Josh McIndoe stands with his drum, at centre, in the Arbutus Mixtape Orchestra video entry for the 2017 CBC Canadian Music Class Challenge. Arbutus won the junior high category for instrumental though they did include some choral singing and indie-style ‘heys.’ Youtube screenshot

Arbutus, Campus View orchestras will air on CBC Olympic broadcast

Campus View enters two bids, both make top-10 of CBC Canadian Music Class challenge

Two Saanich schools are among the six winning entries for the 2017 CBC Canadian Music Class Challenge.

Both Arbutus middle school and Campus View elementary will have their versions of the CBC Olympic Theme aired on CBC during the PyeongChang Olympics in February. They’ll each receive a state-of-the-art classroom recording kit valued at more than $5,000.

Arbutus students erupted in applause and cheers when their principal made the announcement over the school PA system.

“The kids are over the moon, it’s crazy around here,” said Arbutus music teacher Michael Mazza. “It’s a nice injection of pride. People are enthusiastic about music in this school and this helps.”

It’s the second straight year winning for the Campus View Orffestra of Grade 4 and 5 students, while the Arbutus Mixtape Orchestra of Grade 7 and 8 students won on their first entry, an anthem style composition that uses indie-rock clapping and local First Nations drums.

Winners for the competition were announced on Dec. 15. There are only six, an instrumental and a vocal track for each of the high school, middle school/junior high and elementary levels.

The Arbutus Mixtape Orchestra video opens with Joshua McIndoe singing before it pans to the rest of the band, which slowly kicks in as the song builds with a catchy guitar riff by the jazz band guitarist. Then there’s indie-inspired claps and ‘heys,’ and the drums.

Mazza collaborated with Jennifer Hill, the other music teacher at Arbutus, on the track.

“Students made the drums here, and students and teachers have been taught the teachings of the drum [through the SD61 Aboriginal Nations Education District],” said Mazza. “We chose to use our student-made drums as a representation of the diversity of our school and our country.”

“I just loved the performance because it had so many fun and interesting things going on: singing, drumming, the funky guitar solo, clapping and the ‘heys’ all came together to provide a dynamic, multi-layered performance that was very entertaining and moving,” said Julie Nesrallah, one of the judges and host of CBC Radio’s Tempo.

Mazza said it was Campus View winning last year that inspired him and Hill to put together something at Arbutus.

Campus View won the elementary instrumental category in 2016 with their version of Shawn Mendes’s Stitches.

The effect of last year’s win was monumental for the school, as 117 Campus View students showed up to join Jody Onuma’s after school Orffestra band at the start of this year.

Onuma had so many students in the band she had to split the group into two.

What turned out to be the winning group was 20 children performing the instrumental version of the CBC Olympic theme. However, the other group, which was 95 students, also made the top-10 (out of 160 entries), entering into the vocal category.

“We are so proud of the kids and so excited to have two top 10 finishes,” Onuma said.

The 95-student Orffestra vocal group actually partnered with another 60 students from Quebec’s Honore Mercier elementary, using Facebook Live to rehearse together. Each group made their recordings to the same midi track and timing so that Mercier teacher George Anthopoulos, who reached out to Onuma for this collaboration in the summer, could blend the two performances onto the same video (the music itself is paired but not edited, per the rules).

Onuma started the Campus View Orffestra five years ago based on the Orff method of teaching music with xylophones and recorders. That first group of kids five years ago was just 17, then it grew to 40, before jumping to more than 100 this year.

reporter@saanichnews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

The Campus View Orffestra is a back-to-back winner in the CBC Canadian Music Class Challenge with their rendition of the CBC Olympic Theme. Photo submitted

Just Posted

Crews contain fire to attic of Central Saanich home

Firefighters are responding to a structure fire in Central Saanich

Oak Bay chief puts an end to dad jokes on police Twitter

No more jokes on Oak Bay Police Twitter account

First fall storm expected to hit Greater Victoria tonight

Heavy rainfall, winds expected over the next several days

Thieves harvest from 11 unlocked cars in Oak bay

Looting unlocked cars called ‘farming,’ says deputy chief

COVID-19: 4 more deaths, 366 new cases in B.C. since Friday

A total of 8,208 people in B.C. have tested positive for COVID-19 since January

POLL: Do you plan on allowing your children to go trick or treating this year?

This popular annual social time will look quite different this year due to COVID-19

B.C. could be without a new leader for multiple weeks after Election Day: officials

More than 20K mail-in voting packages were requested within a day of B.C. election being called

Cowichan Valley family overwhelmed with 14 Lab puppies

Litter may be one of the biggest ever

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Islands Trust Conservancy gets funding for protection of at-risk species

Conservancy manages habitat for more than 25 plant and animal species at risk

First full day of B.C.’s election campaign begins amid COVID-19 pandemic

B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson and the Green party’s Sonia Furstenau criticized John Horgan’s decision

Most Read