Jamieson Pops Orchestra performance “stunning”

The Jamieson Pops Orchestra has won its category in a national school music competition with an entry judges described as “stunning”.

In the Canadian Music Class Challenge, the CBC classed the orchestra from Dr Annie B. Jamieson Elementary as an entry in the Junior High School Instrumental category.

The 57 Grade 6 and Grade 7 students from Jamieson rose to the challenge, wowing the judges with their performance of Shawn Mendes’s Stitches.

“This class managed to make Bartok, Beethoven, Brahms and Mendes wish they were in that classroom playing an instrument! Just stunning,” said the judges.

At Jamieson, all students in grades 4 to 7 take strings, but the students in the Pops Orchestra put in extra hours before class to hone their performance.

Teacher James Colpitts, who conducted the orchestra and arranged the music, said the students’ consistency had given him a good feeling about their prospects when the orchestra had completed recording their entry.

“There were hundreds and hundreds of other entries and I knew we were up there, I knew we were in contention,” he said.

Colpitts said the excitement generated by the success had been infectious, with more than 60 Grade 4 and Grade 5 students asking for the sheet music for Stitches.

The school celebrated the win, which came with the reward of high-tech recording equipment and a commemorative plaque, with a special assembly in February.

“It gives us a huge sense of pride and accomplishment in our school, and it strengthens our community,” said principal Carrie Sleep. “It inspires our younger students to want to learn an instrument and to look forward to being in Grade 4 when they can get a violin or cello.”