Fid­dling up some fun

Fer­gus O’Byrne schools lo­cal youth in folk mu­sic

The Southern Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - BY COLIN FARRELL [email protected] @Colin_TCMe­dia

Bud­ding mu­si­cians age seven to 18 from Marys­town and sur­round­ing ar­eas re­cently re­ceived an in­tro­duc­tion in folk mu­sic through the Young Folks at the Hall pro­gram.

Bud­ding mu­si­cians age seven to 18 from Marys­town and sur­round­ing ar­eas re­cently re­ceived an in­tro­duc­tion in folk mu­sic through the Young Folks at the Hall pro­gram.

The camp, which was of­fered lo­cally for the third time, is run by mu­si­cian and pro­gram founder Fer­gus O’Byrne.

Last of­fered three years ago, he ex­plained the lat­est camp was made pos­si­ble with the help of the New­found­land and Labrador Arts Coun­cil, the Burin Penin­sula Arts Coun­cil and St. Gabriel’s Hall Inc.

O’Byrne started the pro­gram in St. John’s, but ex­panded fur- ther af­ter re­ceiv­ing in­quires from other parts of the prov­ince.

“The whole idea was, it has been very suc­cess­ful in town in gath­er­ing young peo­ple who have an in­ter­est in folk mu­sic but don’t get an op­por­tu­nity to de­velop that in­ter­est and meet other young peo­ple who are play­ing,” he said.

“There are choirs, fid­dle camps and kids learn­ing dif­fer­ent in­stru­ments with pri­vate schools. … But there was no sort of loosely based idea of young peo­ple get­ting to­gether just for fun — learn­ing and hav­ing own­er­ship of the project for them­selves.”

He said the pro­gram has been well re­ceived.

Brit­tany Nose­wor­thy, 18, who took part for the first time said she en­joyed the ex­pe­ri­ence.

“I think it is a great op­portu- nity. I am en­joy­ing work­ing with some of the younger kids — they have lots of ideas,” she said.

Nose­wor­thy said it was nice spend­ing time with like-minded per­form­ers.

“It is help­ing get all the kids to­gether who ap­pre­ci­ate tra­di­tional mu­sic,” she said.

About 28 stu­dents were in­volved in the camp this time.

Be­fore the camp be­gins, O’Byrne di­vides the par­tic­i­pants up into smaller groups.

“As much as pos­si­ble I get the kids to come up with their own ma­te­rial. They have to come up with the name of a band, and we put to­gether a lit­tle pro­gram with their names in it.”

O’Byrne said it is great to see how much the par­tic­i­pants pick up dur­ing the camp.

“All they have are two Satur­day af­ter­noon work­shops… where they get to­gether and get the ma­te­rial to­gether,” he said.

“They don’t have much time to put the ma­te­rial to­gether, but it is amaz­ing to the adults who come just how quickly they do put the stuff to­gether,” O’Byrne said, re­fer­ring to the fi­nale con­cert that con­cludes the pro­gram.

The Young Folk at the Hall pro­gram will cel­e­brate its 15th an­niver­sary in St. John’s in Jan­uary and has been of­fered in cen­tral, Stephenvil­le, Cor­ner Brook and Con­cep­tion Bay South.

(L-R) Karli Farrell-Pow­ell, Abby Farrell-Pow­ell, Jae­lyn Bren­ton, Cole Pittman and James Bren­ton were just a few of the per­form­ers who took part in the Young Folk at the Hall con­cert on Sun­day.

Brit­ney Nose­wor­thy, 18, took the stage Sun­day night with the group The Rocky Is­land Gals for the Young Folk at the Hall con­cert. The show was the con­clu­sion of a pro­gram of­fered by mu­si­cian Fer­gus O’Bryne.

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