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Pathways to Rock – supporting a mother’s passion and perseverance

Photo of NSCC Music Arts student, Thaydra G., the first recipient of the Pathways to Rock Award
Meet Thaydra G., an NSCC Music Arts student and the first recipient of the Pathways to Rock Award.

Uplifting community

Inspired by his own experiences, Chris Murdoch, a musician, activist and NSCC employee, strives to combat stereotypes that Black men and women face in the Nova Scotia music industry by creating the Pathways to Rock Award. "This award provides another avenue for students from my community to gain funding and support to help them achieve their educational goals," said Chris. The award is made possible through Chris' passion for uplifting his community and donor support from NSCC's alumni.

The first recipient of this award is Thaydra G., an NSCC Music Arts student, and a mother who's driven by her passion and love for music, and especially her son. "Music has always been in my blood. I started singing at a very young age in the children's choir at my father's church. I didn't know much, but I definitely knew that music made me feel good." said Thaydra, expressing her love for music.

Her NSCC journey started when she enrolled in NSCC's Academic and Careers Connections program. She called it the perfect steppingstone to know she was ready to follow her dreams of pursuing NSCC's Music Arts program for herself, and her son. After being accepted into the Music Arts program in 2021, she said it was an honour and a privilege that she doesn't take lightly.

I have been through so much and have worked so hard to make sure that I accomplish all my dreams. And I truly believe that this opportunity will give me all of the tools I need to do so.

Thaydra G.
NSCC Music Arts Student, Pathways to Rock Award Recipient

But, with a young family, there is added financial stress on her journey. Through her perseverance and belief in herself, she received the Pathways to Rock Award, making her the first student impacted by Chris’ award. "This award means so much to me. This contribution to my education is just what I need to give me that extra push to succeed,” said Thaydra.

I’m absolutely elated that Thaydra is the first-ever recipient of this award. I’m happy for this award to be won by any Black student involved in the writing and/or performance of music, period. Still, it is particularly exciting to see a winner with such a specific career goal.

Chris Murdoch
NSCC Student Services Advisor, Creator of the Pathways to Rock Award

Inspiring impact

Thaydra plans to use the award to complete her studies and use it as an opportunity to take her career to bigger heights to support her family. Her dream is to perform on a Broadway stage, portraying different types of characters and their emotions through music, and inspire people the same way she was. Through the support of the award, she feels that the Music Arts program at NSCC will prepare her for more complex and challenging theatre programs to follow her dream.

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