With the countdown to the Selkirk College Gala 2013 on, students in the Music and Technology program are fine tuning their skills for a wonderful night of entertainment.
The theme of this year’s annual Gala is “Five Pillars of Success” which lay the foundation of the college.
One of those pillars is focus on the learner and the Music and Technology program is a perfect example of the work being done at Nelson’s Tenth Street Campus.
Music at the November 23 Gala will be provided by 15 members of the second year program class.
The band will play two 45-minute dance sets, one featuring the sounds of Motown and the other grooves from the disco era.
“This is an important class project for the second year students,” says Music and Technology program keyboards instructor Gilles Parenteau.
“The final result will be top-notch, but just as important for us is that it teaches the students how to put an event like this together. When the night is done the students will have benefitted a great deal from the entire process.”
The program has been preparing students for the commercial entertainment industry for 25 years. The two-year diploma program develops skills in areas of performance, song writing, audio recording, film scoring and improvisation.
The curriculum includes instruction, but also provides a solid grounding in music theory and ear training.
One of the key skills being developed in the Gala preparation is learning music in a short period of time and then performing it live.
“That is the reality of being a professional musician,” says Parenteau. “We are decreasing the contact to the music for the students. They need to be good performers, but just as important they must be efficient music readers.”
It’s a project welcomed by the second year class.
“I’m really excited about it,” said keyboard student Rory Hayes-Anderson. “These are skills I currently don’t have and in the next few weeks will get a chance to grow under the pressure of having an important performance.”
Though every young musician dreams of playing sold-out shows at the biggest venues, the program takes a more business minded approach.
“All of these things have nothing to do with MuchMusic or overnight YouTube success,” said Parenteau.
“Playing is a job and the goal is to be able to feed yourself as a professional musician.”
Becoming a recording artist is never discouraged and students are encouraged to continue to chase their dreams. To do that and continue to work daily as a musician are options graduates come away with after two years.
Some of the realistic paths for graduates include the cruise ship industry, Cirque du Soleil, conventions, specialty acts and theatre work.
To get students on their way, Gala 2013 is sure to provide lasting lessons.
“We always look forward to what the Music and Technology program students come up with on Gala night,” said Joyce Buckler, Donor Services coordinator at Selkirk College.
“The Gala is an important fundraiser for the college and a fantastic evening out, but at the heart is a showcase of the incredible talents of our students in all programs.”
Tickets for Selkirk College’s Gala 2013 are $70 per person or $520 for a table of eight.
The evening starts at 6 p.m. at Mary Hall on the Tenth Street Campus and includes a five-course meal.
There will be a silent and live auction along with the music and dance. To reserve your seat for the November 23 Gala, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 250-365-1360.