As students head back to class this fall, the lead singer of a well-known rock band wants them to remember something — follow your dreams.

Chris Martin of the band Coldplay, surprised students of East Three earlier this year when he dialed into their class to tell them to pursue their passions, telling them to pursue their creative desires and talking about living life as a musician, with all the thorns in the rose.

“My perspective about rose and thorns is that it’s all good, and that’s how I feel about being a musician,” he said. “Those two things can’t exist without each other.”

One of the most successful musical acts of all time, Coldplay formed in Britain in 1996. Driven by mega-hits like Clocks and Yellow, they’ve sold more than 100 million albums worldwide.

Martin spoke with a group of East Three School students in March as part of the Connected North program, which brings experts to remote areas. The talk was arranged as a celebration of Teacher Appreciation Week.

East Three Secondary School principal Krista Cudmore said Connect North reached out to the school and offered to present Martin to the class as a surprise. She added the East Three School has been a partner with Connected North for years.

“They were doing a teacher appreciation week and chose us to be the Canadian rep,” said said. “The kids found out two days before who it was, so we had about 15 students we were allowed to invite and all 15 spots were filled.

“They were excited. A lot of them were familiar with a few of his songs. It was only us and him for about 45-minutes, and he would have kept on going if the bell hadn’t rung to go to the next class.”

During the 45-minute talk, Martin asked the classroom of 15 questions about life in Inuvik and the North and heard their ambitions and dreams. It was during this emerging country music singer Trenyce Voudrach said she loved to play music, but was trying to focus her attention towards more realistic goals than being an artist. She also told him she would like to work in the medical field.

Noting he’s made a healthy living off music himself, Martin advised her and the entire class to keep with their artistic pursuits, even if they aren’t big money makers. He even got Voudrach to sing for him.

“If you can do this for me right now, then half the battle’s done,” he said. “(Working in medicine)’s amazing, but that’s no more or less realistic than being a musician. I’m real and I’m right here. “

Voudrach went on to perform at the Great Northern Arts Festival, Folk on the Rocks and the Midway Music festival.

Cudmore noted the school was limited in what they could release because of contract-requirements with the Connected North program.

Regardless, she noted the kids were touched by the experience and requested he play on of his band’s songs, Yellow, to send them off.

“It was like a casual conversation,” she said. “It was like we were just sitting in a room with him, having a chat.

“He interacted with every single one who was in there and remembered their names throughout the conversation. It was really enjoyable and I was quite impressed.”

Eric Bowling

Breaking News Reporter and Digital Editor for NNSL, Eric operates out of Inuvik in the Beaufort Delta. He's four years into his Northern adventure and is eager to learn more about life in the Arctic Circle....

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  1. I think his brother was my 7th grade teacher named Chris as well. He kept making a point that his brother was “famous” and I swear that this guy is the same person he kept showing us