David's Current Playlist
(Listening to a lot of #SingItFwd artists)
1. Vulfpeck - Back Pocket
2. Frazey Ford - Done
3. Aidan Knight - All Clear
4. Twin Bandit - Zephyr
5. We Are The City - Heavy As A Brick
G: For someone who has never heard of #SingItFwd, how would you briefly describe the project?
DV: #SingItFwd is a charity concert started 5 years ago by my wife, Ambrosia and I to raise funds and awareness for the Saint James Music Academy. SJMA is a grassroots non-profit organization which provides classical music lessons and substantial after school care to more than 200 kids on Vancouver's downtown east side.
G: What can audiences look forward to at this year’s showcase?
DV: We bring together some of the top young musicians and bands in BC and Canada to celebrate and perform with the kids on stage. It's always a very special night with performances and collaborations you will never see anywhere else. This year marks our final edition of the fundraiser and we hope to have raised over $200,000 for SJMA by the end of it all.
G: How often do you see children going from having perhaps a lack of direction, to finding a purpose in music?
DV: Some kids find purpose in music, but some just find a safe place to be with friends, or an activity where they get some appreciation and support. Music provides the opportunity to learn to work as a group and to work hard on your own. So although there are examples of kids going on to pursue music, I believe the school has an even greater cause in mind when they organize their programs.
G: Do you find it hard to get the kids to break out of their shells, or are they typically quite open to trying out new instruments/etc.?
DV: It depends on the kid, but the program really tries to cater to all types. I know that they sometimes have kids come in only to survey the courses. They just sit in and observe before they ever pick up an instrument. Others dive in head first. It's important to be flexible.
G: Do you notice any changes in their social interactions after joining the program?
DV: There are many stories from the school, but as I don't work there I'm probably not the best to tell them. Just working with them on #SingItFwd though I've had a chance to see many students grow up and and go from little kids to leaders and teachers in the school. Pretty cool to be a part of.
G: Outside of music, what other aid does the SJMA offer?
DV: As I mentioned, they provide substantial after school care including nutrition and supervision until around 6:30pm every day. SJMA also works closely with the community to bring at risk kids in to try the program.
G: How many children have gone through the program to date?
DV: The program has been around for 9 years and now serves over 200 kids plus another 200 in school outreach programs a week.
G: Do you have a personal connection to this program? Based maybe on how you grew up, or people you’ve known in your life?
DV: I mean, music has obviously been a huge part of my life and I will forever be in love with what happens every day at SJMA. It's a magical place.
G: Finally, where is your favourite place to hang-out in Vancouver? Or, what is your favourite music venue?
DV: To be honest, The Vogue Theatre is one of my favourite venues of all-time. My favourite hangout is probably Sha Lin Noodle House on W Broadway or Western Lake Seafood restaurant on 34th and Victoria Dr for dim sum.
G: Thank you so much for talking with us, and helping make such a great project a reality!