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SOPA students participate in Atlantic Canada’s biggest music industry event

March 14, 2014

Some members of the Holland College Outreach Ensemble in rehearsal.

Some members of the Holland College Outreach Ensemble in rehearsal.

Charlottetown, PE –Holland College School of Performing Arts Music Performance students will be learning, listening and performing with the region’s best when East Coast Music Week comes to town April 2 to 6.

The East Coast Music Association (ECMA) is an Atlantic Canadian collaboration of people in the music industry. Dedicated to the music of Atlantic Canada, members of the ECMA include those working in any sector of the music industry or those who support the music industry including musicians, artists, agents, managers, record companies, studios, media, related corporation and retailers.

“The ECMA’s East Coast Music Week has grown to be a five-day, non-stop musical celebration that showcases and recognizes the best of East Coast artists and music,” said Alan Dowling, head instructor at Holland College’s School of Performing Arts’ Music Performance program. “The event is recognized internationally as a premiere music event and conference for the public and the music industry in Canada, and it is a tremendous learning and performance opportunity for our students.”

Among the hundreds of acts that will be featured during the week, SoPA students will have several opportunities to showcase their music. Holland College’s Outreach Music Ensemble has been invited to perform on Radio ECMA’s Opportunity Stage, Wednesday, April 2. Produced live 24 hours a day from noon Thursday to noon Sunday, Radio ECMA hosts interviews with delegates and artists, features live performances, covers festival highlights and broadcasts music from the nominees and showcasing artists. The Music Performance Outreach Ensemble will feature R&B, Pop, Jazz, Latin and Improv Ensembles, rock, funk, Celtic and more.

The Outreach Ensemble will be back on stage on Thursday, April 4 at midnight at Baba’s. Based on ECMW’s famous 72-hour jam, the unofficial 150-hour jam is taking place in Baba’s Lounge and will host over 50 East Coast bands and performers 24 hours a day from April 1 to 7.

Some of the music students will be showcasing with their own bands that week. Ten Strings and a Goat Skin is an award winning bilingual traditional/fusion trio that celebrates the Irish and Francophone cultures. Comprised of first year Music Performance student Jesse Perriard (musician, vocals-guitar), and his two best friends and band mates, brothers Caleb and Rowen Gallant, the trio has received two 2014 Canadian Folk Music Association award nominations, four 2014 Music PEI award nominations and a 2014 ECMA nomination for Roots Traditional Group Recording of the Year. Their recent bilingual album Corbeau, has garnered nominations, rave reviews and extensive radio play in folk music circles in North America and overseas. Hailing from Rustico, Prince Edward Island, the band will be performing in a number of ECMW events including the Rising Star Showcase, Soiree Franco Est Stage, Music PEI Showcase and the Hot 105.5 Lounge.

Fellow students Evan McCosham (Bass) and Bruce Rooney (Lead Guitarist) are members of the up and coming band Coyote. Over the two years the band has been performing, Coyote has grown to be a recognizable name in the indie rock music scene across the Maritimes. In addition to their SoPA performances, students Evan and Bruce will be performing on Wednesday, April 2 with Coyote at the Soundwaves program in Stratford and at Hunter’s Ale House.

“Having ECMW here at home lets us take part in this massive event while still enjoying the local support we depend on,” commented McCosham. “My friends and family can attend shows, as well as my band’s local fan base. Not everyone can make the trip to another province for ECMW and they may have to wait until it comes to them. Having to wait a few years for this just makes the experience that much more special and it’s very exciting to have it just around the corner for us.”

SoPA faculty and staff will also be a part of ECMW. SoPA’s Alan Dowling (Drummer) will be playing for Dennis Ellsworth at the Export Buyer’s Showcase on Thursday afternoon. This showcase brings over 90 international and Canadian buyers to Charlottetown, the largest delegation in the program’s history. Alan played with Ellsworth on his recent album Hazy Sunshine, which this year won two Music PEI awards for Roots Contemporary Recording and Male Solo Recording of the Year. Alan is also playing with singer/songwriter Teresa Doyle at the Jazz Showcase Friday night.

“SoPA will be on-site at the centre of ECMW activities, the Delta Prince Edward, for the week,” stated Dowling. “We are very pleased that we will be joined there by Berklee College of Music’s Sam Skau, Assistant Director for Educational Operations and George Howard, professor from the Business Department at Berklee who will also be presenting during the week.” Holland College is a proud partner of Berklee College of Music’s International Network (BIN), the only such partner school in Canada.

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