Music is meant to be shared and last week 21 elementary schools did just that at the annual Vancouver School District Elementary Choral Festival. Over three evenings at John Oliver Secondary became centerstage where student performers showcased what they have been learning in the choral program in their schools.
The annual festival celebrates students' talents and accomplishments and seeks to share music across the District. Each choir that participates presents two of their favourite selections; and, all choirs must also master two pieces to sing altogether at the end of the evening – with only one rehearsal to prepare.
Each evening also featured one secondary school choir with the goal of showing students what they can achieve if they continue with their music studies. It is easy to notice the attentiveness and admiration elementary students exhibit when watching and listening to their older counterparts.
In addition, every year the event is adjudicated by a well-known choral director from the community. While the District has a non-competitive outlook and the focus is on musical sharing, it is always good for students to receive feedback so they continue to grow musically and build on their skills. This year, Tamara Hummel, a professional singer whose career includes performances with many of Canada's opera companies, orchestras and music ensembles in various genres, joined in to be a part of the celebration.
The Elementary Choral Festival supports the Vancouver Schools Music Teachers Association's work in creating scholarships for elementary and secondary students inmusic programs.