Music Program


The idea for the project came from a successful grant submission to Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada for a program called Creation Nation: Youth Take Charge. This project was an initiative to support youth in Clubs across Canada in showing leadership towards making a positive difference in their communities.


Hayden composed all the music for the song “I Wish” and him and Owen (rapping) wrote lyrics. They spent many nights during our Evening Youth Program in our Music Room writing and recording their parts. Katie Ross and April Veinot were eager to become vocalists for this project and sang the chorus. Kyle Wills, our Music Program Coordinator and SJ Idol contestant, mentored our youth throughout this entire project. His talent in writing and recording helped our youth to develop skills in this area. He taught them tips and techniques that they have incorporated in to their own music.


The video was directed by Steven Doiron.

New Music at the Saint John Boys and Girls Club—and Beyond!
By Jonathan Kipping, Music Program Coordinator

“Basketballs bouncing or drumbeats from the Music Room?”  Since January it may be hard to tell when outside the gym at the Saint John Boys and Girls Club.  

“Wait!  It’s the sound of new music!”  Echoing through the hall is the African “Rumba” or other lively rhythms—stirring hearts to what’s possible with the new well-equipped music room in the club. 

A small group of energetic youth in the Evening Program have met twice a week with multi-talented youth leader Kyle Wills and music coordinator Jonathan Kipping to get into a groove on the new music equipment recently purchased by the club.  Groups meet Tuesday and Thursday evenings, while private lessons on hand-drums, drum-set, keyboard, electric bass and singing are offered Monday evenings. The persistent youth who made up the very first drum group “The Rumbalin’ Echo Drummers” have performed for Club dances, a March break talent show, an incredible “Dinner with Art for Art” fundraiser, the volunteer recognition dinner, and recent youth awards night.

Younger children in the Afterschool Program were inspired by the musical youth who help the younger ones to see what is musically possible for them to participate in at the club (and beyond).  Grades K-2, 3-5 and 5-and-up music sessions have also helped children learn their “doh, re, mi’s” while listening to (and participating in) music stories, singing or playing orchestra bells, hand-drums or various percussion instruments—even while playing along with music from around the world. 

Along with the wonderful inclusiveness and natural physical fun of music-making children and youth also learn many transferrable skills such as focussed listening, teamwork, as well as respect for the instruments, for others, and also for themselves.  They also may glimpse more of their own (and others’) amazingly diverse potential! 

Whatever helps the children and youth to grow in these skills and this awareness, whatever helps express their joy (and other feelings) and helps them contribute to life at the club—and beyond—is strongly encouraged in the new music program!  

What a great place to be!   

Jonathan Kipping played in rock and jazz bands in Saint John and beyond throughout the 80’s and 90’s and studied music in Montreal & Halifax while completing degrees in Fine Arts and Theology.  Since returning to Saint John in 2002, he has played and taught music (mainly drums and percussion) through Veronica’s Music, Long & McQuade and his own Abda Drumming studio.  Much of the time he dreams of living in a small African village with his family and friends... also with kids from the club visiting to play the Rumba!

The Boys and Girls Club would like to extend a special thank you to the Irving Oil Refinery for their $5,000 donation.  With this donation we were able to purchase our musical equipment and make this program possible.  Thank you Irving Oil Refinery!!!!