The Journey Middle School Band is making a name for itself.
Now it needs to find a way to pay for fruits of its success.
The band recently launched a GoFundMe page to help it raise the money needed to send 100 band members to Calgary for the National School Band competition.
It all started in April when the band returned from MusicFest, the regional band competition in Port Alberni, where all five groups of the band garnered invitations to compete in the National Competition in Calgary next year.
Later in April, at the Whistler Cantado Music Festival, the band received top honours with adjudicators describing their sound as “beautiful.”
“We were so surprised when they told us how well we’d done,” Stella Champagne, who plays the clarinet in the band, said. “I’m very excited at the chance to go to Calgary.”
That trip, however. doesn’t come cheap.
“It’s about $1,500 for each child to go, and of course, we want to be able to take as many children as possible,” band teacher Lorna Bjorklund said.
“The parents will be paying the bulk of those costs, and we have some local businesses that are supporting us. We’re also running a number of fundraising efforts and have launched the GoFundMe page. Hopefully we’ll be able to raise enough to represent Sooke really well at the Nationals. We’re a small community and it’s really special that we’ve been able to make this big a mark.”
The fundraising is critical, the mother of one band member said.
“This trip is over the budget for many of the children’s families. There’s a limit to what their parents can afford. It would be a shame if some couldn’t go because their families don’t have the money to send them, even after all the hard work they’ve put in,” Nadja Freund said.
Her son plays the flute and the baritone tuba, and Freund said his love of music has exploded during the time he’s been a band member.
The band recently thrilled Sooke residents at its Christmas concert, and on Friday it was invited to play at the B.C. legislature where band members were received by Sooke MLA and Premier John Horgan. Horgan also took the time to give the band members a tour of the building.
To donate to the band’s GoFundMe page, simply visit its site at gofundme.com/f/journey-middle-school-band-trip-to-nationals.