Sandra Dedrick is an American singer-songwriter and original member of The Free Design. Dedrick was born in Boston, Massachusetts — the eldest of 6 children in the Dedrick family. Sandra studied piano at the State University of New York at Fredonia at the age of 18. In 1964, she relocated to New York City, and with brothers Chris and Bruce, started a vocal harmony group and played free coffee house shows under the name ‘The Village Fare’. Chris began to write original songs, and the trio recorded a demo, which gleaned several offers of recording contracts, and led to the incarnation of The Free Design.
The group grew to four members with the addition of sister, Ellen, and went on to record seven albums and performed for clubs, universities and other venues until 1974. Due to their own growing families and other circumstances, The Free Design broke up.
Chris, Ellen, and Sandy moved to Toronto, Canada shortly thereafter. They continued to sing together in a 10-voice vocal ensemble called the Star-Scape Singers and toured extensively in Eastern and Western Europe. Sandy also taught music in elementary schools in Ontario until she retired.
She currently lives in Ontario, Canada, where she writes poetry, songs and children’s books. She is also an avid nature photographer, artist, and occasional music educator.
CHRIS DEDRICK 1947 – 2010
Christopher Dedrick is the subject of as much international acclaim today as when he began making music more than four decades ago. The Toronto-based composer, arranger and conductor amassed a body of work that encompasses hundreds of pieces: instrumental, vocal, soundtracks, songs, recordings and performances, all of them the product of an attention to detail and a passion for creativity that captivated casual listeners and fellow artists alike.
Chris’s professional career began in the late ’60s, at the age of 19, as a singer and principal songwriter in sibling vocal group The Free Design. Additionally, Chris began to contribute as writer, player and producer to recording sessions for many artists, including Peter, Paul & Mary, Melissa Manchester, Barry Mann, and Simon & Garfunkel with James Taylor.
After settling in Canada in 1972, Chris established himself as one of the country’s foremost composers and arrangers for television and film—a status validated by the honor of a Genie for his original score for feature film, The Saddest Music In the World, and three Gemini Awards (among 12 nominations) for scores for television.
Chris was a creative force behind several recordings and performances by the world-renowned Canadian Brass, arranging and composing selections from five of their 1990s albums. He also sang and co-wrote many compositions with the Star-Scape Singers, along with Sandy and Ellen, which produced over 15 albums, containing some 100 choral songs.
In 2010, Chris Dedrick passed away after a long battle with cancer. In 2012, Sandra recorded and released the album It’s a Blue Hill Day: A Tribute to Christopher Dedrick in his memory.
“I’m very grateful to live, work, and play in the world of music,” Chris said. “How can anything be added to the incredible life-force that music is? The composer/musician is an explorer who, through hard work and inspiration, aims to uncover and share some unique facet of that sublime wealth.”
As the current leader, MC, lead singer, trombonist and guitarist of band The Little Big Band Group, Bruce Dedrick and his musicians have performed at hundreds of concerts, dinner dances, corporate functions, and other parties for the last twenty-five years in New York City, upstate NY, Pennsylvania, New England, and in the Philly, Baltimore and DC areas, as well as performances in Europe.
Bruce Dedrick is a musician, singer, composer, and arranger with many credits including appearances on the Tonight Show, the Merv Griffin and Mike Douglas Shows, as well as several albums/CDs as a member of the Free Design, a finely tuned vocal group who, after a hiatus of twenty years, released Cosmic Peekaboo, and in conjuction with The Little Big Band Group, performed several concerts for the benefit of the ALS Foundation. He has also had several compositions published and recorded over the years.
The repertoire of The Little Big Band Group consists of local musicians such as Vic Merrill (trumpet) and Tim Donlin (sax) and a rhythm section of Susan Hurwitz, Tom Federowicz and Mike Stebela. They are still together and actively performing.
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