North Saanich's REACH! Children’s Ensemble, formed for a one-off event performance on Dec. 3 commemorating Human Solidarity Day, will continue with rehearsals set to start Jan. 19 at McTavish Academy of Art in North Saanich. (Photo courtesy of Peter Brimacombe)

North Saanich children ensemble to reach beyond one-off performance

REACH! Children Ensemble to resume rehearsals Jan. 19

A children’s ensemble initially created for a single event wants to keep going.

North Saanich’s REACH! Children’s Ensemble will rehearse Thursdays from 4:30 to 5:15 p.m. starting Jan. 19 at McTavish Academy of Art in North Saanich. Interested individuals can participate in a session or two before committing to the term.

The ensemble emerged in the fall of 2022 to perform at We Are One! 2022 show Dec. 3 commemorating Human Solidarity Day at Victoria’s First Metropolitan United Church. While most members of the band had never performed in public until then, their performance earned smiles and applause from an audience of some 500 people.

“(They) really made us all proud, and their performance included movement and some sign language with their singing,” said Anne-Marie Brimacombe, director. Accordingly, children and their parents have asked to continue the ensemble. “We’re happy to accept children, seven to 11 years, who love music,” she said.

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Children learn performance skills, vocal and choral technique and the importance of teamwork. Thanks to donations and grants, the ensemble does not charge for participation, but commitment to regular rehearsals and participation in performances is needed.

The REACH! Children’s Ensemble is just one of the programs of West Coast REACH! Association, a local charity celebrating inclusion and diversity through music and the performing arts.

Other REACH! groups include Victoria Diverse-City Singers, the Our Place OutREACH Singers and the REACH! Performing Co. The organization also provides early learning music programs for young children of refugees and new immigrants in Victoria.

Those wishing to learn more about REACH! or to try this program can email westcoastreach@gmail.com, phone Anne-Marie Brimacombe at (250) 882-4339 or check out www.westcoastreach.org.


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