After five days of learning new songs and new instruments, the 16 participants in this year’s Speed Control Rawk Camp are ready to perform on the big stage this Friday night (July 12).
Led by the members of Whitehorse-based rock band Speed Control and presented by the Quesnel and District Community Arts Council (QDCAC), the five-day camp features a morning session with five youth and an afternoon session with 11 participants.
“It’s such a great opportunity for kids,” said Colleen Brines, president of the QDCAC. “They learn so much — self-confidence, stage presence — it’s amazing.”
Yamaha provides all the instruments for the camp, and at the end of the five-day camp, participants perform at The Occidental, with The Occidental providing sound and lights for the concert. Speed Control will also perform a short set following the students’ performances.
Oliver daSilveira thought Monday, the first day of camp, was the best day.
“We learned two songs, and everybody got to do everything — there were some people playing guitar, some people playing drums, and it was really fun,” he said.
His favourite part of camp so far is singing.
The students have learned one or two songs per day, and they learn to play a variety of instruments.
“We like to switch it up so every kid has a chance at every instrument, and we try to get everyone to sing,” said Speed Control bassist Jody Peters. “Especially with beginner groups, you want everyone to try everything because they can kind of sort out what instruments they want to play down the road. We have former students who are now just shredding in actual bands, that started here in Quesnel.”
Merissa Unrau says her favourite part of camp so far is singing.
“I’m going to prove my sister wrong,” she said.
This is Jackson Peacock’s second year in camp, and he says his favourite part of camp is playing drums.
Maggie Beaudoin can’t pick a favourite because she likes everything, while Kaiden Ramsay’s favourite part of camp so far is playing guitar.
Speed Control guitarist Graeme Peters likes the morning question period, where they sit down and talk about their nights and do a bunch of “would you rather”s so it is not too serious.
“Music’s fun — it’s supposed to be fun,” he said.
The morning session band is The Mau Mau, named after Unrau’s cat.
In the afternoon group, they split participants off into smaller groups as well so they know what it’s like to be in a smaller band as well.
“It’s kind of nice being able to work with them for five days because now we’re starting to do funny things like point the guitars and have some stage presence,” said Graeme. “I just like it. It’s fun.”
This is the fourth year that Speed Control has come to Quesnel to hold Rawk Camp, and the arts council was able to offer the camp after receiving a Youth Mentorship grant from the B.C. Touring Council.
The Speed Control Rawk Camp is sponsored by the Province of B.C., the B.C. Arts Council, the B.C. Touring Council, Big Country Printers Ltd., Panago Pizza and Yamaha.
The Speed Control Rawk Camp concert takes place Friday, July 12 at 7 p.m. at The Occidental, and admission is by donation. The Occidental is a youth-friendly venue, and the entire family is welcome.
The money raised will help the QDCAC present its children’s and family concert series.