Year End Concert Showcases Resilience for VSS Band and Choir

Posted On Thursday June 10, 2021
VSS concert choir
The VSS concert choir, with their director Jaymi Daniels on the stage at the Sagebrush Theatre while recording their final concert of the year.

The Valleyview Secondary School Senior Concert Band and Concert Choir final concert of the year will be available on YouTube on Monday June 14 at 7:00 PM. The students took over the stage at the Sagebrush Theatre to record their final concert of the year in mid-May.

“This concert is the culmination of a year’s worth of hard work and dedication,” said VSS Music Director Jaymi Daniels. “The students in both ensembles followed strict safety protocols and showed resilience in the face of major challenges every day.”

There are 33 students in the band and 29 students in the choir, with 18 students who were in both groups. Senior band students are primarily in grades 10-12, with four grade 9s. In the choir they range from grades 8-12.

Both groups played a variety of music across all genres and styles.

“We recorded 19 pieces in total,” said Daniels.

Choir selections included the Canadian Folk Song Blackfly written by Wade Hemsworth, which talks about the prevalence of the blackfly in North Ontario, music from the motion picture A Star Is Born and a version of the New Zealand sea shanty The Wellerman, made recently famous on TikTok, and arranged by Daniels.

Band selections included English Folk Song Suite by R. Vaughn Williams which is a concert band classic and features a compilation of popular English Folk Songs, The Nine by Randall Stanridge which is a massive 10-minute work written about the end of segregation in U.S. schools, and some lighter pieces like Adele in Concert, which features three of the most popular songs written by the British singer/songwriter.

“This year has been very difficult, for everyone of course, but throughout the course of the year, music students encountered many different challenges,” said Daniels. “We had to find an alternative space to practice that was big enough to hold our entire group while remaining safely and physically distanced, which also meant that for every rehearsal we had to move all of our equipment in and out of that space. Because the space was not meant for music, it posed acoustic challenges as well.”

Due to cohort restrictions, music classes had to be held outside of the timetable, which meant many of the students were attending classes before and after school four days a week, in addition to their regular schedule.

“This posed challenges with transportation, increased workload and very long school days. However, we are grateful that we found a way to have music safely in our school,” Daniels said. “Despite everything they were able to learn, create, problem-solve, and thrive.

“I can tell by working with these amazing young people every day that the future is bright.”

The concert was captured by sound engineer Doug Perry, of Perry’s Recording Studio and videographer Christo Vutev of Vutev Video. If you missed the link above, here it is again: Valleyview Secondary School Final Concert 2020/2021.

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