October 18th, 19th, and 20th saw the first iteration of St. Anthony and Area Young Folk at The Hall. Headed by Fergus O’Byrne, Young Folk is a workshop-based program offering guidance and education, as well as a performance opportunity for youth between the ages of seven and 18. Due to the smaller population of the Northern Peninsula we opened the event to musicians of all ages.

The weekend saw 20 participants who were split into four different groups. Each group was headed by a local musician to mentor and guide the group in learning and performing songs. The mentors for this weekend were Calvin Blake, Trevor Reardon, Joe Donaghey, and Fergus O’Byrne. The groups came up with a band name and had a picture taken which was placed in a program for the audience. These bands included The Rubber Chickens. Berry Squad, The Grand 56 Yeets, and The Young and The Restless.

After two days of workshops each band performed 3-4 pieces live on stage for an audience of their friends, parents, and peers. While the overarching aim of YFATH is to promote and revitalize Newfoundland folk music, we heard songs ranging from “Ode to Newfoundland” to “Thunderstruck” by AC/DC. An exciting aspect of the weekend was the use of a wide range of instruments. Traditional instruments such as guitar, piano, and vocals were used along with glockenspiels, melodicas, and marching drums. The wide variety of instrumentation led to engaging renditions of well-known songs.

While this event was held in St. Anthony, we saw participants come from Roddickton-Bide Arm, Flower’s Cove, Plum Point, and, of course, St. Anthony. A Special thank you to all parents who drove the long distances to allow their children to participate in this exciting event and a huge thank you and congratulations to all the mentors, participants, and audience members in making this a successful and memorable weekend!

Submitted By: Joe Donaghey – IGA Music Program Coordinator