The Halifax Pop Explosion (HPX) and Mirus Records are collaborating to empower more women, trans folks and/or people of colour to “be in bands and feel confident playing music.” The result is The Plumtree Project, an initiative named after a local all-female band that took the stage at the first HPX and for many years after.
Erin McDonald, one of the project coordinators, says lack of accessibility and lack of encouragement are barriers to marginalized people trying to break into the music scene.
“There’s not really a reflection of those people on the Halifax stage at this time,” adds McDonald. “I can only really speak for myself as a woman, but I always played music, but I was really afraid of playing with other people.”
Since the scene is dominated by men, playing with other people usually meant playing with men—and McDonald “found that really intimating.”
Applications for The Plumtree Project are open to women as well as non-binary, genderqueer and trans folks between the ages of 18 and 29. The eight successful applicants will receive free private lessons (drums, guitar, bass or keyboard) every week for two months. The hope is that the musicians will end up playing together, and they will have access to a “jam space” as well as an improvisation workshop.
McDonald says the project aimed towards beginner-intermediate musicians: “It can be from people who don’t have much experience at all to people that have a little bit of experience, but not a ton.”
Apply for The Plumtree Project here. Applications are due September 15.