The Reel Music Festival, an annual music and film festival featuring musical showcases, seminars and competitions presented by students enrolled in Durham College’s Music Business Management (MBM) program, may be over for the year but the beat continues with the MBM first songwriter’s workshop.
A two-day training session run by students to benefit songwriters and music lovers through the guidance and mentorship of established, professional songwriters, the Emerging Songwriters Workshop and Showcase took place on March 31 and April 7 at the Oshawa campus.
For a fee of $10, songwriters age 18 and older began a journey of songwriting transformation. The first day began with attendees introducing themselves, taking part in a question and answer session and sharing experiences, advice and original songs with the rest of the group.
“I really wanted this to be an all-inclusive event where the participants felt comfortable to sing or talk about anything they wanted in their own personal voice” said Lauren Heenan, a MBM student.
The event, created by Marni Thornton, a professor with the MBM program, and shared with students at the beginning of the semester, was something Heenan wanted to be a part of from the start. She was a childhood friend of one of the professionals, Hill Kourkoutis.
Other professionals included Dan Brooks of The Red Vinyard known for his folk and country style and Kori Kameda, a well-known songwriter to the Durham College community.
“Kori Kameda was a part of Songs Revealed last year and basically blew everyone away,” said Heenan, referring to the college’s annual songwriter’s competition, which is also hosted by the MBM program.
Following introductions, teams were created. Each team was assigned to a room where they crafted a song with the assistance of a professional songwriter.
“There [were] absolutely no guidelines,” said Heenan. “Any genre goes, any topic goes.”
On the second day, the teams continued to write their masterpieces before entering Push Play Studios to record their tracks.
Heenan is hopeful the workshop will become an annual event and continue to grow like other MBM events have done in the past.