seriously getting out of the music business because of this bad experience.  I told him, “Tim, they don’t know what the hell they’re talking about-you have a GREAT voice!”  A couple of weeks later Tim got a job on a cruise ship in a Beatles clone band and ended up playing on 4 continents over the next year.  I lost touch with him until one day another one of my students asked, “Hey-don’t you know Tim Hicks?”  I said, “Yes” and that’s when he told me that Tim had a hit song racing up the Canadian country charts.  This was followed by several more Top 10 Canadian country hits and a spot on the country music awards show where he was nominated in several categories.  Last time I saw him he played to about 5,000 fans at Harris Park here in London.  And so a lesson for all you aspiring musicians:  NEVER GIVE UP!

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