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Online Edition of The Cardinal Times

The Cardinal Times

Online Edition of The Cardinal Times

The Cardinal Times

Who are Friends of Noise?

Friends of Noise
A band involved with Friends of Noise performs. Courtesy of Friends of Noise.

The youth music industry in Portland is supported by non-profit organization Friends of Noise. Friends of Noise seeks to provide music related educational skills and performance opportunities to youth in the Portland metropolitan area. They serve all youth, but focus on BIPOC and LGBTQ+ youth because those communities are often underserved.

Friends of Noise is developing an all-ages music ecosystem. They do this by providing four basic program tracks, according to executive director André Middleton.

The first track is education, where they teach young people the business side of the music industry including setting up public address (PA) systems, creating merch and making posters.

The second track is producing concerts and events, where young and developing musicians can put those skills to good use by either performing at events, or producing and doing the sound at those events, and sometimes both.

“This is the second step because it shows how maturity can come into play when knowing how to absorb knowledge and apply it to real-life situations,” says Middleton.

Friends of Noise’s third track is being a talent agency for young people.

“People are starting to come to us and say ‘Hey I’ve got this party and I want a teen band to perform, can you recommend?'” said Middleton.

The organization has started to book youth to perform as well as pay them for gigs and concerts because people see them as a resource. This not only gives more opportunities for Friends of Noise, but also for the young people they are helping and supporting.

Lucy Brewster, a musician and student at Grant High School, believes that the organization provides a great opportunity.

“Friends of Noise has allowed me to do the thing I love and get paid for it,” said Brewster. “I have met so many amazing youth artists through Friends of Noise and been introduced to such a wonderful community.”

The fourth and final track of Friends of Noise is that they are an incubator for supporting young artists and giving insights or advice.

“Without it, I don’t think my band would have half of the opportunities we have now,” said Brewster.

Friends of Noise emphasizes that their resource is not only for music, but to build comfort and community for youth.

“Music is my outlet to process my emotions,” said Brewster.

Middleton’s goal is for more youth to get involved with the organization and with producing and performing.

“[Friends of Noise] has a hope of amplifying and inspiring more young artists to find purpose and passion in performing and creating music all over the Portland metro area. We invite anybody and everybody to come watch,” said Middleton.

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Siri Lindsey
Siri Lindsey, Reporter
Siri is a sophomore this year. She is excited to write opinion stories this year!
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