Kelowna Secondary School hosts jazz and vocal showcase

Click to play video: 'KSS jazz and vocal student showcase'
KSS jazz and vocal student showcase
Kelowna Secondary School music students took to the stage for a jazz and choir performance, showcasing their talents, after months of fine-tuning their skills. Jasmine King reports. – Feb 17, 2023

Kelowna Secondary School (KSS) music students took to the stage for a jazz and choir performance, showcasing their talents after months of fine-tuning their skills.

The stage was set for the students and special guests of Kelowna Secondary School and even the teachers felt a bit nervous before curtain call.

“It’s the excitement and you need a bit of jitters because that adrenaline help propels you through the evening,” said Sheila French, music co-director at KSS.

Thursday night was a music showcase for the jazz and vocal students of KSS.

“Grade 10, 11 and 12 and Cory and Champian will play with each group. Cory Weeds is a saxophone player from Vancouver and Champian Fulton is a vocalist and pianist from New York City,” said French.

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The students have been practicing their performance since the holidays and getting to perform alongside professional musicians gives them a chance to further improve their skills.

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“I look at these kids and I think also, too, what they have available to them now is so much different than what I had available to me when I was growing up. There’s so many talented young kids,” said professional saxophonist Cory Weeds.

“Love working with students and I grew up around this kind of environment and it’s always so exciting to see them having fun,” said jazz pianist Champian Fulton.

“I spent many years as a child with my father at these events watching him teach and perform with the students.”

The students are not only learning from the professionals, but taking part in the band program at KSS gives them a new appreciation for music.

“I just really like sitting back and enjoying what’s going on in the music. Jazz band has definitely helped me pick apart the different parts in music,” said Grade 11 student Ella Feldes.

“I like listening to music, I like playing music and it’s given me a better understanding of the music I listen to as well,” Grade 11 student Maia Embregts said.

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Concertgoers not only got to support the orchestra, but had the opportunity to help support the KSS music program with a silent auction.

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“We are hoping to raise quite a bit of money to help with purchasing new instruments, paying for workshops with clinicians and professional musicians brought into the school and anything else that we can manage,” French said.

The school is hosting another performance at the end of May and will welcome a different set of special guests.

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