Allie Mackilroy

Music students prepare to dazzle at winter concert

Break into song at the Belmont secondary school’s winter concert.

Break into song at the Belmont secondary school’s winter concert.

The annual show features the concert band, concert choir, two jazz bands, two vocal jazz ensembles, a rhythm and blues band, two small jazz ensembles and two student led combos taking the stage. More than 120 student musicians will perform, many in more than one group.

Vocalist Allie Mackilroy will perform in both vocal jazz ensembles, Vox and Saas. Vox is preparing “Go Tell It on the Mountain” by John Wesley Work, Jr. while Saas is set to perform “Fever” by Eddie Cooley and Otis Blackwell.

Now in Grade 12, Mackilroy began developing her craft in Grade 8 musical theatre and landed the lead in Belmont’s production of The Wizard of Oz, to be performed in April.

“I am very excited, they are always just so amazing,” said Mackilroy of her third and final winter concert.

Grade 11 student Ai Horton will perform with five different groups at the show: jazz band A, concert band, concert choir, rhythm and blues band and in a small jazz ensemble.

“I need to put some time in every day,” said Horton, who plays oboe, alto sax and piano, plus performs vocals.

The Colwood teen started piano lessons in Grade 2, but it was far from love at first note.

“As a child I hated piano lessons with a passion,” she said. As a Grade 7 student at Dunsmuir middle school, she added flute to her repertoire and began to love playing music.

Fellow former Dunsmuir student Tessa Thompson started playing trumpet in Grade 7, but recently added singing to her skill set. She’ll perform with the concert band, jazz band A and sing soprano in the concert choir.

“I’ve stuck with the trumpet because it just makes sense to me,” said Thompson. “I was very nervous to start singing though. I tried out for a vocal jazz group (in middle school) and it didn’t work out.”

Thompson is most excited for the concert band’s performance of The Lord of the Rings symphony.

“I am a big Lord of the Rings fan,” she said with a beaming smile.

According to tradition, the Belmont winter concert will end with a holiday sing-a-long.

The winter concert is Dec. 5 at 7 p.m. in the Spotswood gym at the school, 3067 Jacklin Rd.

“It’s a great show of the hard work our students have put into the first part of the year,” said music teacher Glenn Whitney.

Doors open at 6 p.m. and admission is by donation.