Sooke News Mirror
Educated in the Deep South in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, Melissa Edwards connected with the sultry sounds of the saxophone and felt her soul’s sound at the young age of 11.
Studying with some of America’s finest musical teachers, she attended Jacksonville State University in Alabama on a full, four-year saxophone scholarship. One of her honours was to be appointed section leader for Euphoniums in the Marching Southerners, famous for their precision and unique style.
An employee of the Sooke school district, she collaborated on music education projects for three years with Lorna Bjorklund, which she describes as an “amazing partnership.”
“We make a dynamic team and believe in fun, learning and progress,” she writes.
Together, they are melding their love for Sooke and music in the form of a Sooke Community Concert Band. Both women are passionate about creating musical opportunities in Sooke, leading and challenging with expert instruction, great encouragement and support.
“Sooke needs a community band. Langford and Victoria have their own, and it is time for Sooke to have its own,” said Edwards.
Originally intending to teach at affluent schools, Edwards gravitated toward less fortunate kids who bring with them a different musical energy. She feels called to help disenfranchised youth discover their ‘inner-musician.’ Although this is another of her motivations for starting a community band, she emphasizes that the band is open to anyone from age 13 to 99 with at least two years of musical experience.
“Even if it was 50 years ago, or you played in the 1930’s we want you to come out!” she exclaimed. “We want to create a comfortable atmosphere for learning and bringing together a community band, and offer high school kids another opportunity to play. Our goal is to have at least one song ready by Christmas” Edwards added.
The Sooke Community Concert Band starts on Monday, November 3, from 7 to 9 p.m. at Journey middle school, 6522 Throup Road.
Membership is $150 per year. For more information, please contact Melissa Edwards at firstname.lastname@example.org.