Published on June 19, 2024

Local Youth Musicians Have the Chance to Hit the Stage at The Show 9.0

Swirls of orange and purple light dance across a scuffed black stage, scattered with glistening instruments. The audience filters in, crowding the front of the stage, eager to snag a good view. The emcees rustle their notes as they welcome everyone to the evening. And then it’s go time... time for the City’s young, emerging musicians to take the stage and live out those rock star dreams!

Amplify, the City’s youth arts development program, is set to host its ninth incarnation of The Show — their unique take on a battle of the bands — specifically for artists and audiences from Grade 7 to age 21 on Sept. 27. Currently, Amplify is looking for youth bands and singer-songwriters, with an application deadline of July 7.

“We’ve been doing this for nine years and it’s always an incredible night of music,” says Kathleen Bell, Community Cultural Coordinator and Amplify’s City liaison. “I’ve always been worried about the competition aspect, but it’s truly such a supportive atmosphere. I’ve heard ‘winning’ bands express that they didn’t deserve to win because the other acts were so exceptional. It’s just a phenomenally positive night, both in terms of the audience and performers.”

This opportunity is for musicians in Grade 7 to age 21 that think they are ready to take on a professional stage, filling a solid 25-minute set, with covers or original music. With only space for four to five acts to perform in the night, the Amplify Advisory Committee juries the applications and will announce the line-up for the evening in late July.

“The Amplify committee is looking for artists that have their music memorized, that can perform while they play and acts that might be writing their own songs as well, though that’s not necessarily necessary,” explains Bell.

Selected bands will be walked through a professional soundcheck with the Arden Theatre’s tech team. As Bell explains it, the soundcheck is very beginner friendly and bands are encouraged to ask questions. 

“These are lighting and sound technicians with decades of experience,” says Bell, “and they know they are there in an active teaching role. For these young bands, it’s a fantastic and fun opportunity to learn about how a professional soundcheck operates.”

Unlike many opportunities for young artists, The Show is not a workshop or an adjudicated performance. Instead, it's real-life experience in a supportive space filled with cheering friends and fans. The Show gives local artists the motivation to hone their skills and the rewards of working hard to put on a great show. The result? More confident youth and more talented local musicians, who are ready to take the next step in their careers.

For more information and to apply, head to the Call for Bands page

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Last edited: June 19, 2024