Anne Murray Centre strumming along

Christopher Gooding
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SPRINGHILL – In a day and age where computers are used to create, polish and produce music with ease, a small gang of youth are proving the organic challenge of playing the guitar is not dead.

The Anne Murray Centre is playing host to a summer guitar camp where five youth whose experience with the six string range from some to none-at-all and they’re loving every bit of it, especially instructor Andrew Lloyd.

“I’m having the time of my life,” Lloyd said. “These guys are so enthusiastic.”

Music interests within the group range from Taylor Swift to Rush to Iron Maiden, but all are getting a foundation they can build on following the camp.

“There’s three parts, really, to playing guitar: there’s rhythm, harmony and melody,” Lloyd said. “I’m trying to teach them all. I find people who learn on there own have a hard time with timing, so, so far, we’re focusing on rhythm.”

As the week progresses, Lloyd is challenging the youth to write their won songs. Rehearsing in a basement office of the Anne Murray Centre, the youngsters are surrounded by gold records and Lloyd is promising a recording deal – of sorts – for their hard work.

“On Thursday or Friday I’ll bring in some recording equipment and hopefully record a song of them.”

The guitar camp almost didn’t happen when the initial instructor backed out, but Lloyd saved the day.

“He stepped right up,” Marci Meekins, the centre’s executive director, said. “This is the only booked for this summer but based on our summer response, there will be more next year.”

The Anne Murray Centre has a mandate to promote arts and culture, Meekins said, and the guitar camp was a result of a brainstorming session to expand how the centre connects with the community.

Another way the centre connects with the community is the popular Music@Noon series, which takes place at the steps of centre on Fridays. This week will include music by Don, Dan, Matt and Steve and a fundraising barbecue will also be on site.  

Organizations: Anne Murray Centre

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