Boulder Daily Camera- December 3, 2009
Show Friday at Boulder's New Vista the first in a planned teen-concert series
By Peter Budoff, Camera Staff Writer
Harwood Ferguson has spent the last 10 years working with teens as a music teacher and band coach. He's seen many times when these musically talented kids had trouble finding activities to participate in after school.
"Kids that are into sports have sports, kids on the fringe -- musicians and artists -- don't really have anything," Ferguson said. "And that's when they tend to get in trouble."
Ferguson, who taught at Friends School and now runs his own production company and coaches the teen band Harwood Park, has been developing a program to fill that void.
His vision is to hold three concerts a semester that will feature young local bands and be free to teenagers.
First up is a concert tonight at Boulder's New Vista High School. Harwood Park will perform, along with Boulder group White as Night and New Vista band Watch for Wildlife.
A suggested donation of $2 to $5 will go toward the New Vista music program.
Ferguson said he's working on putting together more shows and getting more kids involved.
"My ultimate goal is to have the kids running the shows," he said. "Kids that are interested in any aspect of production would be able to get involved and get some real learning opportunities."
Ferguson said the program also would give teen bands the chance to perform in front of their peers, as opposed to older audiences at parties or 21-plus clubs.
"We asked the kids where they wanted to go as a band," said Craig Hartman, whose son Nate is a member of Harwood Park. "And they all said the same thing: 'We want to be playing in front of our peers.' Seeing their peers getting down and dancing in front of them, that's what they all wanted."
Hartman said it he welcomes having a safe, fun activity for his son to participate in.
"Everyone wants that," he said. "This is a great program, and Harwood is the right guy to lead it."