This camp rocks! 0
By Steven Sukkau
Now this is a summer camp with a difference.
B&D Music was giving kids a taste of rock n' roll this week during Rock Camp.
The annual music program for budding local rock stars culminated Friday, August 17 with a concert at the P.W. Enns Centennial Concert Hall.
Organizer Brian Thiessen explained the idea came to him while recalling playing guitar as a young teenager.
Unable to afford lessons, and without any opportunities to meet others in at same skill level, Thiessen wanted to provide the chance for others that he never had.
Now in its third year, Rock Camp provides a means for kids to meet new friends and share their love of music.
"A lot of the time kids play at home alone in the basement," Thiessen said, adding the camp brings together young musicians from Winkler, Morden and as far away as Neepawa.
During the week, the students learn to work as a team, coming together to form multiple bands who then pick songs that match the band dynamics and personal skill sets.
The next four evenings are a crash course in everything it takes to become a rock star - from learning songs, taking part in team building exercises, and learning the history of rock n' roll, tracing back its roots and influences, and discussing how the genre continues to inspire the next generation.
Experienced instructors help lead the camp including local drummer Mike Hiebert and professional musician Tim Friesen, who will share his story of hard work and the dedication required to perform on the road.
As well, local rock band Threw will be stopping by during the week to share their experience and insight from living and working as a band.
The week culminates in a special Battle of the Bands concert at the Centennial Concert Hall in Winkler.
"That's when the magic happens," Thiessen said.
"The reaction from the crowd makes all that hard work worth it."
The concert is also a rare chance for the young musicians to show the world their talent with professional sound systems, lighting and fog machines.
"It's electrifying for them to pull these songs off in front of their friends and family," Thiessen said.
The winning band will also get the chance to play on the B&D float in the Corn and Apple Festival parade and a possible spot in next year's Block Party in Morden.
"We keep trying to up the ante every year," Thiessen said, adding it's a great motivation to keep practicing and honing their skills.
And as interest for Rock Camp builds, Thiessen hopes to expand the an evening camp to a weeklong overnight camp.
"Who knows what the future will hold?" Thiessen said.
For more information about Rock Camp, call Thiessen at 822-9988 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.