Former Canadian Idol winner and Hamilton native Brian Melo took to the stage at St. Jean de Brébeuf Catholic Secondary School to inspire the next generation of musicians.
Organized by Music Director David Curto, Melo, along with artists Suzie McNeil and Andrew MacTaggart, were invited to speak to students on their experiences as professionals in the biz.
“They talked about how they learned perseverance, resilience, professionalism, and the value of working hard to achieve a goal or dream,” said Curto, who noted that Melo has formed a connection with the SJB music program.
"It's vital to have these opportunities for students because it brings classroom learning to life,” he added. “It shows them a tangible, engaging example of how hard work now pays off in the future.”
For grade 12 student Abby Kwiatkowski, hearing their stories resonated with her own.
"The best part was hearing how they got to where they are, what helped them, and what they are achieving now,” she said. “I noticed when they told their stories I've had similar opportunities as they did, and I can relate to how hard they worked because I have had to work hard as a visual artist.”
"It was phenomenal to see a product of the HWCDSB return to their roots,” said Vice-Principal Ryan Valconi.
“Our students were thrilled to witness musical excellence at its finest and are sure to use the experience as future motivation as they begin to forge their own pathway to success."
In addition to their motivational talk, students were also treated to a live musical performance from the trio.
“For some students, this was their first live concert,” noted Curto.
“Music is a journey, and it can be a big part of your life if you're passionate about it,” said grade 9 student Samantha Del Sordo, who called the event “inspirational.”
"I think it was really great for students to hear from people who are in the industry talk about their experiences, as well as hopefully inspire them to pursue music,” added grade 12 student Gabrielle Kehl.
“Even if it's only as a hobby."