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Young P.E.I. musicians get backstage class on audio engineering during ECMAs

Teenage P.E.I. musicians, from left, Jesse MacCormac, Nicolas Dickieson, Vaughan Lloyd, and Casey Mann listen to a performance while learning how to run the soundboard backstage at the East Coast Music Awards on Saturday. The four young musicians, all members of the alt-rock band Moment of Eclipse, got to shadow the ECMA sound crew as part of the Backstage with TD program.
Teenage P.E.I. musicians, from left, Jesse MacCormac, Nicolas Dickieson, Vaughan Lloyd, and Casey Mann listen to a performance while learning how to run the soundboard backstage at the East Coast Music Awards on Saturday. The four young musicians, all members of the alt-rock band Moment of Eclipse, got to shadow the ECMA sound crew as part of the Backstage with TD program.

While musicians showcased their talent on stage during the East Coast Music Awards, a crew behind the scenes made sure it all went off without a hitch.
On Friday and Saturday, some of that crew included P.E.I. teenagers who got to see the behind-the-scenes efforts of putting on a show as part of the new Backstage with TD program.

“It’s been a really cool week to just be integrated into this kind of music community and meet new people,” said participant Nicolas Dickieson, a 14-year-old guitarist and vocalist from Charlottetown.

Backstage with TD is a new program which aims at giving students the opportunity to learn about backstage production and roles.

As part of their day, the teens ran through sound checks, attended production meetings, performed voiceovers, helped lift boxes, managed cables and more.

They learned how things work with sound technicians and got to experience the backstage bustle at Atlantic Canada’s largest music awards show, which took place in Charlottetown from May 1 to 5.

“It’s cool to see someone go up there (on stage) and know there’s so much stuff behind that and I have even more respect for these people who put on the events,” said participant Jesse MacCormac, a 14-year-old drummer from St. Peters.

All of the selected students were Island musicians.

The students were chosen following a showcase performance at the Delta on Wednesday.

The band the Nor’Easters were chosen to help during Friday’s entertainment and the band Moment of Eclipse (MOE) was chosen for Saturday’s festivities at the Delta Prince Edward. Each band has four members.

“It was a great experience getting to play in front of people, especially for musicians as young as we are,” said 13-year-old Charlottetown bassist Vaughan Lloyd of MOE.

Being musicians themselves, the students had an interest for putting on a concert or an event, particularly at the magnitude of the East Coast Music Awards.

“I’m really into music production,” said Dickieson, who is also a member of MOE. “Over the past couple of years, I’ve been setting up a home studio in my basement with a bunch of equipment and I really like sound engineering.”

At the end of the shift, the students got to see their hard work pay off by watching the show they helped prepare for.

Tina Murphy, an organizer of the Backstage with TD program, said a testament to how the students felt about the program was obvious at the end of the shift when parents hadn’t started arriving yet.

“They said they told them not to come because they were having too much fun,” said Murphy, who is also TD’s manager of community banking and charitable donations.

Katherine.hunt@theguardian.pe.ca


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