A Newmarket-based physician who turned a passion for performing into a pandemic project is now set to give birth to her debut album.
Obstetrician-gynecologist Dr. Kristina Dervaitis’ full-length album, which is appropriately titled Overdue, is coming out on Oct. 15, her 46th birthday.
“Of course, the theme of the album (is) that this might be overdue in the sense that it’s coming at mid-life but definitely better late than never,” she said. “Really I think the theme of this whole project is embracing the idea that it’s never too late, you’re never too old to explore new avenues.”
Dervaitis worked as in obstetrics and gynecology at Southlake Regional Health Centre from 2005 to 2019 before leaving to open her private practice in Newmarket that focuses on gynecology and contraception.
About three years ago, she began writing songs and seriously singing.
“I never really considered myself a singer. I was a typical 'singing in the car at the top of my lungs when no one was listening' type of singer. I didn’t even have any sort of karaoke experience,” Dervaitis said.
However, she has a deep musical background, being classically trained in piano since the age of five and taking up the guitar in recent years.
She said the pandemic allowed her to focus on her songwriting and the album is a result of that.
“It’s sort of a pandemic project that snowballed. This really was our saving grace during this past winter as we knew we would be safe at home and wanting some way to occupy our time,” Dervaitis said.
Her husband, Dr. Barry Atack, who was an OB-GYN and pelvic floor surgeon at Southlake until his retirement in 2019, also played a part as the drummer for the album.
The pair will be celebrating the album’s debut with a concert at the NewRoads Performing Arts Centre in Newmarket on Oct. 15 at 7:30 p.m.
At the concert, Atack will play the drums on a special kit created specially for the event by Newmarket’s Seppo Salminen, who also designed drums for The Tragically Hip.
Dervaitis will be singing songs from the album and also sharing the stories behind them and her music career.
Proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to Southlake Foundation, a cause she said is near and dear to their hearts.
“Southlake still remains an important cause and we’re really happy to see the proceeds go there,” Dervaitis said.
Tickets are available online.
For people listening to her songs — which explore self-discover and new chapters of life — the doctor said she hopes they will find the songs to be therapeutic.
“I’ve a chance to be a healer in a sense obviously through my obstetrics and gynecology practice but I really do think music has a healing energy about it as well and I really do believe in the therapeutic power of music,” she said. “I certainly hope that my music will connect with people on a different level and that there may be some overlap there in the sense that me being able to provide a musical experience that might have some healing abilities. Because when you connect with a piece of music and it really speaks to you, it can have a tremendous impact, so I’m really excited about that.”Her first single called Still Don’t Know The Words was released July 23 and her second single titled Just In Time was just released Sept. 13. Both songs are available on her YouTube channel.