TRURO – A group of young musicians is seeing quick success of their new band.
ACA-Jam, a band featuring local youth through the Centre communautaire francophone de Truro, is in the midst of recording its first album.
“It started as a fun band, but then we got to open for Ron Bourgeois,” said Julian Krizsan, one of the ACA-Jam members about the band forming in November 2012 and performing on the stage at the Marigold on the 22nd of that month.
“But now, things have started getting more serious.”
“I’ve done some recording at home with a high-quality voice recorder, but you can’t record instruments,” said band member Peter Betts. “For the band, this is our first recording. It’s pretty cool.”
He’s talking about the work the students – four from Truro and two from Brookfield – have been doing with students at the Nova Scotia Community College’s Truro campus. They’re in the process of helping the young band record some songs.
“We sing some francophone songs, some English songs … there are traditional songs and some are more modern. It’s really fun,” said Julian.
Yvette Saulnier, executive director of the centre, said the youths had all taken music together in Grade 10 at Ecole acadienne de Truro.
“They had been together for about a year when a few of them said they wanted to play guitar, so we helped them put the band together,” she said. Saulnier added an application had been made for a grant through Heritage Canada and the provincial culture department.
“When they opened for Ron Bourgeois, they did such an amazing job, we couldn’t have them stop performing together. We thought it would make a nice project for the community centre,” she said.
Through the grant approval, the centre hired Rick Hiltz as the project co-ordinator, who has been working with the students since.
Toward the end of May, the band is hoping to launch its CD and host a spring concert.
Julian and Peter said some members have come and gone thanks to graduations.
“But as far as the band dynamic, it’s really great,” said Peter. “We all hang out a lot.”
Both of the young musicians said they would like to be involved with music in the future in some capacity.
“I’d like to possibly be in a band,” said Julian.
“My real career path is a fighter pilot, but I would still like to do some recording, both for myself and for others,” added Peter. “And keep up playing the guitar and piano.”
Along with hiring Hiltz, the grant enabled the centre to bring in Briand Melanson and Daniel LeBlanc, members of the group Grand Dérangement, to assist the students.
“Before Christmas, we got to spend a few hours with them, learning how to be a performer because that’s the next step. We’re lucky to have them,” said Peter, while the two musicians continued to work with the other students.
“They’re professionals and they’ve given us some good hints so far,” said Julian.
Thanks to a grand prize win at Frogstock, a recent four-day event held in Truro, the band will spend three days at the end of April recording a song through Radio Canada. The prize pack also included a bursary for Université de Moncton, should they choose to attend.
Members of ACA-Jam, a youth band through the Centre communautaire francophone de Truro, spent some time rehearsing in the centre’s black box. Members include, back from left, Matthew Deagle, Peter Betts, Céline Thimot, Julian Kirzsan (seated from left), Michael Mahoney, and Keegan Carreau-Burns. Raissa Tetanish – Truro Daily News