Wednesday, 13 July 2016 10:11

Swift Current's Music Camp educational for all involved

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The Bears in Hazenmore drew a large crowd to their EP release party at the Lyric Theatreback in August 2015. The band members, from left to right, are Dalton Lam (trumpet), Dana Rempel (bass, saxophone), Tanner Wilhelm Hale (drums, vocals), Brady Frank (guitar, keyboards), and Darnell Stewart (guitar). The Bears in Hazenmore drew a large crowd to their EP release party at the Lyric Theatreback in August 2015. The band members, from left to right, are Dalton Lam (trumpet), Dana Rempel (bass, saxophone), Tanner Wilhelm Hale (drums, vocals), Brady Frank (guitar, keyboards), and Darnell Stewart (guitar). File photo

It's a five-day music camp like no other.


The Music Camp at Gowan's Grove near Swift Current from July 25-29 features everything from "develop their techniques, group dynamics, and stage presence, prepping them for joining a rock band."
The camp which is hosted by well known entertainment promoter Shann Gowan and husband Ray Gowan allows budding young musicians or singers who have some musical knowledge (ages 13-17) to learn using top notch equipment and experienced, yet still young performers who can relate to the younger generation. Instruments which will be worked on are wind instruments, guitar, bass, drums, and keyboard.
There are clinics, classes on theory, performing/stage presence techniques, songwriting and even listening lessons.
Oh yeah, you also play under the big top tent used at Long Day's Night Festival, practice playing in a picturesque grove of trees, singing around campfires, swimming in a creek as well as have an opportunity to perform on the legendary Lyric Theatre stage.
If that isn't enough, the instructors will feature well known Saskatchewan performer Megan Nash and southwest Saskatchewan favourite Bears in Hazenmore.
Bears' guitarist Darnell Stewart is well versed with the Gowans and is happy to be a part of the camp.  Bears in Hazenmore have worked as summer students for Shann at some point. Dana Rempel (bass, saxophone), Brady Frank (vocals, guitar, keys), and Stewart were the first instructors at Music Camp back in 2013.
"We've returned every summer since then, along with Bears members Dalton Lam (trumpet) and Tanner Wilhelm Hale (drums, vocals), to work with young musicians from our hometown and area," says Stewart. "Our goal for the students is to help them develop their techniques, group dynamics, and stage presence. We're essentially preparing them to join or start their own rock band. This year, we've got singer-songwriter Megan Nash coming to work with the students and give a performance on Thursday, July 28."
The Bears have been busy. They did a week-long tour of Western Canada in February. They have also played several one-off shows around Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Stewart says the response we've had from fans and venues has been really encouraging. They've also been focusing on writing new material for their upcoming full-length album. The Bears' 2016 Summer Tour will give them a chance to test out new songs before recording later this year. After this tour, they hope to venture out to the eastern part of the country in the fall.
However, besides the camp, they have a massive outdoor festival in Bengough Sask. July 22-24 where the likes of Corb Lund, Sloan, The Stampeders, and the Odds will be there.
It's a very diverse festival as it will feature eclectic performers such as Chixdiggit, Limblifter, Rosie and the Riveters and even Fred Penner. With the Bears in Hazenmore's unique style, this is almost a perfect festival.
"We are very excited to play the Gateway Festival because many of our favourite acts will be there," explains Stewart. "I'm a huge fan of the band Sloan, so it's really great to be featured at the same festival as them. We also have lots of friends who will be performing at the festival. It will be a great way to connect with Saskatchewan-based artists, as well as others from around the country.
"We have played a few festivals so far like Long Day's Night Music Festival in Swift Current, All Folk'd Up in Montmartre, and Cathedral Village Arts Festival in Regina. Playing on an outdoor stage can seem daunting at first depending on the size of the stage and crowd, but really it's similar to playing anywhere else. Every audience is unique, so we just try to be ourselves and let our music connect with listeners."
Registration for the Swift Current Music Camp is $160 includes materials and transportation (as students leave from the Lyric Theatre at 9 a.m. each day). To register, phone 306-778-2736.

Read 2356 times Last modified on Friday, 15 July 2016 13:43
Ryan Dahlman

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