Northern Rock: Sudbury Youth Rocks Program Assists Through Music

By Victoria Buchy, Staff

It’s the last session before Easter break, but these young musicians seem far more focused on the song they’re practicing than chocolate bunnies.  With a quick look around their modest rehearsal space, it’s a little piece of rock heaven.  An electronic drum kit, keyboard, a couple guitars, a bass and mics come alive at their touch.  There’s even a stage-light set with coloured gels and a few posters on the beige walls for ambience and encouragement where not so far away from a guitar tabs instruction chart, the four-faces of KISS stand out like the compass rose of rock’n’roll.  I’m in the Sudbury Youth Rocks world.  

Operated under the auspices of The John Howard Society of Sudbury, the program uses the rock band to give local teens who are at risk of conflict with the law or who may not otherwise have the chance to learn an instrument the opportunity to play in a band.  There are no fees to join and instruments are provided on-site at a space in the city’s downtown mall.  Participants get together in a supervised, peer-oriented environment after school to be rock gods in one of three weekly sessions offered all year round.

STATEMENT FROM DR. JOSE ANTONIO ABREU, FOUNDER OF THE FOUNDATION FOR THE NATIONAL NETWORK OF YOUTH AND CHILD ORCHESTRAS OF VENEZUELA (“EL SISTEMA”), ON HIS SELECTION AS THE 2008 LAUREAUTE OF THE GLENN GOULD PRIZE

TORONTO – It was with great pleasure that I’ve received your kind letter dated February 13, 2008 stating that that I’ve been awarded the prestigious Glenn Gould prize.

I accept such a great distinction on behalf of all Venezuelan dedicated music teachers whom have undoubtedly and faithfully joined me for over the last 33 years in the creation, development, and implementation of the Youth and Young Adults National Network of Symphonies and Chorus.