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Monthly Archives: March, 2016

Excited!

March 28th, 2016 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

So far, we have 23 kids registered for Voices Rock Canada’s Satellite School.  We are a short 9 days away!

We are offering an encouraging and fun environment that you can explore your inner rock star.  Some of the participants sing already, some dance and some play instruments.  It’s a unique group of varied ages and we are so pumped to be working with you.  We have equal parts boys and girls.

We promise you will have the best experience possible during the 10 week program.  We will teach 5 songs; the 5th song we are offer the kids to pick during the first 2 weeks.  We will ask them to send their favourite songs in, we’ll see if there is a pattern and then go from there!  Other things they will learn will be microphone techniques (how to  hold a mic, how close, how far), choreography (some dancing, movement) and something called body alignment.  What that means is how you place your body on stage when you are performing.

Our biggest promise here at Voices Rock is that the kids will have a blast!

Cheryl Bower

A dream realized!

March 23rd, 2016 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

In two weeks, we will begin Voices Rock Canada’s first “Rock Camp” for kids, ages 7-18.  We are jumping out of our skins with excitement!

This idea conceptualized almost one year ago and came to me in a dream.  What if we had something like “School of Rock”, a safe place for kids to have fun and experience their inner rock star?  WHAT IF? Eleven months later and here we are…a dream come true!

Last night, I went to the Air Canada Centre and listened to Walk Off The Earth which opened for Marianna’s Trench.  I’ve been a huge fan of WOTE for a very long time.  We’ve performed 2 of their songs in newchoir; they are upbeat, melodic and perfect for ensemble groups and choirs.  Near the end of their very high energy performance, Sarah Blackwood, the only female singer in the band said “We are living proof that if you work hard, you can realize your dream.  Never let go of your dream!”

I know I can speak on behalf of my marketing partner, Frank and myself.  This has been a labour of love from the date of inception. This idea is a dream come true.  We have collaborated with outstanding consultants and we are so pumped to have Anthony Bastianon at our helm, leading the singers.  He is immensely qualified and his own two children will be participating in this adventure.  So far, we have 20 kids, ranging from 7-16 participating.  OUTSTANDING!

We can’t wait to meet all of you!  LET THE DREAM AND ADVENTURE BEGIN!

Cheryl Bower

Inspiration!

March 21st, 2016 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

This past weekend, I visited New York City to explore the music scene as it may pertain to young people.  There was some behind the scenes visits; mostly the nuts and bolts on how a large scale production is done.  The most fun was however, watching the live productions unfold with kids from 9-16 performing and being the “stars” of the productions.  Magic.

There have been many inspirations for Voices Rock Canada.  School of Rock, for sure.  The production in NYC was fantastic; I can’t wait until it comes to Toronto and I get the phone call saying, “hey, do you have any kids that could be part of School of Rock?”  SURE!  The children involved in this production ranged between 11-15.  They were magnificent both vocally and instrumentally.  Andrew Lloyd Weber scored the music and his voice at the beginning recognized the kids in this production that played instruments….really played them!  Wonderful.

Total Vocal 2, a sold out performance at Carnegie Hall, brought groups from across Canada and the United States together to perform A Capella music, scored by Deke Sharon.  It was my honour to perform in Total Vocal last year around the same time.  The first half of the performance showcased younger people from 11-16.  They were amazing.  At the end of the show, they flooded the aisles and sang “All Night Long” and finished with “Lion Sleeps Tonight.”  On the plane ride home, REVV52 (www.revv52.com) a group from Calgary that had performed, happened to be sitting next to me.  We broke into “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” as we were walking through customs!

And just for something very different than what Voices Rock will be singing, The Toronto Children’s Choir also performed choral music at Carnegie Hall over the weekend.  They were part of ensemble singers as well.  Magnificent.

Inspiration can come from many places.  Certainly the movie “School of Rock”, PS22 children’s choir from Staten Island and newchoir  have all offered me ideas moving forward with Voices Rock Canada. Our team members are all upbeat, positive and fun people.  We PROMISE we will give you the experience of a lifetime and who knows where it can lead in the future?

