Young local musicians perform with the Sooke Philharmonic

Journey middle school band and strings have concerts lined up

Journey middle school (JMS) Grade 8 strings (violin) students received a resounding round of applause after they performed on Oct. 26 and Oct. 27 with the Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra’s concert, “Celebration of Young Artists.”

Performing on stage with the orchestra were Arman Barzkar, Hunter Carda, Iris Cochrane, Alana Gibb, Elizabeth Spalding, Tekahra Tarnowski and Madison White.

Along with giving the young musicians a chance of a lifetime to perform on stage with them, the Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra supported the JMS music program by donating a portion of their profits to School Districts 61 and 62. Performing with a professional orchestra conducted by renowned conductor and musical director Norman Nelson was a fantastic experience for the young violists.

“The students have done a marvellous job of learning to play the violin under the expert teaching of Anne McDougall,” said Lorna Bjorkland, the musical director of JMS. McDougall is the concertmaster for the Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra as well as a a teacher at the Sooke Academy of Music.

It is going to be a busy year for the JMS band and strings musicians, as they are trying to raise both their community profile along with some funds. They will be performing at Ayre Manor this November and are open to any other ideas for places to perform in the community. Bjorkland said the band and strings are trying to raise money to maintain the string program and to have enough funds to go to the Nationals. JMS students did very well at the Regional Music competition in Port Alberni, they were all given an invitation to attend the Nationals, which will be held in Richmond in May of 2014.

The JMS strings students will perform at the Greater Victoria Police Choir concert on November 24 at 2 p.m., at the Lutheran Church of The Cross on Cedar Hill Road in Saanich. The Greater Victoria Police Chorus will be donating all their proceeds from this year’s concert to the JMS strings program.

The Grade 7 and 8 strings will be performing at the next Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra concert on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 at the Sooke Baptist Church on West Coast Rd.

Many of the music students’ parents and volunteers are now busy preparing for the big community Christmas concert that will be held at EMCS on Dec. 9. Last year’s concert was lots of fun and a big success, and hopefully this one will be even better.

Submitted by Deb Wood