My name is Jason, and I have been a member of the Selkirk Music Program for 5 years. Throughout this time I have participated in upwards of 30 concerts, four musicals, 20 or more trips, and have lost a total of approximately 900 hours more sleep than the average student. Was it worth it though? My answer to that is “entirely”. In my journey through this program my musical ability has improved, sure, but the most valuable aspect for me was a much-needed welcoming community of students and staff. Picture me, a grade 8 boy, moving up to high school, and not having a clue what to expect. I arrive at my first music class and instantly feel like I have found something. It helped me boost my confidence, learn respect and core values, and become an overall better person.
I have played in four school musical productions: Legally Blonde, Beauty and the Beast, Rent, and the upcoming Bring It On. Musicals have been a major part of the program for me. There’s something incredible about putting hundreds of hours of work towards something, and then getting to present something you are proud of to your community. They are also a valuable cultural experience. Getting into a character, learning their struggles, and having to sympathize with their situation allows for a lot of personal growth. Being onstage was naturally out of my comfort-zone at first, but being a part of these musicals has taught me self-confidence, and completely destroyed my performance anxiety.
The band and choir are the foundation of the program. We arrive at school at an hour early in order to take one or both of these classes. While we do learn valuable music techniques, I believe the most important lesson to be learned is respect. The program is built on respect for diversity, respect for one another, respect for everyone’s input, and respect for yourself. I have personally improved my time management, understanding of global issues, and my interpersonal skills.
Next month, the program is putting on a show, and I don’t think I’m wrong in saying that this is the most difficult venture we have ever pursued. The show is called Bring It On, and I won’t say too much about it other than it involves a lot of singing, dancing, and cheerleading. It’s loosely based off of the early 2000’s movie of the same name. It is showing 7 pm April 11-14 at McKim Theatre. Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for students and seniors, and $10 for children under 10. They are available at Selkirk Secondary and Snowdrift Cafe in Kimberley, and Lotus Books in Cranbrook. I highly recommend you come and see this show. The whole cast has worked incredibly hard on it, and it’s going to be a blast.
If you are a student going to Selkirk next year with any kind of interest in music, I strongly encourage you to join this program. My experience with it has been incredible, and I’m sure yours will be too!