Baie Verte, NL – Fourteen students from Copper Ridge Academy in Baie Verte were among the 70 students, and approximately 40 acts, at SchoolStock 2018 at Jane Collins Academy in Hare Bay on March 29.
Aiden Parsons, a 15-year-old in Grade 10, was one of the students from the Baie Verte school.
Parsons has been playing drums since Grade 3, guitar for three years, and has been writing music for a long time. He is also drums in the school band since Grade 6.
At SchoolStock he performed with three bands from his school, drumming for two and playing guitar for another.
The event also gave students the chance to attend workshops hosted by Kevin Blackmore of Buddy Wasisname and the Other Fellers, Glenn Simmons of The Fables, Dean Stairs with recording studio Citadel House, and the husband and wife duo Rob and Krista Gullon.
Aiden said this event was beneficial to him and other young musicians.
“It’s great to just have a day to just go in and play music and be around so many other people for a day,” he said. “They have a lot of people from the Newfoundland music industry come in and talk with you. It’s quite nice.”
Aiden said music is a possibility for his future education and career.
“I keep my options open,” he said, adding SchoolStock can help towards that goal. “It gives you a bit of exposure. Last year we went out and played a couple songs by Sherman Downing so he invited us to come play a show with him at The Gathering. It’s a good education. It’s good to get a bit of exposure to the rest of the scene, it’s a lot of very important, very influential people from the industry out there so it’s nice.”
Aiden added music has really become a big deal at his school since teacher Shawn Russell arrived.
Russell, who teaches music to grades 4-12 at Copper Ridge Academy, said students from grades 7 to 12 attended the day-long event.
“Basically it’s an all-day music festival for students,” Russell said. “It’s an opportunity for kids to play.”
There are two stages where students can perform, one for bands and one for soloists, duets and so on. While one is performing, the other is setting up, and it’s constant music for most of the day, he said.
“It’s a whole lot of fun,” he said. “The kids had a blast.”
His 14 students made up three bands and a bunch of other arrangements. Some performed covers of well-known songs, and one group did original music. The musical variety featured heavy metal to folk songs.
“We had probably the most variety of the schools that were there,” Russell said, adding the event is beneficial for students.
“It’s just a great opportunity because there’s just not a whole lot of stuff like that. These students don’t really fit the typical music festival type of thing.
“Scoring music and that type of stuff is wonderful for those students who do that, but that’s not the purpose at all. It’s just exposure mostly and getting the chance to show what they’ve been working on with other students who do the same kind of thing.
“It’s (School Stock) great because we have students who don’t play sports who don’t get to travel on teams who get a chance to do this kind of stuff.”