Island musician Andrew Waite's rock camps entering 4th year

Island musician Andrew Waite's rock camps entering 4th year

Andrew Waite says the week-long rock camps he puts on each summer is a highlight of his year.

But Waite is also mindful that the young musicians he's teaching will likely become a part of the Island music scene in the near future.

"It's really scary. If we teach them too well, they they're going to be putting us out of work," said Waite with a laugh on CBC P.E.I.'s Mainstreet.

This is the fourth year Waite and his band the Firm have been involved in the Island Rock Camps for kids age nine to 15.

Waite said the first camp this summer is scheduled for July 10 in Summerside. After that, five more camps are planned on the Island — one in Montague and four in Charlottetown. The last camp is planned for Charlottetown Aug. 21-25. 

The minimum number of students in a camp is around 18, he said. The most Waite has had in a camp is 28 students. 

He credits his wife Nikki, a music teacher in Morell, P.E.I., with coming up with the idea to give music students another outlet to learn and develop. 

New this year is a partnership with Holland College's School of Performing Arts, he said. The partnership allows the Charlottetown camps to use the college's facilities, including the Florence Simmons Performance Hall for the final show.

Subwoofers and smoke machines

"We teach them a bunch of songs. We look at different styles of music and learn stuff and put on a show at the end of the week," he said.

"Full production, big sounds, subwoofers, smoke machines — you name it."

Some of the camps also watch a bit of Jack Black's movie School of Rock and learn the theme song note for note. 

"It's just a blast," he said, adding that he can tell the student are having fun as well.

"It's really magical the kind of transformation you see in these young musicians."

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