My name is Randy Zahara and I am the manager of the Kelowna Community Theatre, an 853 seat performing arts venue in the heart of the Okanagan Valley in Beautiful British Columbia Canada. I am also a songwriter who has been writing songs, poems and stories for most of my life.
In high school and college I excelled at creative writing and my dream was to become a novelist, however my love was always poetry. Shortly after graduating from university, I began my first songwriting collaboration partnership with a long time friend who belonged to a popular local band. The first time I heard one of my poems put to music, I was hooked, and songwriting became a passion for me. My first collaborating partnership lasted two years, during which time I joined the Canadian Songwriters Association took part in numerous workshops including ones with Valdy, Sherry Ulrich and Bill Henderson. In my first years as a songwriter I devoured every book I could find on the art of writing songs.
My writing partner changed direction with his musical career and our collaborating relationship ended. I began to write on my own for a while and began to learn how to play the guitar. My goal was to be able to create my own melodies, however, it was a time consuming process and I preferred to be writing lyrics rather than developing a skill that would never by my strength.
I began searching the Internet to find someone who I felt would be able to understand and properly interpret my lyrics with their music. I posted some of my songs on a site called “The Muses Muse” and received offers from a number of different composers within a few days. I worked with a few of them for a short while, but, they just did not have the skill I was looking for, then I met a singer / songwriter from Boston who was very talented and we worked together for several years. We completed close to twenty songs together, but he changed careers and no longer had time to write. During this time, I met Jim Shaw, who is an incredibly talented composer / singer / songwriter and lyricist. Jim and I connected right away, and he has an almost psychic ability to interpret the words I send him. His ability to write lyrics as well as compose has been a huge benefit to our songwriting and has enhanced our story telling capabilities. Our style of writing is much the same as that of Bernie Taupin and Elton John, where I will send Jim an original work, and after a few re-writes, he is sending me an amazing composition, completely finished. The melody is almost always completely different than what I envisioned, but also, far better and much richer. Together we have finished well over 100 songs to date, three complete albums of material and had one song picked up by CBC TV Sports for use during the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympic Games. We are currently working on two projects, one is a Theatre Musical called "The Vanishing Years" and the other is a Rock Opera Concept project that we are producing with the incredibly talented Fernando Varela, an Orlando based Classical and Classic Rock singer who David Foster has said is going to be a future superstar.