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Pumped up: Music award boosts morale at Terry Fox Elementary in Pierrefonds

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WATCH: A West Island elementary school has just won an award at a national singing contest. The competition involved hundreds of kids from across Canada. As Global’s Phil Carpenter reports, the exercise has helped boost morale at Terry Fox Elementary School in Pierrefonds – Dec 16, 2020

The Terry Fox Elementary School in Pierrefonds has just won an award in a national signing contest.

The school placed third in the 2020 elementary vocal grades four to six category of the Canadian Music Class Challenge, an annual competition sponsored by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

The competition involved hundreds of kids from across the country recording themselves on video performing songs.  Almost 100 students from Terry Fox School took part.

“Almost every single child is in that video from our school,” said principal Douglas Stewart.

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Last year, the school didn’t do so well.

“I know we didn’t come first second or third,” laughed Grade 5 student Matthew Nicol, 10, who took part this year.

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He and other students felt last year’s performance could have been better, so this year they set their sights on the prize.

“Because Mr. C looked at (last year’s performace) before and he was like, ‘ok we’re gonna win,’ ” said Nicol, “and we came third.”

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Mr. C is music teacher Corey Craigmyle, who explained that because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the kids couldn’t perform together like they normally would.

“We had to film them all separately and all individually,” he told Global News, “so it made the editing and all that more challenging.”

The result is a four-minite video of the students at the school performing the Sam Roberts tune, “We’re All in This Together.”  The students are proud of their performance.

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“I thought that we probably should’ve won,” said Kamille Vassell, 9, a Grade 4 participant.

“But it’s OK that they won, too,” she insisted, giggling.

Stewart believes the award has helped raise the spirits of the school community, because the year has been challenging.

“It has improved morale considerably,” he noted.

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Stewart added that educators are constantly making adjustments because of the pandemic.

“We’ve been very active throughout the school year since we came back in August,” he pointed out, “to keep our kids engaged.”

Eleven year-old Ashley Crone, a Grade 6 student who performed in the contest playing her own bass guitar, agrees that taking part in the project has helped by plugging some variety into their routine.

“We’ve had to go down, practice, learn things,” she told Global News.  “It’s just been a lot more fun.”

She and other kids are already thinking about the 2021 contest and preparing for it with Craigmyle.  They say they hope by then things will be back to normal.

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