In 2014-15, SASS teachers conducted over 800 weekly forums in their own songwriting clubs across Durham.  
Beyond school-based writers' meetings each year, the SASS regional organizers offer over a dozen free song-writing and
performance workshops, music camps, trips to Massey Hall, and regional recitals to all young artists in Durham aged 10-20,
culminating in a free song contest and Writers' Gala every spring.  The winners of the 2015 SASS song contest are
pictured above.    $8,000- $10,000  worth of prizes are won each season by creative youth,
such as the wonderful awards handed out in June of 2015, which included:

$1,000 cash from original SASS sponsor, Byron Nelson, of Leland Industries,
a $ 999 YAMAHA full-sized, weighted keyboard and stand,
a $ 899 Hagstrom electric guitar and $ 105 case,  
a total of $3,000 worth of recording time at Trail Mix, Devontée "WOE" Studio and The Chalet Studio,
Two $300 Roland personal recording devices,
Two $140 Sennheiser microphones and two $100 sets of professional headphones,
hundreds of dollars worth of professional vocal coaching with Dimitri Machnine's isingfreely method,
free platinum vehicle detailing by Ultimate Detail,
six $75 mini Marshall amps,
several guitars and keyboards donated by Darlene Voogt, a drum kit,
and other community stage appearances.  Thank you to all of our generous sponsors!

Upcoming 2015-16 Season Events
Some of the judges who scored the
top ten entries of the 2014 SASS Song
Danny Marks and SASS students at
Massey Hall in March, 2014
10th Anniversary concert at the Regent
2014 SASS Leadership Camp
Divine Brown an d Jacob and
Sophia Ewaniuk offered a
performance workshop in
Nov., 2014
2015 Song Contest pre-finals
judges:  Dale Russell, Matt
Lionetti, Rob Laidlaw and
Cadence Grace
Betsy Blue, toured many SASS
schools in the spring of 2015
1st prize:  Aidan McAdams          2nd place:  Jonah Kissoon       Third prize:  Alyssa Noel & Darby Rolfe    Fourth  prize:   Michael Lueth              Fifth place:  Amy Pinkus
Elementary category:      1st:  Katey D.                       2nd:  Da'Naysciah N.                    3rd:  Amaris C.                 Fourth:  Gabrielle & Dennalia            Fifth:  Teela & Rachel         Top group  song:  Vincent Massey P.S.
Xavier Hynez ' entry
"Lights Go Down"
stage presence won him
recording time at         
The Chalet Studio
Lasha interprets her song,
Amaris performs "My
Emerging Night Sky" while her
teacher, Dave Maclean
accompanies her.  Sisters
Hannah and Emma also made
the Top Ten Finals.
Emma P. presents
"Lonely Ones"
Akasha sings her lovely song
"Sky Is Blue"
Julio Oliveros, Liam Jose, and
Dylan Hausdorf of O'Neill C.V.I.
open the secondary finals with
"Love Transgressions"
Amelia sings "Life Lessons"
Hannah C. sings "Love
Together" with Ashton B.
Emily Stewart passionately
interprets her song, "Erase"
Dimitri Seemungal does a
great job of "Most Afraid
of Losing You"
Emma C. sings "Let's Fly"
Hosts, Katarina and Sam
Some of the 2015 contest's
judges listen to the live
performances in Whitby
Kim Wheatley offered a
drum circle and Dave &
Jordan Mowat performed
aboriginal music before
First Nations and
non-indiginous students
joined forces to write
beautiful songs together
in the spring of 2015
The Durham District School
Board and SASS conducted a
song contest in the winter of
2014-15 to promote the new
motto:  "Ignite Learning".   
The contest was won by the
SASS club of Vincent Massey
SASS Events

SASS is putting together a FREE trip to Massey Hall on Saturday, November 28, 2015
to hear the Women's Blues Revue.  Teacher-supervision and school bus transportation will be offered
free of charge, along with 45 free tickets, courtesy of the Corporation of Massey Hall,
Sun Life Financial, and the "Share The Music" program.  Spaces are being secured through Artemis Chartier
mainly to active Durham high school SASS clubs, by reservation only.
Special thanks to our friend, Laraine Herzog, who has  facilitated the sharing of stellar Massey Hall
experiences with SASS students for the past dozen years. For more information, write

"Song and Dance" - A synergistic exploration of music and movement.
SASS writers will work with dancers to simultaneously create new music, lyrics and choreography
Friday evening, December 11, from 3:30-7:30 p.m.--to be shared in a dynamic, improvised
concert for parents at 7:30 p.m. in the dance studio on the lower floor of Sinclair Secondary School
380 Taunton Rd., Whitby.
Space is limited, so participants must pre-register for this free event by writing

SASS Winter Concert and Young Writers' Networking Session
Enjoy the fabulous music of First Nations Singer-Songwriter and workshop leader, Kim Wheatley
and enjoy time with new, artistic friends, on Saturday, December 12, from 12 - 3 p.m.
in the lower meeting room of La Quinta Hotel on King St. E. in downtown Oshawa
(across from the Regent Theatre).   
Seating is limited, so participants must pre-register for this free event by writing
Parents are also welcome to attend.

Many other events are currently in the final planning stages.  We are waiting to hear back from some
and community venues
about dates or permits to offer several other winter and spring regional recitals
and workshops.  Do you have an additional idea for a concept that would benefit artistic youth?
Your ideas are also welcome at this time, by writing

Dates of 4-6 other school-based evening recitals will also soon be confirmed, such as "Just Duet" # 2
--An evening recital mainly celebrating original collaborations with peers or family members.

Also in the works:  The continued tradition of "Songs That Make A Difference"
In keeping with the SASS philosophy that we should all use our gifts to make a better world,
SASS is currently considering several causes of great importance
to support with a benefit concert featuring talented, local youth.
Feel free to write with your suggestions of a charity SASS students could support.

Meanwhile, throughout this fall, 2015,
SASS Executive Director, Dale Russell, and local teachers have been hard at work
establishing a new season
of school-based writers' clubs,
some with 'launch concerts' to remind youth that we are
all 'born creative' and have a right to write!   Dale and Artemis have also selected and met with the 2015-16
season's SASS Youth Executive Presidents:  Eric Benns of Henry St. H.S., Jacob Ewaniuk of Brooklin H.S.,
Charlene Forde-Smith of Sinclair S.S. and Aria Poynter of Anderson C.V.I.  The innovative young people
pictured below are helping to plan the many exciting events currently coming together.

Past events of the 2015-16 season:

On Saturday, September 26, 2015, dozens of SASS alumni and local teens enjoyed a campfire reunion,
a shared meal in the fresh air and sunshine, and presented group songs at the 1 Stop Alpaca Farm.

The SASS founders also spend some time fund-raising in the fall so that the young artists' community
and all events which have been provided free for the past 13 years
can continue to be offered to children and teens at no charge.

If any SASS parents would like to help with any upcoming events, or suggest new fund-raising ideas,
or influence the future of our young, creative community on the SASS Board of Directors
which meets 3-4 times per year, please contact

Looking forward to seeing you in the audiences this year as we join together to celebrate
the gifts of our talented, local young people!  -  Warmest regards from Artemis and Dale.