SKSS Takes the Stage for Celebration of Learning

Posted On Tuesday June 21, 2022
SKSS Band Showcase
Members of the SKSS Jazz Band grade 10 alto saxophone player, Jack Schultz, grade 9 tenor saxophone player, Alana Kwok, and grade 8 baritone saxophone player, Ethan Hansen

The South Kamloops Secondary School (SKSS) Music Department held their June Showcase Concert on Wednesday, June 15, the first live show at the Sagebrush Theatre in over two years.

The large ensembles included the SKSS Semester 2 Grade 8 band, Senior Concert Band, and Jazz Band, as well as smaller group ensembles of Jazz Combo, Percussion Ensemble, Vocal Feature with Jazz Band, and Saxophone Quintet with vibes feature.

A total of 50 students took to the stage to demonstrate what they have learned, performing 23 pieces for the aptly named “Authentically Live” event.

“Our senior band performed seven selections including ‘Hesitation’ composed by grade 12 band student Leo Mete and a piece called ‘Sorrow’ written by Mizuki Ona, who is the sister of one of our grade 12 band students,” explained SKSS Music Director, Michelle McRae. The group also performed ‘Raven,’ an Indigenous piece written by composer Robert Buckley in honour of the Squamish Nation.

“For many students, this was their first live show due to COVID,” said McRae. “There was an incredible energy and the audience and the students were thrilled to engage in person.”

The Jazz Combo performed on stage but also delighted guests with several pieces in the lobby as patrons entered the theatre. Tables were set up for spectators to sit and have a cup of coffee while taking in music by Keenan Brulotte (tenor saxophone), Xavier Wallace (trumpet), Gerad Wingerak (bass), and Ethan Mori (drums).

“It was quite a hit and the crowd seemed very impressed,” said McRae.

Despite the two-year hiatus, music has continued to fill the SKSS halls thanks to the efforts of Chris Spanis, SKSS science teacher, who has spent countless hours creating recordings as a way to keep the momentum alive in the SKSS Music Department. 

Below is a piece called “Heat’s On” performed by the 21-piece grade 8-12 Jazz Band. Soloists are grade 10 student Keenan Brulotte on tenor saxophone and grade 10 student Elizabeth Pawliuk on piano.

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