WEST SHORE ARTS COUNCIL: Making a difference with music

Music program free to those youth in financial need

This fall the West Shore Arts Council, in partnership with the Westshore Music Academy, will be presenting the Music Port Band Program.

“Opportunities such as this assist our community in providing healthy options for youth engagement in the arts,” commented West Shore Arts Council president, Laura Davis.

“It’s the first year of the program and we are really excited about it,” added Sabine David, owner of the Langford-based music academy. “Thanks to funding from the British Columbia Arts Council and all the other sponsors, the West Shore Arts Council could make it happen in cooperation with the Westshore Music Academy. We are looking forward to the first 24-week run and are hoping on many more to come.”

By Nov. 20 students will have been selected by a committee and will be divided into four bands of five members. Each band will receive 1.5 hours per week of professional instruction and guidance. The young students will learn notation, composing, arranging, and performing. Instrument rentals, as well as other fees for the performance space, professional stage lights, and a PA system will be donated by the academy.

Students will work together on repertoire, song writing, and dynamics. Beyond teaching musical skills, this program aims to build skills in leadership.

“Theprogram will focus on building self-confidence, self-expression, and creativity as well as compassion and cooperation by working together and creating a sanctuary through music,” David continued. “Recording and video sessions as well as public performances will empower and encourage the students to step out of their comfort zone. And it will be lots of fun of course!”

The program is available free of charge for eligible students living in the West Shore communities, ages 12 to 17 years who are living in financial need, living in a foster home, or experiencing difficulties at home, at school, or in their community.

In order to apply, students must have parental or guardian permission, and submit a letter of reference and a short personal letter.

“The bands are based on a modern band concept and will be formed to the musical preference of the students,” David explained, “from rock to metal, hip hop to R&B, pop and reggae. You name it. That’s why we are asking the students to also submit a short letter about themselves.”

David hopes to receive support from the community to help spread the word about this project. “We are hoping to be successful so that we can continue next year,” David concluded, “and give more students the opportunity to be part of this awesome project.”

Applications can be submitted by mail, email, or in person at the Westshore Music Academy. Questions can be directed by email – westshoremusicacademy@shaw.ca – or by phone – 250-532-0228.

Application deadline is October 25, 2015.

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