Sam Spensley's Journey to the JUNOS
See how one guitar, and a little support, took this Calgary teen to a national stage alongside LIGHTS
Published June 14th, 2016
Imagine yourself at 15. You’re traveling through the ups-and-downs of teendom, with an acoustic guitar as one source of comfort and confidence. Suddenly, you find yourself playing it on national television, accompanying one of your favourite musicians. You cannot change the channel. This is not a dream.
actually happened to Calgary’s Sam Spensley. You may recall her as the
blue-haired young musician who charmed the nation on April 3rd when
she joined LIGHTS on stage during the JUNO Awards Broadcast. Many people immediately
took to social media, asking ‘Who is
is a teenager whose life has been changed by music. Five years ago, at a time
when she was struggling, help came in the form of a guitar and participation in
the Legacy Children’s Foundation ‘Gift of Music’ program, a 2015
MusiCounts TD Community Music Program recipient. Through her
participation, Sam has grown as both a person and musician – including in ways
that could not be anticipated.
Sam and other Legacy Children’s Foundation participants were given the
opportunity to perform with two Canadian superstars at a special TD concert event in Calgary. Sam stood out that day.
The event itself impressed her mother, Krista, who was moved to write a letter
thanking MusiCounts and TD for their support of community music programs for children
and youth across Canada. Krista recognized something at the very heart of the
MusiCounts TD Community Program: that learning to play an instrument can have
an incredibly positive impact on a young person’s life.
case, it even took her to the JUNOS where she soaked in countless incredible
moments, from walking the red carpet to watching the Awards unfold from right
up front, with her family, and, of course, performing with LIGHTS, a longtime
video above to join Sam on her journey, and get a behind-the-scenes look at how
one talented young woman battled nerves to experience the confidence boost of a
Sam Spensley’s very real story also
underscores just how and Why
MusiCounts. To date, more than nine thousand young Canadians have benefitted from
the MusiCounts TD Community Music Program. Thousands more soon will.
TD recently doubled its support of MusiCounts, pledging $1,000,000 in total funding to support the MusiCounts TD Community Music Program projects selected in 2016 and 2017. Applications for the 2016 TD Community Music Program have now closed. Recipients will be selected by jury and announced this summer. We look forward to stories and sounds from next generations of budding Canadian musicians!