The ECMA 2010 Event Committee is offering Cape Breton students ‘One Big Opportunity!’ Students between Grades 7-12 will have the opportunity to compete in the ECMA 2010 Soundwaves Program, with an exciting opportunity to become the opening act for a professional band at an authentic ECMA showcase.
Soundwaves involves acclaimed East Coast artists performing in schools and community venues in the host region. The committee took the program one step further giving young musicians the chance to be a bigger part of the picture.
“I believe that one of the most important gifts you can give a young musician is exposure to live, quality music,” says Laura Mercer, Soundwaves Chair for the 2010 event, and herself a conductor. “This is why Soundwaves is such a special ECMA program.”
Soundwaves categories include Band, Songwriter or Instrumental. There will be 10 opening acts chosen by a selection committee to perform at the 10 Soundwaves Showcases across the Island. Schools will use their own method of choosing a winner from each competition category. Schools are asked to send an application accompanied by a labeled audio CD, featuring one original composition to the ECMA office by Friday, January 8th. Information has been distributed to all Cape Breton schools, and these institutions have until Dec 1st to apply to become a Soundwaves Showcase venue.
Along with opening for a professional musical act, the students will also have the chance to meet these artists and take part in a mentoring workshop. “The experience that could be gained through ‘One Big Opportunity’ could take years to achieve by any other means,” says Albert Lionais, musician for the Tom Fun Orchestra and a Soundwaves Committee member. “What a fantastic chance for our young, up and coming artists to get a real head start in the industry.”
All Soundwaves concerts will be recorded and viewed by a panel of judges. Finalists will be chosen from each category to compete in the final ‘One Big Opportunity’ concert held at Membertou Trade and Convention Centre on Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010. During the concert, contestants will be judged by noted music professionals and one winner from each category will be chosen for the Mega Grand Prize, which will be announced in the coming months.
Another key feature of the Soundwaves Program is the Educational Package. This provides teachers with lesson plans for all grade levels and includes lesson ideas for language arts, music, social studies and technology. The package is designed by the Soundwaves Committee. The group is comprised of education and music professionals from across the region. “The Soundwaves Committee is a team of highly educated, remarkably talented and passionate individuals,” said Mercer. “I am so proud to chair this committee.” Packages will be distributed to schools early January 2010.
According to Lionais, the program will mark an early turning point for some local artists. “The opportunity that this program presents is unbelievable,” says Lionais. “I keep thinking to myself – can I sign my band up for this?”