By Stephen Dafoe
Morinville – While many youth were enjoying the summer heat this week, two groups of music lovers were hunkered down at Smith Music on 100 Street learning musical set lists from scratch. The local music school held two band camps this week – a beginner’s camp for children aged 6 to 12 and an advanced camp for youth 12 and older. The weeklong camp culminates in a Friday evening show for the friends and family of participants.
Music school owner Paul Smith said the purpose of the camp is to get musicians to play with other musicians working at the same skill level. “They see what it takes to be able to hold down their part of the band,” Smith said. “It’s where you really have to work together and learn the dynamic of playing with people of your own skill.”
While both the beginner and advanced camps play Friday night’s final concert, the five advanced musicians perform a set at Friday’s Street Performers’ Festival at the Morinville Farmers’ Market. Smith said Friday’s session is expected to be a huge success for the performers and will provide them with their first opportunity to try out the week’s efforts on a live audience.
Twelve-year-old Hanna Parish is one of the participants and has spent her week learning the lead or back up vocals to eight of the 12 songs the band performed Friday. “It’s different,” Miss Parish said of the experience, adding she was not only the youngest in the camp but also the only girl. “They’re more experienced and I don’t really play any instruments except the clarinet. It’s pretty interesting. It’s a lot better than just sitting and singing in my room with my stereo.”
Parish said she has enjoyed the experience and felt it will help her in her goal to be a singer when she grows up. Working with four other musicians gave the young singer a better understanding of how a band works together.
Advanced band camp bassist Tyler Beeching was back this week for his second year of band camp. “It’s fun to play with the group,” he said, adding the experience was quite different than the lessons he takes at the school the rest of the year. “With this you learn songs fast.” Beeching said the secret to learning a dozen songs in four days is having good teachers.
The band camp takes to the Farmers’ Market stage at 1:30 p.m. The market takes place at the arena parking lot.
Another round of band camps are set to take place in early August.
Above: Guitarist Luke Nolin provides a little rhythm.