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Yunker’s Second EP Offers Joy & Hope For Christmas

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A local singer is about to release her second EP, this time featuring Christmas tunes.

Nicole Yunker’s Christmas By the Fire will be available, Nov. 22.

Yunker has continued her singing lessons with Mirusia Louwerse, an Australian soprano.

“And we talked about brain storming for our next project. And the thought that kept coming to my mind is, for me, music is bringing people joy. And Mirusia said, ‘if you want to bring people joy, do it at Christmas. This is such an important time of year.’,” she said.

The EP will feature five songs with a sixth track, which is a message of hope from Yunker.

“I am singing my favourite traditional Christmas songs. So my single is Winter Wonderland,” she said.

The EP has different instruments included. One of Yunker’s favourite songs at Christmas is Amazing Grace. Haitch, an Australian musician who plays a variety of instruments, played Indigenous flutes for Yunker’s EP.

“So they’re a variety of Indigenous flutes and that’s really amazing for me to have that experience,” Yunker said.

Also accompanying Yunker and Haitch was Milana Zilnik, a pianist based in Ottawa.

“So Milana is in Ottawa, Haitch is in Australia and I’m in Dauphin and we created a song together,” Yunker said. “Technology is a beautiful thing. Time change is a challenge. I would get the tracks from Haitch at six in the morning, which for him is the evening.”

Yunker would drive around the city to listen to the song and sing along.

“And people going for their early morning run or walk would see me singing along in my car, because that’s how I like to hear the music. Because quite often, that’s how people are hearing the songs, in their vehicle as they’re driving along. So I do the same thing,” she explained.

“So lots of people waved and cheered for me. We just giggled. I was singing Christmas songs from May to October.”

The whole time she was working on this project, Yunker was thinking about her vision for this Christmas, which is to give people hope and joy.

“I just picture someone, after a long day, sitting down, listening to the EP and singing along and just feeling good. That’s what I’m hoping,” she said.

Christmas by the Fire will be available at Dauphin Music and Electronics, as well as her website at www.nicoleyunkermusic.ca.

“And then on all the streaming platforms for downloading,” she added.

Yunker admitted her plan was to release one album, which she dreamed about for 30 years.

“But after the first album came out, I was so overwhelmed with the support from the Parkland. And without the people supporting me here, I never could have done a second EP,” she said. “I really, really appreciate all the support. It’s been tremendous.”

Another overwhelming aspect of her first EP was the fact that she has listeners from around the world.

“My top listeners are from Canada, the United States, Germany and the United Kingdom. Because I was just wanting to bring joy to the people I know and love, and then it went further,” Yunker said. “But that also helped me to realize music connects all of us. It doesn’t matter where we live, what an amazing thing to be able to connect with somebody in another country and bring joy.”

Based on the success of her first EP, Zilnik and Yunker talked about her having to do a second EP.

“I want to continue my dream. And I love hearing the feedback that it’s bringing people joy. It has far surpassed what my dream was. And that’s amazing,” she said.

Yunker has no plans to stop singing any time soon. As long as people want her to keep singing she will.

“The biggest part of my journey has been having so many people helping,” she said. “So much of my album is because of people within the Parkland and I’m really proud to live in the Parkland and to have people a part of my journey is just tremendous. But without all those amazing people, it never would have happened. So I’m very, very grateful.”

For more information on how to purchase the EP, visit Yunker’s website at www.nicoleyunkermusic.ca.

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Doug Zywina
REPORTER
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