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First-time jitters and final hurrahs: Belmont’s year-end concert

Some students have yet to perform in a year-end concert during their time at school
Stavros Chrysoulis will also be playing with smaller bands he’s formed with other students. (Bailey Moreton/News Staff)

Belmont Secondary is set to host its year-end concert, which is usually the culmination of many students’ musical careers. But this time around, it’ll be the first time many have taken part.

COVID has disrupted the school system for the past two years, meaning some students, like Grade 11 tenor sax student Jay Lausman, haven’t performed in a year-end concert.

“At the beginning of the year it was a lot harder to stay motivated because we weren’t sure if we were going to have a winter concert. But I think compared to then, we really have something to work for. So it feels a lot better to be in rehearsal,” said Lausman.

Rehearsals were a challenge at the beginning of the year, with COVID oddities like playing with masks and instrument covers becoming part of the routine.

Stavros Chrysoulis, a Grade 12 student who plays guitar, said it took a bit longer to get into the swing of things within rehearsals, but now the group has bonded, which helps on stage and off.

“As you build up that bond, you start understanding each other’s looks, even if someone messes up, you’re more likely to be able to feel that with them and go through the little scary part. But if that bond isn’t there, that’s very hard to achieve that level of locking in.”

Loosening COVID restrictions have allowed for more bonding opportunities, with bands from the school able to go on music trips to play in Port Alberni, Nanaimo and Abbotsford and play in festivals.

While some students may have first-time jitters, others will be taking their final bow at the concert, like Rachel Nordby, a Grade 12 student and vocal performer.

“It’s kind of scary because it’s ending. But I feel really fortunate that we got to do it, because I had a lot friends who were in Grades 11, and 12 when COVID happened, and they never got their year-end concert. So, I feel very fortunate and lucky that we get to do it. I’m probably going to cry.”

The concert is set to be held June 9.

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