A band of musicians wants to help bring down barriers for young students accessing music education programs.
The key barrier they are targeting is funding.
Nanaimo guitarist and singer Al Tulak, who plays in the classic rock band Mid Life Crisis, said he believes music education is underfunded by the government. That’s why he signed on to the Bringing Down the Wall fundraising concert, presented by Our Project. The fundraiser was created by his childhood friend Kevin Western.
The two met in Grade 6 at Dufferin Crescent Elementary School. Shortly after they formed a band and one of the teachers let them practice in a classroom after hours.
“We had a bunch of really good music teachers including David Strong, who has passed now, but he was a great guy. A lot of good talent came out of this area and the reason for that is some of the great teachers that made it happen,” said Tulak. “We decided we wanted to give back somehow and this is our way of giving back.”
Tulak said he feel music education helps keep kids out of trouble.
“A lot of kids that might otherwise get into trouble will be hopefully playing music instead,” he said.
Bringing Down the Wall is a Pink Floyd Tribute show. The Nanaimo concert, which is Saturday (March 11), will raise money for Nanaimo District Secondary School’s music program. Our Project is also performing on the Lower Mainland. The group performed in Surrey Feb. 18 and will perform in New Westminster on April 29. Those shows are raising money for the Sarah McLachlan School of Music.
The Nanaimo concert features 11 musicians.
“We are doing The Wall in its entirety the way it is on the album so a lot of the costumes and lighting and video is geared toward that performance,” said Tulak. “We have everything from a clarinet to a tuba onstage.”
The majority of the musicians are from the Lower Mainland, with Tulak the only Nanaimo musician.
“There are some pretty good players in this thing,” said Tulak.
The Nanaimo concert is March 11 at the Port Theatre at 8 p.m.
Tickets are $30 available in advance by calling 250-754-8550 or go to www.porttheatre.com.
Tulak said all money above the costs for the Port Theatre rental goes to the school’s music program.