Cheryl Bower

 

Here Comes the Sun

March 17th, 2016 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

I was speaking with someone yesterday about how music, and in particular, a choir,  had been “reintroduced” into her life.  In conversation, we spoke of the dark corner of the mind, where everything is moving along, family, career, health but there is a missing component, a gap, a corner that is unfulfilled.  Sometimes that corner is large; depression, anxiety permeate the fibre of your being.  Other times it may be simply that something is missing.

When I think of my own music journey, I look back and see how there were pivotal moments where the trajectory of my life changed.  These experiences tell a story and can shape us but they do not define who we are.

If I speak to my own childhood, I can say that the dark corner was very real, large and frightening.  I left an unmanageable family home at 16 and went to live with my grandmother who was showing signs of Alzheimer’s disease.  Every Tuesday evening, the Catholic Church would rent space to a mostly-black congregation of Baptists.  The sounds that resonated from that church were unbelievable.  I was lost, had left school temporarily and couldn’t find my way out of the dark corner.  I started to visit this church on a regular basis.  A woman named Mabel Cleary took me under her wing and every Tuesday we would sing together.  It was such a powerful outlet.  The music and Mabel became my mother, my friend, my mentor and my savior at a time that couldn’t have been darker.  I became a soloist during this time and that elevated my confidence. The love of music and in particular, the joining together of people singing, catapulted me into a different mind-set.  To say it saved my life, is an understatement.  It did.  I’ve had a love affair with music my whole adult life as a result.

We at VRC have believed strongly that with music and art programs being phased out in schools, we are in the unique position of giving kids a much needed space and outlet of creativity.  We are committed to creating a safe place for kids to cut loose, spread their wings and for a few hours, forget any worries they may have.

Cheryl Bower

 

What is a Satellite School?

March 14th, 2016 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

Our idea of a Satellite School is taking a specific location, currently Whitney Jr. Public School, and for a short period of time (10 weeks) using this space as a “launch pad” to introduce kids to Voices Rock Canada and all we have to offer.

From April 6-June 8, we invite youth between the ages of 7-18, to join us in learning 5 songs.  The song repertoire will be rock and pop tunes from the 60’s right up to current releases.

Anthony Bastianon, our artistic director, along with talented clinicians, will provide training in voice, microphone techniques, choreography and body alignment.

Each concert will provide solo and small group performance opportunities.  Anyone joining a Satellite will automatically qualify for enrollment in the regular school season in September, without auditioning.  Every week, we will learn songs, while having fun in a joyous and lively atmosphere.

It is our intention to open two more Satellite Schools, at different locations, in September.  This will compliment the regular school season and allow kids to enter into our regular season in January, should they wish to.

Satellite School

Whitney Jr. Public School

119 Rosdale Heights Drive, Toronto

Wednesday, 6-8 p.m.

April 6-June 8

Fun-filled performance after June 8!

Cheryl Bower

Welcome to Voices Rock Canada

March 13th, 2016 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

We are a musically inspiring place for young people to discover, explore and express their inner rock star through contemporary music, both rock and pop.

Singing is in our genes and in human nature. The urge to sing and to hear others sing is in all of us.  Like laughter, play, sunshine and exercise, it can relieve stress, help maintain well-being and create happiness.

The concept of Voices Rock Canada has been percolating in my mind for almost a year.  I have been part of ensemble singing for some time now.  I know growing up, singing and being part of a group, provided an escape from some of the stresses in my life-the music allowed for that relief.  Like physical exercise, singing can provide stress-management, can help us with our confidence and can provide a huge boost to our self-esteem.

Singing can release emotional blockages, it can make you cry, make you feel joy and it can ignite your passion.  It can also make you laugh.

VRC provides kids structure, teamwork and collaboration, all in a fun and spirited environment.  We’re glad you’re here.  Follow us on Facebook: (www.Facebook.com/voicesrockcanada) and Instagram: voices_rock_canada.

Cheryl Bower-“Creative Rockstar”