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Youth music project shows results
Eight young, local musicians had their dreams of playing in a band and putting on a rock concert come true this month.
They call themselves Early Warning and when they took to the stage at The Soundgarden in Coombs on May 4, their high-energy performance demonstrated they were born to rock.
The students were part of the Youth Rock Band project presented by the Arrowsmith Community Recreation Association (ACRA).
The 10-week program was aimed at giving youth a creative outlet and teaching young musicians how to become successful in the music industry.
For two hours a week they hung out at The Soundgarden where they explored songwriting, rhythm, band dynamics, the music business, sound engineering and recording, live performance methods and more from musicians Mike Bauche and Sharon Tomczyk.
Once they completed their mentoring program they showcased their newly found skills with a rock concert for friends and family.
Tomczyk said not only was she impressed with their performance on May 4 but also with how committed each of the students were to the whole process.
“It involved a lot of practice on their part. They came to the Soundgarden for two hours a week and then practiced on their own.”
During rehearsals the group learned several cover tunes which they selected on their own.
Tomczyk said the students picked a new song every week and even though they only got to practice some songs for a couple of weeks they nailed each of them including Come Together from The Beatles Abbey Road album.
“That is a complicated and difficult song to learn but they pulled it off. It was one of their best songs … I was impressed,” she agreed, adding that for some in the group it was their very first time performing for an audience.
Other songs from their set list included Dead or Alive by Bon Jovi, Highway to Hell by AC/DC and Boulevard of Broken Dreams by Green Day.
She said the students came in with a basic knowledge of music and after a bit of guidance they took their talent to the next level.
She said she may facilitate another project with youth in the future but it would depend on what kind of funding is available to make it economically viable.
She said if people are interested in a similar program they can contact her at www.thesoundgarden.org.
Tomczyk is also a facilitator for the Oceanside Community Arts Council Youth Music Program at the McMillan Arts Centre (MAC). The youth/teen drop-in music jam every Wednesday from 7 to 8 p.m. started on March 5. It will run for 26 weeks and if it is successful organizers are hopeful there will be more funding from either provincial or corporate sponsorship.