BAIE VERTE, NL — Aiden Parsons enjoys putting on a show, and he’ll have a couple of chances to do just that when Copper Ridge Academy hosts a coffee house tonight, March 15.
The 15-year-old Grade 10 student is a member of two bands that will take to the stage to perform at the fundraiser for SchoolStock, a music workshop for high school students taking place in Hare Bay March 29.
Not only is he in two bands, but Parsons’ role changes significantly with each. For The Losers, Parsons is a drummer, rocking it out as students and local musicians perform for members of the community. When he takes the stage with Edge Dancer, a more acoustic band, he will be playing guitar.
“I started playing the drums when I was in Grade 3, then a couple of years ago I started playing the guitar,” Parsons told the Nor’wester.
The Losers formed about four years ago when Parsons was in Grade 6. He plays with fellow students Blake Burton and Thomas Downey, and local musician Neil Clarke. The audience at Thursday’s coffee house can expect to hear some Neil Young, according to the drummer.
Edge Dancer includes Parsons’ brother Zachary Parsons, with Ben and Sam Pope.
Parsons really enjoys being part of a band.
“It is great to have people to play music with. It is cathartic.”
He is looking forward to the show Thursday.
“It is a bit more intimate, it is a bit more laid back,” he said. “It is nice to have something like that.”
Copper Ridge music teacher Shawn Russell says the coffee house events are a way for students and local musicians to showcase their talents to the community. The event is unique and much different than traditional school concerts that tend to be more class-based and coordinated performances, he said.
“It is basically just to give the kids an opportunity to play,” Russell said. “We have a tonne of talented kids. We are trying to give individuals and small groups a chance to get up on stage. They just need somewhere to play.
“People play music in their bedrooms all the time, but unless you have something to strive toward or work for, it is just playing for yourself.”
Russell has also opened the coffee house event to include students from throughout the region.
About 16 students from Copper Ridge are expecting to attend SchoolStock in Hare Bay later this month. The all-day concert includes workshops for songwriting, performance and recording with the likes of Kevin Blackmore and Glenn Simmons.
Tickets for the coffee house are available at the school in advance of the concert.