By James Ferguson
April 11, 2014
Although he has already won three ECMA awards, Alan Dowling says the award he accepted at the East Coast Music Award gala in Charlottetown, April 6, was special because it represents his life time efforts for the music community.
The Stompin’ Tom Award is named after the late Canadian folksinger and the award is given to East Coast musicians who have helped the music community in their area.
In an interview, Dowling said he has been playing drums professionally for over 40 years and he has recorded and performed with many different artists in all styles of music.
Although he doesn’t teach private drums lessons anymore he said, Dowling has taught or worked with, the drummers for Paper Lions, The Meds, Two Hours Traffic, In-Flight Safety and many others.
Dowling is a member of many professional music organizations including Music PEI, the East Coast Music Association, the Canadian Federation of Musicians, SOCAN (the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada) and MROC (The Musicians’ Rights Organization Canada).
The past three years have been very busy and satisfying for Dowling. He launched the Music Performance program of the School of Performing Arts.
The program works closely with Music PEI and Holland College students perform every year during Music PEI week. The program also works closely with the PEI Jazz and Blues Festival, which happens in August.
This year, all of the students performed at the ECMAs during a two-hour feature show on Radio ECMA.
The music students will also be doing their second annual tour in May of P.E.I. schools to promote the summer festivals. Last year, they performed for over 2,000 people on the tour.
When asked if he was given the chance to nominate another Islander for the award, Dowling said it was a tough question because there are so many people who contributed so much to the Island music scene.
“To single out even one or two names would mean many people wouldn’t get mentioned,” he said. “I’ll just say there are many people who deserve to receive this award.”
Todd MacLean, a well-known Island music teacher, said Dowling will always be someone you can trust in the music industry.
“If you want someone to do something right and will be super down to earth all the time, Alan is your guy,” MacLean said. “The professionalism in his work is always up to date and the amount of bands he taught or played with is unbelievable.”