For nearly two decades, Dave Palmer has done everything in his power to put musical instruments in the hands of local kids. He now has another goal – to gather a few of the most talented local musicians and help them take the next step in their music careers.
“For the last 15 years, I’ve been helping kids get into music,” said Palmer, who founded the Walk the Beat organization for that specific goal. “Now they’re coming around, and there are kids who are really extremely talented. I never focused on the talented ones. It was just get them in, and if they want, they’ll work on it.
“This time, I said, ‘Now I’m going to work with kids who are really on top of it, who really want to excel in this,’” he said.
Palmer’s band, Five Strings Fusion, has four members already in place. The only thing missing is a singer/songwriter. Auditions for that spot will be held Sunday, Oct. 20, from 1-4 p.m. at Third Coast Recording in Grand Haven. Prospective lead singers will perform in front of a panel of judges, including Palmer, producer Bill Chrysler of Third Coast Recording, John Sinkevics of Local Spins entertainment and Tom Wall of the band Cosmic Knot.
Anyone interested in auditioning should sign up ahead of time online at fivestrandfusion.com.
Once the band is complete, Palmer has big plans for the five youngsters.
“We went out and raised funds so the band could afford assets necessary to put a good band together, like being able to pay a band director, being able to pay a social media person,” Palmer said. “These are things bands usually take on themselves, and then they can’t focus on the music.”
Palmer said the band will record an original song with Chrysler, who has done sound for such national acts as John Mayer, Bob Seger, Maroon 5, Prince and Madonna.
“Then we’ll be doing a music video and we’ll have some private concerts,” Palmer said. “Then we’ll be gearing up for the big concert, which we’re going to be doing at Lakeshore Middle School on Sept. 12, 2020.”
Palmer described the opportunity as a “fantasy camp for musicians.”
“You need to learn how to approach a microphone, how to start a show,” he said. “We’re trying to teach them how to perform.”