They may still be young, emerging musicians, but they’re certainly not lacking in ability.
Ring System Music Studio students and instructor Ian Lihou are putting on the sixth annual Rock Stock fundraiser this Saturday, with about 50 budding musicians between the ages of nine and 20 set to perform.
“Prince Rupert has extremely talented kids,” said Lihou.
“I can see them get better and better each year and have also noticed [them become more comfortable on stage], which is really great.”
Lihou started teaching youth to play instruments and expand their vocal range about seven years ago, organizing the group’s first benefit show in 2010 to give students an opportunity to perform on stage.
Since then, the music studio has held two performances per year: Rock Stock, which raises money for the Lester Centre, followed by Jingle Bell Rock during the holiday season to support the Prince Rupert Salvation Army Christmas program.
Seeing the growth in his students as they perform on stage each year has been a major source of pride for Lihou. A number of the students have played in all 11 of the group’s shows, including Kacey Kiesman.
“We learn a lot about performing on stage during the performances,” said Kiesman, who will play with the group on stage for the 12th time on Saturday.
“[The shows] helped me feel confident playing in front of people. We put a lot of work into them and it has made us all improve as musicians,” added Sydney Stenset, who will be participating in her seventh show.
“[My favourite part of performing] is when the singing sounds really good; when you hit the note that you were nervous about,” said Leanne Greeff, who’s been part of the group for two years.
Rock Stock 2016 is taking place at the Lester Centre of the Arts at 7 p.m. on June 25. Admission is by donation, with all funds collected going toward the purchase of a new sound system for the facility.
“We’re so thankful that the community always comes out to support us,” said Lihou.