At Folk Army, what we’re most proud of is how our soldiers use music, empathy, and togetherness to strengthen their communities, grow closer to one another, and become brave, confident people. In this blog post, we’ll highlight a variety of Folk Army’s troopers that have seen success in their personal lives and beyond thanks to the program, and display just some of the opportunities and successes that experienced members or new recruits can discover through the program. Each of these girls is exceptional not only for their musical ability, but because they embody the Folk Army spirit of kindness, bravery, and enthusiasm.
Lauren Neilson — 15
Lauren is a guitarist who, in addition to performing a selection of covers, loves to write and perform her own songs, and has been an amazing leader for younger girls in the Folk Army program. Lauren has performed at a variety of venues across the Stratford area and Ontario, and has become a local icon for her musical talent, guidance and leadership abilities, and eagerness to involve herself in her community. Lauren is inspired by music’s power to connect people, and hopes to continue developing her musical career and those of others in the future.
Violet McCabe — 14
Violet is a 10th-grade student and ukulelist who is known for performing at local events like the Kiwanis Music Festival, the Stratford Farmers’ Market, and various community functions. Violet’s calm, cool personality has made her a patient and tolerant junior leader at Folk Army’s Day Camps, and allows her to make connections and friendships with other Folk Army soldiers easily. Violet is passionate about writing her own songs and practicing her music independently, and enjoys demonstrating her musical talent to her friends and community. Through the healing relationships she made in the Folk Army program, Violet has overcome performance nerves to establish herself as an active member of her community.
Aviva Goad — 10
Aviva is currently a sixth-grade student, but has been an active and enthusiastic dancer since the age of three at Stratford’s On Stage Dance Studio. This past winter, Aviva performed her first ballet solo in five competitions, stunning her audience and earning her a spot in the Bolshoi Ballet program in New York City. Aviva’s other creative passions include singing, songwriting, and playing the guitar, and, with an ethereal vocal signature, Aviva has solidified a style all of her own. Aviva is a truly talented songwriter and performer that, through the Folk Army program, has employed her compassion and empathy abilities to the benefit of her colleagues, and has thoroughly rounded-out her artistic potential.
Lucy Chung — 13
Lucy is a vibrant and multi-talent trooper with a passion for ukulele, piano, singing, dancing, and baking. Through the Folk Army program, Lucy was given the opportunity to perform in the Stratford Festival’s 2019 rendition of Billy Elliot, and has gained a deeper interest in strengthening and employing her ukulele skills. Lucy possesses a strong musical and creative foundation, and has been inspired by her connections built in Folk Army to seek out new songs and create new compositions to play for her family and friends.