Students awarded entrance scholarships are (L-R) Dexton Gibson and Ryan Palm, drums; James Still and James Lerch, bass.

Bass players and drummers are a hot commodity. So much so, the Contemporary Music & Technology Program at Selkirk College is offering up funds to attract these aspiring musicians to study. The Selkirk College Entrance Scholarship for Bass Players and Drummers provided $1,000 each to four students who entered the music program in September.

“Rhythm is the most important thing in music. Together, a bass player and drummer are the heartbeat of a band,” says program coordinator Melody Diachun. “Music programs tend to be heavily populated with singers and guitarists. These new scholarships were set up to attract strong players on other instruments, this year on bass and drums. The greater the variety of players in the program, the better!”

For nominations, the music faculty considered applicants’ auditions and entrance test scores. In this, the first year of the entrance scholarships, recipients all happen to be from British Columbia. Drummers Ryan Palm of Parksville and Dexton Gibson of Trail, along with bassists James Still of Williams Lake and James Lerch of Slocan Park, were awarded the scholarships at a semester kickoff concert during orientation week at Shambhala Music & Performance Hall.

“It’s been an incredible journey so far studying at Selkirk College. Living and learning with other musicians has been a life-changing experience,” Palm says. “The funds provided by the entrance scholarship have allowed me to focus less time at work and more time making, learning and loving music.”

Lerch agrees: “The Selkirk music program has been such a great experience. Everyone, from faculty to student, has been very supportive which makes for a unique and epic learning experience. The support of the college and getting awarded the bass scholarship has been a huge help in achieving my dream of writing music that will resonate with people so I can help make the world shine a little bit brighter.”

For the 2020-21 school year, students entering the program on piano, bass, and drums will be eligible for the next round of entrance scholarships. For information on how to apply, contact Tenth Street Admissions at 1-888-953-1133 or tenthstreetadmissions@selkirk.ca

Learn more about the Selkirk College Music & Technology Program at www.selkirkcollegearts.ca/programs/music

– Kirsten Hildebrand