ST. ALBANS — To embody the spirit of DJ A_Dog transcends being a musical mastermind or a multi-talented DJ within hip-hop culture. It means to share love and compassion with everyone you encounter, and express yourself in a way that exposes the natural state of who you are — nothing theatrical or manipulated, according to friends of the late DJ.

After Andy “A_Dog” Williams’ passing in 2013 at age 38 due to complications from a bone marrow transplant, the Friends For A_Dog Foundation was created to help give back to the community he cherished, and maintain his legacy. They have hosted bone marrow drives and fundraisers, an annual day to celebrate his life and established an annual scholarship for a graduating BFA-St. Albans senior, which is in its second year.

Now, A_Dog’s love of life and creativity are being shared with the middle school students from St. Albans City and Town Schools, who participated in the DJ Boot Camp from Feb. 27 to March 1 at the BFA-St. Albans Northwest Technical Center. As a collaborative effort between the Friends For A_Dog Foundation and school faculty, as well as numerous local working professionals in the music production field, the three-day intensive day camp aimed to help students explore music culture and what it takes to be a DJ. This is the first time the DJ Boot Camp has been held, but the creators look forward to continuing it in future years.

“We support local arts through education,” says Justin Remillard, one of the members of the foundation and creators of the day camp, as well as a close friend of A_Dog. Remillard and Matthew Robinson, aka “DJ Big Dog,” and Josh Kerman, aka “KermiTT” were the consistent musical contributors and counselors for the camp, with Robinson serving as head camp counselor. The trio spent the first day covering the basics of being a DJ, including scratching and creating sounds on a turntable.

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