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Music

Rock Camp for Girls Montreal Performs First Showcase Ever

Posted by Christine / August 9, 2009

20090808rock.gifOn Saturday, August 9th, Rock Camp for Girls Montreal held its first showcase concert at the Ukrainian National Federation.

Rock Camp is an organization that allows girls, between the ages of 10 and 17, the opportunity to learn an instrument, form a band and write an original song, all within less than a week's time.

The goal, as articulated on the organization's web page, is to provide "a space where girls discover and express their talents, and become leaders in creating their own kind of cultural production through music... for girls to rock in all aspects of life."

Writing an original song in just five days is a task that is daunting, even to seasoned musicians, however, 18 girls bravely took on the challenge. With each band containing at least four members, Rock Camp assembled a total of four bands: Electro Shock Rainbow, Permanente, Singing Stars and We Don't Carebears.

Before the show began, friends and family excitedly piled into the venue, each marked at the door with a purple heart, drawn using a Crayola, felt marker. It had probably been about ten years since I actually laid eyes on anything made by Crayola, much less had it draw on my skin. This small moment managed to trigger memories of my own days as an elementary school student; pressing soppy, felt tips in colourful streaks all over my notebooks, desks, tests, arms, legs and most everything else. Suffice to say, this all set a rather nostalgic and endearing tone for the concert I was about to witness.

After the audience settled in, their eyes turned towards the parted red, velvet curtains to watch the first band of the evening: Singing Stars. This band was composed of the youngest participants, with members aged around 10 and 12, if I've estimated correctly. Performances by Electric Shock Rainbow, We Don't Carebears and Permanente followed. These bands had a slightly older age group, with members who seemed to be around 13 and 15 years old.

Scarves and bright clothing adorned many of the musicians, which helped create a definite rock vibe. Notable was the singer of We Don't Carebears, who confidently paired a black tutu with sparkly tights. This band's energetic, punk rock attitude was also reflected in their lyrics, "Robots will rule the world."

The crowd encouraged the musicians with whoops and bursts of zealous applause while they played. After each band completed their song, the audience showed their appreciation with a standing ovation. Many crowd-members cradled camcorders and bouquets of flowers in their arms as they did so.

Seeing the volunteers interact with the girls reminded me of what it was like being around that cool, older sister, brother or cousin during one's formative years, around the end of elementary school and beginning of high school. I was lucky enough to have my best friend's older brother as that figure, which afforded me the chance to master the original Zelda, as well as develop a deep, everlasting love for hilarious horror films, such as Army of Darkness and Gremlins.

I think it's a similar case with Rock Camp. These girls had the unique opportunity to interact with strong, older role models and learn an instrument, even if it was for a short period of time. Truly, this exposure to something so new and exciting has given campers the chance to develop a passion for music; one they may enjoy, and pursue the rest of their lives. Judging by the smiles on these girls' faces, I'm almost certain I'll be seeing some of them in a few years, rocking the stage at some hip, Montreal venue.

Image from Rock Camp for Girls Montreal's web page http://girlsrockmontreal.org/

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