Songs My Father Taught Me
Francyl Streano Gawryn Francyl began working as a professional performer at the age of 15. Since then, she has performed in various venues from the Tacoma Dome to San Diego's Balboa Park, from Fanueil Hall in Boston to Kerr McGee Plaza in Oklahoma City. She has performed over television, radio and live in concert for more years than she wants to admit. Her performances have included music for audiences of all ages. After studying music at Sonoma State College in California, and later receiving a Paraprofessional Certificate of Training for the Kodaly Method of Music Education in 1979, she taught elementary school music in the Berkeley, Albany and Alameda School Districts for five years. Then, after taking a break to have twin daughters, moved with her family to settle in the Seattle area in 1989. She then resumed performing professionally around the Puget Sound area as well as continuing studying music at Bellevue Community College. Between the years of 1979 and 1996 she produced six album-length recordings of her own songs as well as works by others. Two of these recordings are for children, and all are available through her independent label, Highreach Music, which also has a published book of poetry taken from 37 of her song texts. Over the next 15 years, in the Puget Sound area, she has served as Music Director for Youth Theater Northwest, Children's Choir Director at St. Andrew's Lutheran Church in Bellevue, Saturday Service Music Director and Hand bell Choir Director at Mercer Island Presbyterian Church, Interim Music Director for Redeemer Lutheran Church, and Music Director for the Church of Mary Magdalene, a church for homeless women, in Seattle. During her work with the Church of Mary Magdalene, she and nine of her choir members traveled to Washington D.C. to sing her song, Carry The Witness, Honor The Dream at the 'March Against The Silence' in October of 1996. This march, from the Washington Monument, down the Mall to the Capitol Building, was organized to raise awareness about domestic violence in the US. Carry the Witness, Honor the Dream has been adopted by the Washington State Silent Witness Project as their State Anthem. Over the last two decades Francyl has composed a large body of music for liturgical use for solo vocal/guitar, as well as adult choral works, children's choral works and congregational singing. Her 'A Contemporary Requiem' was commissioned and performed at Mercer Island Presbyterian Church in November of 2000. As a Board Member of Seattle Composer's Alliance, she worked with other members to educate area composers regarding opportunities to further their craft, and through the Pacific Northwest Film Scoring Program, she has collaborated with other composers to produce three film scores. In 2000 the film score for 'Curro' was composed with Allison Crook. Francyl and Allison were awarded the Nell Shipman Award for Technical Excellence in that score by Women In Film, Seattle Chapter. In 2002, she collaborated with 5 other composers to produce the film score for the documentary 'Behind Barbed Wire,' a deeply moving film about the experience of the Bainbridge Island Japanese community before, during and since WWII. In 2006, she is collaborating with Penny Lovestedt, Steven Brush, and Tim Huling to compose the film score for 'Henry Ward Elliott, Defender of the Fur Seals' a documentary dealing with the threatened extinction of the Northern Fur Seal population on the Pribilof Islands. This film is produced by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. For 5 years, as Music Specialist for Northwest Child Development Center, Francyl developed and taught her music curriculum for children ages 6 months to five years. She has recently released two of three CD's of her own compositions and other works. Pondpaddler's Fandango, a collection of childrens songs was released in the Spring of 2006. 'Songs My Father Taught Me' is her newest release, and will soon be followed by 'Songs of Heaven and Earth' (formerly entitled, Shadow and Light) Upon release, all of these CD's and her other recordings are available for purchase at this website.