Fifteen-year-old musicians Brooke Harel

Practice makes progress for Belmont bands

High school performers' first year-end concert at new high school set for Thursday

Brooke Harel enjoys coming to class every day.

The 15-year-old Belmont secondary student loves music and practices her new instrument, the trumpet, in the school’s spacious music room every day. Heading into tomorrow’s (June 9) first year-end concert at the new premises, the young Langford resident couldn’t be happier.

“It’s really fun. You’d think it would be a lot of work, but it’s not like bad work, it’s fun work,” she said.

“I’ve loved music for so long and I really do want to continue music with my life, so coming here every day is so amazing and really boosts my confidence.”

The 10th grader is one of dozens of students in six performance groups preparing for a concert that will introduce a number of twists to the traditional June program. Instead of the theatre, the two-venue performance begins in Belmont’s learning commons, which music director Mandart Chan said features impressive acoustics and visuals.

“Floor-to-ceiling windows overlook Langford Lake and up towards Westhills,” he said. “It doesn’t matter what the weather, that view is breathtaking every day. We thought it would be a great backdrop for some of our ensembles to perform in. Sound-wise, it’s a great place for a smaller recital and concert and a way to showcase the whole school, rather than to stay in the theatre the entire evening.”

Halfway through the concert, audience members and performers will make their way to the Belmont theatre for the second half of the evening.

Sooke resident Kigan Martin, also 15, looks forward to showcasing a music program that he commutes to participate in every day. The opportunity to perform and learn at the new school is worth the extra time before and after class, he said, adding that he hopes the public comes out to support the students who make it special.

“(It’s been) one of the best years of my life … I think that music has allowed me to actually view the world in a different way than I would have otherwise,” Martin said. “There is a lot of potential to spread a lot of happiness and joy through music.”

The concert gets underway at 7 p.m. at Belmont secondary, 3041 Langford Lake Rd. Tickets are available at the office during school hours.

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