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Saturday, April 25, 2020

Principal Spreading Laughs With Parodies Is Familiar Face In Bruce County

Bruce Peninsula | by Claire McCormack  

Ingersoll Principal Andy Orr, who is lifting spirits with isolation parodies plays in Southampton & Sauble in the summer.

A familiar face in Bruce County has become a bit of an internet sensation with a parody of 'I will Survive' that deals with schooling at home during COVID-19.

Sauble Beach summer resident Andy Orr is known for playing piano and singing at Sola's in Sauble and Outlaw Brew Co. in Southampton throughout the summer.

During the rest of the year, Orr is an elementary school principal in Ingersoll and also leads a school singing group.

He says the parody came about after his Vice Principal suggested he do a song as a way to connect with the kids and their families.
Orr changed the lyrics to reflect the experience of schooling during this unprecedented shut down due to the pandemic, with new words like "At first I was afraid...I was petrified. Kept thinking I could never teach without my Google Drive,"  

He says he posted the video of himself at home playing his piano on Easter weekend and it quickly climbed to over 150,000 views.


"I had no idea the response that was going to come after that," says Orr, "The intended purpose was just to reach out to our communities and put a smile on the faces of all of the kids at our schools."

Orr says now, he's getting emails from people as far away as California and BC, "They're asking if they can use it as a motivational tool with their own staff," says Orr, whose response was "Go for it."

Like everyone, Orr is spending much of his time at home. He says the next thing for him is to create more videos, adding he's working on the songs with his chief editor, (his six year old son).

He's been enjoying the activity, "It's good for my own mental health and well-being too. People have different ways that they cope with challenges in life and I guess this is my way."

"If there's anything that anybody can do, I think to bring a smile to anybody's face in these times, music is definitely the one that's relatable to everybody."  

Orr says normally, by this time of year he'd be up to his trailer in Sauble Beach for the weekend, which is off limits due to COVID-19.

He says when restrictions are lifted, he'll be returning to the Bruce Peninsula with his piano in tow, "I'm longing to be up there."

He posted two more songs this week, parodying From A Distance, by Bette Midler and Billy Joel's Movin' Out.


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