Concert to support school guitar programs

Concert to support school guitar programs

 A “celebration of the guitar” concert scheduled for March 15 at the William Glesby Centre is designed to entertain, inspire and support young players in two school guitar programs.

Funds raised from the “Spring into String” celebration of the guitar concert will go to the guitar programs at Portage Collegiate Institute, École Arthur Meighen and the Rock Room at PCI.

Aptly called “Spring into String” the concert is an invite to warmer weather and new beginnings a new season promises.

Spring into String features a great list of local talent and Mike Rud, a Juno award-winning jazz guitarist, composer and songwriter, now living in Montreal.

Local talent includes Ed Goertzen and Friends, Brandon Letexier, Jake Kostuchuk, Tristin Goertzen, Eddie Delorme, Shane Sobkowich, Raelyn Adam, Ben Lamont and Angela Rud. The PCI Guitar Ensemble under the direction of Teph Clink and the Brandon University Guitar Ensemble under the direction of Paul Madryga, will also perform.

Rud has family in Portage and is travelling to Manitoba to adjudicate players at Brandon University where his niece studies guitar. It was his brother Barry who first thought Mike’s trip to Brandon could also be an opportunity for young guitar players here.

It’s about the kids.

“We’re raising money for the guitar program here and for a similar one over at PCI,” says Ed Goertzen, guitar teacher at École Arthur Meighen. Truth be told, when Goertzen’s kids left his junior high music room, they graduated to a high school without a guitar program. “Now they have a guitar class like we have here and they have a rock room near one of the shop classes where you can jam and play in your spare time. The concert is to help raise funds to buy equipment for the two guitar programs and the Rock Room.”

Goertzen was fortunate when he was hired at École Arthur Meighen the school was interested in developing a guitar program. It already offered traditional band instruction, but it wanted to experiment. If anything, guitar playing is very much about experimentation.

“Guitar is my background,” Goertzen said. “The guitar kind of lends itself to popular music and is a different way you can present music to kids that is a little more along the lines of what they are hearing in their everyday lives.

“The guitar program attracts a different kind of student than a band program might. We’re reaching more kids in different ways.”

Hundreds of young players have graduated from the junior high guitar program at École Arthur Meighen, many have continued at the high school program into the free-wheeling Rock Room atmosphere.

“We’re really kind of lucky to have all the talent we have here, at the teaching and performing levels,” Goertzen said. “This concert will feature students, Juno award winners and great local talent.”

The $10 tickets are on sale now for the March 15 Spring into String concert and can be purchased at the Glesby, PCI, École Arthur Meighen and by e-mailing Barry Rud at for e-mail transfer.


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