The last time Belmont Secondary School held a live concert, life as everyone knows it changed shortly after.
It was March 2020, just days before COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, sending the world into lockdown.
Flash forward to today and the school’s music department is gearing up to put on their first concert since that fateful time, and the excitement amongst band members is reaching a crescendo.
“Our Winter Concert is basically a cumulative performance from the first semester of the year,” said Grade 12 student Sadie Karlsson.
The concert features performances from the school’s bands, each with their own musical flavour. This year’s performance includes concert bands, a drum line, a jazz band, vocal jazz band, R&B band and several student-directed combo bands.
For Karlsson, a vocalist and french horn player in multiple bands, it’s the jazz selection she is most excited to perform.
Grade 9 student Presley Eberle will be performing bass guitar at her first high school concert as part of Band 9/10, with Forge of Vulcan being the piece she is most looking forward to.
“It’s a really fast-paced and exciting piece,” said Eberle. “I’m really excited I get to perform with everyone else and that I get to perform live. It feels unreal after the pandemic.”
Music director Mandart Chan said even though the school has done a good job of keeping musical performance alive during the pandemic – with plenty of virtual and recorded concerts being produced – the return to live performance is very much welcomed. He said in addition to the educational benefits, live performance is an important source of familiarity for both the students and the wider school community in uncertain times.
From an educational standpoint, Chan said live concerts allow the young musicians to perform together as part of one big show, rather than in the silos of rehearsals and classes. He said this allows the students to practice and use teamwork skills they wouldn’t otherwise.
Admission for the Dec. 8 show is free, but those looking to attend must register online for contact tracing purposes. Donations to the music department or for the Goldstream Food Bank will be collected.
Doors open at the Belmont Secondary School gym at 6:30 p.m., and the music starts at 7 p.m. Unlike in previous years, no formal intermission with refreshments will be held, though audience members are welcome to bring a bottle of water with them.