Josh McIndoe stands with his drum, at centre, in the Arbutus Mixtape Orchestra video entry for the 2017 CBC Canadian Music Class Challenge. Arbutus won the junior high category for instrumental though they did include some choral singing and indie-style ‘heys.’ Youtube screenshot

Arbutus, Campus View orchestras will air on CBC Olympic broadcast

Campus View enters two bids, both make top-10 of CBC Canadian Music Class challenge

Two Saanich schools are among the six winning entries for the 2017 CBC Canadian Music Class Challenge.

Both Arbutus middle school and Campus View elementary will have their versions of the CBC Olympic Theme aired on CBC during the PyeongChang Olympics in February. They’ll each receive a state-of-the-art classroom recording kit valued at more than $5,000.

Arbutus students erupted in applause and cheers when their principal made the announcement over the school PA system.

“The kids are over the moon, it’s crazy around here,” said Arbutus music teacher Michael Mazza. “It’s a nice injection of pride. People are enthusiastic about music in this school and this helps.”

It’s the second straight year winning for the Campus View Orffestra of Grade 4 and 5 students, while the Arbutus Mixtape Orchestra of Grade 7 and 8 students won on their first entry, an anthem style composition that uses indie-rock clapping and local First Nations drums.

Winners for the competition were announced on Dec. 15. There are only six, an instrumental and a vocal track for each of the high school, middle school/junior high and elementary levels.

The Arbutus Mixtape Orchestra video opens with Joshua McIndoe singing before it pans to the rest of the band, which slowly kicks in as the song builds with a catchy guitar riff by the jazz band guitarist. Then there’s indie-inspired claps and ‘heys,’ and the drums.

Mazza collaborated with Jennifer Hill, the other music teacher at Arbutus, on the track.

“Students made the drums here, and students and teachers have been taught the teachings of the drum [through the SD61 Aboriginal Nations Education District],” said Mazza. “We chose to use our student-made drums as a representation of the diversity of our school and our country.”

“I just loved the performance because it had so many fun and interesting things going on: singing, drumming, the funky guitar solo, clapping and the ‘heys’ all came together to provide a dynamic, multi-layered performance that was very entertaining and moving,” said Julie Nesrallah, one of the judges and host of CBC Radio’s Tempo.

Mazza said it was Campus View winning last year that inspired him and Hill to put together something at Arbutus.

Campus View won the elementary instrumental category in 2016 with their version of Shawn Mendes’s Stitches.

The effect of last year’s win was monumental for the school, as 117 Campus View students showed up to join Jody Onuma’s after school Orffestra band at the start of this year.

Onuma had so many students in the band she had to split the group into two.

What turned out to be the winning group was 20 children performing the instrumental version of the CBC Olympic theme. However, the other group, which was 95 students, also made the top-10 (out of 160 entries), entering into the vocal category.

“We are so proud of the kids and so excited to have two top 10 finishes,” Onuma said.

The 95-student Orffestra vocal group actually partnered with another 60 students from Quebec’s Honore Mercier elementary, using Facebook Live to rehearse together. Each group made their recordings to the same midi track and timing so that Mercier teacher George Anthopoulos, who reached out to Onuma for this collaboration in the summer, could blend the two performances onto the same video (the music itself is paired but not edited, per the rules).

Onuma started the Campus View Orffestra five years ago based on the Orff method of teaching music with xylophones and recorders. That first group of kids five years ago was just 17, then it grew to 40, before jumping to more than 100 this year.

reporter@saanichnews.com

 

The Campus View Orffestra is a back-to-back winner in the CBC Canadian Music Class Challenge with their rendition of the CBC Olympic Theme. Photo submitted

Just Posted

Search and rescue look for missing man

Canoe and paddle reported adrift; thought to belong to James Milto, 40

Give fish in Millstream Creek a step up

Groups hope to build fish ladder on Atkins Road culvert

New Student Ranger Program to start this summer

Goldstream Provincial Park is one of the sites the program will take place

Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations open new RV Park

Both Nations excited about new economic venture

Saanich homeowner feels harassed over unsightly premises dispute

Staff recommending council declare the items on Whiteside Road property be declared a nuisance

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

Prankster broadcasts fake nuclear threat in Winnipeg

The audio recording on Sunday warned of a nuclear attack against Canada and the United States

ICBC reform aims to slow rising car insurance costs

‘Pain and suffering’ payouts to be capped, major injury limit to double

Saskatchewan introduces law to allow control of oil, gas exports

The Prairie province has already said it is supporting Alberta in a dispute with B.C. over the Trans Mountain pipeline

Galllery: Saanich athletes lead the way at Lower Island track meet

High school track and field season underway

Renewed plea for answers in 40-year-old B.C. cold case

The family of Lawrence Wellington Allard is hoping a private reward will get them some closure

UPDATED: Arrest made after van hits pedestrians in Toronto

Police are not saying what is the extent of injuries yet

B.C. farmland values grew at slower rate in 2017: report

Vancouver Island saw the highest growth in the province

Lt. Governor back in the saddle, with a legacy of land stewardship

Judith Guichon ends term today, returns to Nicola Valley ranch

Most Read