Lorna Bjorklund

Sooke music students off to national competition

Grade 7-12 band earns an invitation to prestigious event

Last May you heard about how music students from Journey Middle (JMS) and Edward Milne community schools had been extremely successful when they attended MusicFest Canada in Vancouver, a national music competition attended by 450,000 students from across the country. They were so successful in fact, that they are now beginning the journey toward their goal of performing at nationals again.

On April 8, 2015 the Sooke bands and orchestras returned home from an amazing day at the Vancouver Island Concert Band & Orchestra Festival in Port Alberni. This is a regional competition where the music students perform in the hope of earning a place at the national competition. The children also attend workshops with tutors who are experts in their field, helping the students to become more skillful musicians.

This was a climax to months of dedication and practice, seeing music students from both schools, coming together every week to facilitate learning and promote advancement. This was a great learning experience, especially for those students who began their musical studies in September of last year.

Sooke was well represented at the festival with three school bands, a string orchestra and an ensemble. Lorna Bjorklund, JMS music teacher, enlightens us by saying, “It is satisfying and wonderful to see the program grow from 25 students to 87 students in band and strings from grades 6-12 and a privilege to have the opportunity to work with the youth in Sooke.”

The Grade 6 band, which performed at Level 2, was conducted by Lorna Bjorklund. This band only began playing together in October of last year and was awarded Excellent for their performance. Judges praised them for their remarkable progress in such a short time.

The Grade 7-12 band, a collaboration of both schools, also performed at Level 2 and received a Superior rating which earned them an invitation to the Nationals. This group was again conducted by Lorna Bjorklund.

The Grade 9-12 band performed at Level 3 with some very challenging music pieces. This group was conducted by EMCS music teacher Laurel Parliament and was awarded Excellent for their performance.

The Journey String Orchestra is comprised of JMS students in Grades 7-8. This group was conducted by Mary Clarke, a very special volunteer, and they were awarded Superior rating which also earned them an invitation to the Nationals.

The Journey String Ensemble, five students from Grade 8, received a Superior rating for their performance earning them an invitation to the Nationals, again, conducted by Mary Clarke.

“From Journey’s beginning band and strings to our combined ‘Sooke intermediate’ and ‘Sooke Senior Concert Bands’, the student musicians represented Sooke with musicality, decorum on stage and listening and learning skills in the workshops… well done,” applauded Laurel Parliament.

One parent chaperone on the day spoke of how much pleasure it was to watch the children performing and to see how proud they were of themselves, and what they had achieved.

Parents and family were treated to a polished concert by these students on April 23, 2015. The students performed the musical pieces they had played at Port Alberni, which got them such wonderful results. As a parent of two music students… we are truly blessed.

It must be acknowledged that without the care of the Sooke community, showing your moral and financial support in attending local fundraising performances and concerts, a trip to a regional and national competition would not be possible.

If these  great ambassadors for Sooke, and wonderful group of students, could have one wish, it would be that the community continue to support fundraising efforts, attend concerts, and continue to support them in their ongoing future music education.

Well done Sooke music students!

Joanne Baines

Just Posted

Final key components for Johnson Street Bridge installed this weekend in Victoria

Dynamic Beast crane barge arrives back in town on Friday

Wind warning in effect for Greater Victoria

Strong winds could reach up to 80 km/hr along coastal areas

Heavy snowfall closes Mount Washington for the day

Road to ski resort deemed unsafe, “high avalanche danger”

Whisky society commits to charity donation in wake of whisky raids

Refund of Victoria Whiskey Festival tickets won’t impact charity beneficiaries

Victoria housing provider launches crisis prevention program to combat homelessness

Pacifica Housing aims to address challenges before tenants risk evictions

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Philadelphia Eagles headed to Super Bowl

After routing the Minnesota Vikings 38-7, they will face Tom Brady and the New England Patriots

VIDEO: Dramatic video shows return of rescued B.C. snowboarders

Two snowboarders were rescued near Rossland, B.C. on Sunday after being lost overnight.

Tom Brady leads Patriots back to Super Bowl, top Jaguars 24-20

New England to face winner of Sunday night’s game between Minnesota and Philadelphia on Feb. 4

Vessel washed ashore in Campbell River during last night’s storm

A vessel appears to have gotten loose and washed to shore on… Continue reading

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Final phase of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy trials to kick off in B.C.

Doctors hope to get psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy legalized in Canada and the U.S. by 2021

WHL winning streak ends at four in Kelowna for Victoria

Royals lose 8-4 as Rockets explode offensively

Most Read