Band students from 11 different schools in the Central Okanagan gave a musical performance in Kelowna on Sunday with all proceeds going to Ukrainian relief efforts.
Sunday’s musical performance at Prospera Place was the largest ever put on by the Central Okanagan School District, with 450 students playing the Canadian and Ukrainian national anthems as well as a song called Kyiv 2022, which was written as a tribute to Ukrainians.
The performance was described by one music teacher as ‘emotional.’ She added that while students spent countless hours preparing for the fundraising event, they also learned some valuable lessons because of it.
“One of the things I feel very strongly about as a music teacher is showing students that they can use their skills, their talent and their passion in life to do good in the world,” said Megan Frederick, Okanagan Mission Secondary School, music teacher.
“Showing them that even when we’re faced with a mass crisis like what’s happening in Ukraine, one small effort can actually go a long way.”
Students who took part in the event felt proud that their musical talents were able to make a difference in a country that desperately needs help.
“I think it was really inspiring to be a part of something like this, and the fact that it was so much bigger than ourselves, it was really cool to be a part of,” said Grade 11 student Megan Lee.
“I think it feels really good to see everybody coming together to support such a good cause and seeing people actively participating in the community,” said Grade 11 students Liam Sisson.
“It just feels really good to be able to perform and show all of our skills.”
With the band consisting of 450 members, the students hadn’t rehearsed for the show as one unit until half an hour before the show, so for some students, it was a huge relief to finally play together.
“We just couldn’t wait to get together with everyone and see what it sounded like because we all have been with smaller bands,” said Grade 11 student Tennessee Torres.
“Being able to play with this many people since the pandemic has been really great.”
After the show ended, the event level at Prospera Place opened for all in attendance to walk around and enjoy a vendor fair complete with local artisans, crafters and other small-business merchants. Local food trucks were set up outside the venue. Both the indoor and outdoor vendors will be donating a portion of their proceeds to the Ukrainian relief effort as well.
To donate to the effort visit www.gofundme.com