Psalm 71:9 – “Do not cast me away when I am old; do not forsake me when my strength is gone”
In September 2013, after busking together, banjo player and vocalist Dave Ferro and I formed a community music group called Bluegrass Breaks. With a combination of musical friends and my music students, we have since played for special needs facilities, scout camps, hospitals and senior homes. In addition to serving the community on a voluntary basis and bringing a little joy to the venues we play, the purpose of the band is to give my students a practical outlet for their skills in a friendly welcoming environment.
Instead of holding recital concerts with my students, I give them the opportunity to learn about volunteering and serving community by applying their skills to a practical endeavour. The students get the chance to perform with professional and semi-professional musicians on a regular basis. We have a core group of around 8-10 regular musicians.
One hundred percent of the honorariums from the venues are donated to charity.
Our group has included many professional musicians, students and former students, and featured musicians from the Grant MacEwan University and University of Alberta music programs.