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Youth rock at Camp Rawk in Quesnel

The young rockers were mentored by Yukon-based band Speed Control
Rawk Camp saw 15 youth participants learn vocals and how to play instruments by Yukon-based band Speed Control. (Rebecca Dyok photo — Quesnel Observer photo)

Youth recently rocked out with three talented musicians through this year’s annual Rawk Camp.

Over three days, Yukon-based band Speed Control led two separate groups of beginner and experienced young rockers in learning how to play instruments and vocals on equipment provided by Yamaha Canada Music.

Their newly acquired skills were tested in a live public concert on Wednesday, July 20, at The Occidental, where they performed songs from AC/DC and more, drawing cheers and applause from the relatively large crowd.

“It’s really interesting to me to see some kids on their first day at camp, and they’ll say, “I’m not going to show my face on stage, I’m not singing,” and there they are belting songs out in a couple of days,” said Cathy Heinzelman with the Quesnel and District Community Arts Council.

“The guys have such a good way of teaching—it builds that confidence, and they’re not afraid to make a mistake.”

The first Rawk Camp was held in Quesnel with Speed Control, comprised of brothers Graeme and Jody Peters and Ian March, seven years ago.

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This year, the brothers also performed at their first Billy Barker Days and were joined by drummer Chris Sallis-Lyon.

“The people and the kids,” Graeme said on what makes the northern band return to Quesnel for Camp Rawk.

“We’re from a small town, so I think just that small town vibe where maybe they don’t get as much opportunity as bigger centes sometimes but also the feeling of family is kind of a big thing. When you get to know certain kids and then you come back the next year, and you see them get better, it’s really good.”

One young rocker from each of the two groups was selected by Speed Control and named the most honourable rocker.

They both received a one-pound package of bacon.

“We know how inflation is right now. That’s like $700 right there,” Jody quipped.

Heinzelman is confident Speed Control will return for Rawk Camp in 2023, which she hopes will be held before Billy Barker Days, with the youth performing in LeBourdais Park on kids’ days.

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