What do you get when you combine some of the most talented music students in Toronto, and around the world (literally. We had students from Mexico Greece this summer!) with the best music teachers in the city? The best summer at Toronto Music Camp in our 11 years.
Fun fact: The videos this year are incredible and were filmed by Toronto Music Camp and Elite Music Academy alum, Dermott O’Hallahan – while he was preparing for his freshman year at Berklee College of Music (where many of our students wind up, naturally).
If you missed all the action this summer, or if you just want to relive it, these are the 10 videos you don’t want to miss! Remember, these videos are recorded on the fourth day of camp. Everything you see here was rehearsed for three and a half days, tops. Seriously.
1. Don’t Bring Me Down (Electric Light Orchestra) – performed by Pressing Demons
So crisp, with harmonies so sweet – this band has number one locked down. This band had to have snapped together so fast to produce this track. What we love: the vocalist hits a really challenging range here, the keyboardist is versatile, the bassist and drummer hold things tight through the ups and downs of the song and it features one of the tightest guitar solos of the summer.
2. Little Queen (Heart) – performed by Siri’s Revenge
One of Heart’s more obscure songs is covered a little bit faster and more upbeat, with the bassist holding down a funky groove. The band played like pros, even managing the transitions in and out of a slower bridge smoothly. The vocalist is both dynamic and relaxed, and carries the song right along like a little queen.
3. Barracuda (Heart) – performed by Trapped in The Basement with a Dead Chicken
Talk about ferocious! This is what happens when you get trapped in the basement with a dead chicken, apparently. The vocalist in this band took command of a challenging song and blew it out of the water like a barracuda on the line. The saxophone adds a great unexpected twist to this Heart classic.
4. Undone (The Sweater Song) (Weezer) – performed by The Walking Shred
This was completely off the wall – in all the right ways. First, what parent doesn’t get nostalgic about the good ol’ 90s with this song? More to the point, this band covered the song with an easy exactitude that ranks with the pros. With a tight drum and bass, and a groovy guitar solo, this song is everything. The highly entertaining scenes of the singer doing dialogue with himself is just the frosting on the cake!
5. Give it Away (Red Hot Chili Peppers) – performed by Golden Hands & The Double Dipperz
Our jaw is on the floor. We’ve never had rapping like this! Golden Hands & The Double Dipperz is raw, funky and lock-step together. And the vocalist means business, which we love. The saxophone makes the song a bit jazzy, which is an unexpected twist that works surprisingly well.
6. It’s a Long Way to the Top (AC/DC) – performed by The Noise Makers
These are some of the youngest campers we’ve had and they made some great noise. We were blown away by their budding talent! The drummer holds the band together really well, which is half the battle with rock band. Add to that the keyboard and guitar solos and the powerful singing and it’s not going to be such a long way to the top for this band.
7. Come Together (The Beatles) – performed by Error Code 404: (Name Not Found)
Not only was this band covering the song with utter precision, there was a cool little instrument solo from each of the band members during the song, which added their own flair. This band truly had to “come together” to pull off such a feat in under four days.
8. Manic Monday (The Bangles) – performed by The Blue Room Crew
Pop-flavoured to the core, this band gave us the perfect break from the hard rock. We loved the harmonies that the vocalists accomplished here. They just might give The Bangles a run for their money.
9. Hello, Goodbye (The Beatles) – performed by Kick the Bucket
This Beatles’ classic is always a hit at TMC. This band does it right, covering the instrumentation dead on, and giving the vocalist range to add her own unique vocal style. They certainly kicked some bucket on this one.
10. What You’re Doing (Rush) – performed by Five Fries Burgers & Guys
It wouldn’t be Toronto Music Camp without Rush! The groove takes you in like the band lifted it right from the vinyl, added their own vocal stylings to it, and added a funky organ to it. How do they do that in 4 days?
The amount of talent that passes through our doors every summer is astounding. Every year is better than the one before, and this was no exception. We wish we could list all the videos, but instead of reading what we liked, go watch all 24 videos and comment about what you loved.