A Winnipeg teen is about to be schooled in rock ‘n’ roll, as he hits the road on tour with 165 young musicians from around the world.
Gabriel Mignot is the only Canadian selected for the tour out of 30,000 students with the School of Rock. The music education group runs camps, lessons and performance programs at locations in nine countries including Canada, the U.S., South Africa, Australia and Chile.
“I feel very excited, because for me … like you say, an opportunity of a lifetime,” said Mignot.
The 17-year-old moved to Canada from Brazil two years ago and started playing guitar when he was 7.
“I always liked it,” he said. “Before that, there was a game called — I don’t know if you know it — Guitar Hero,” he said. “I played lots of Guns ‘n’ Roses songs.”
When he arrived in Winnipeg, Mignot said the School of Rock helped him branch out, musically and socially.
“It was very good, because … I met a lot of people there. Before, I didn’t know anybody to play with me, jam with me,” he said. “It was very good, because I learned a lot of different styles of music, working on my versatility.”
As part of the school’s All Stars tour, Mignot and the other qualifying students will play 34 shows in 29 U.S. cities. The tour will begin on July 21 and end with performances at the massive Lollapalooza festival in Chicago from Aug. 3 to 6.
“It’s one of those extremely proud moments that it kind of reiterates what you’re doing it for, right?” said Mike Reis, the music director for School of Rock in Winnipeg.
Reis said the tour will give Mignot a taste of the musician’s life.
“It’s going to be the greatest boot camp that any of them could experience,” he said. “This is going to be what it’s going to be like if you want to do this outside of high school, if you want to do this professionally, for a career.”