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Brackets Hits The Right Note With Young Musicians

Story: Alyssa Mackay | Photo: Bruce Redman
Published On : Oct 25, 2023
Brackets Hits The Right Note With Young Musicians
Young creatives in the community have found a space to connect through the power of music.

Brackets Youth Music, a drop-in space at SANDBAG Inc, provides a fun and inclusive environment for youth aged 12 to 21 to hold monthly jam sessions.

Community Partnerships Worker, Ashleigh Black, said Brackets was initially started by local community member Susannah Holmes before being adopted by SANDBAG. 

“The intention is to provide a space for young people to build their confidence, have fun, express themselves and share their joy of music outside of school or formal music lessons,” Ashleigh said.

“SANDBAG values community connections and Brackets is a safe place for young people to be a part of that. It’s also a chance to link up with other musicians. So, for example, if there is a drummer who wants to form a band but needs a guitarist, they can meet up at Brackets.”

Ella Gelsthorpe, 12, has been playing cello at the jam sessions.

“I enjoy the fact that it gives me a chance to be part of something that I’m not able to do at school,” Ella said. “Brackets has provided me with extra time after school to practice my assessments and a chance to play some more exciting pieces that haven’t been assigned by my teacher.”

The jam sessions are held every second Friday from 3.30pm to 5.30pm and according to Ashleigh, have been a great success since they started at SANDBAG earlier this year.

“We had about 12 people attend, a range of instruments from cello to percussion and everything in between,” she said. “We had local band Anti-Sapiens join us, who have been a part of Brackets since its beginning. We also had pizza delivered, which seemed to be a hit.

“The hope is that over time the young people might start to drive the initiative themselves, possibly taking on mentor roles and having the project fly in the direction they chose. We are also hoping that there will be opportunities to collaborate with SANDBAG’s Unplugged events as the group grows. But mostly, it’s a lot of fun and can be whatever they want it to be.”

Musicians attending the jam sessions are required to bring their own instruments, amps and equipment. For those under 16 years old, parental consent is necessary to participate. 

For updates visit Facebook/sandbagincorporated and Facebook/brackets.4017

Contact Ashleigh at for more information.