The acapella group HOJA was at Eckville Elementary school on April 6 spreading a message of anti-bullying through song.
“We are an acapella group and we travel all over Canada,” performer Jesse Froese said. “We do a lot of school shows where we spread the word about the arts. We always want to put on a great a show. We do a lot of covers and Top 40 songs. Students definitely get into it.”
For HOJA, being able to share their musical gifts and also spread positive messages is what it is all about.
“We like spreading the arts and also showing that music can be cool, fun and also that guys can do it,” said Froese. “It can sometimes be not cool for guys to like singing as they’re growing up, so we want to show that it is okay and hopefully inspire them. We followed our dreams from when we were kids and hopefully they can as well.”
The message of the show, according to Froese, seems to get across.
“There is a high success rate,” he said. “Nine out of ten shows go great and we have a blast doing it. It is not just singing. There is a lot of talking, jokes and interaction. We also have a question and answer period where we talk about our experiences. We hope they have a good time.”
Being able to sing across the country is a boyhood dream for Froese.
“We love singing and sharing with any audience that is willing to listen,” he said. “Being on the road is a lot of fun. It is cool to drive all over Canada and meet a lot of people. When I was in Grade 4, I saw a HOJA show. The show has been around for over 20 years and I was sitting in the crowd thinking ‘I would love to do something like this. That would be so cool’. I am lucky enough to be able to do that now.”
Being able to share an anti-bullying message is important to the members of HOJA.
“We share our personal stories and some of the troubles we faced and the steps we have taken,” he said.