The vocalist and bassist of American pop rock band, Lifehouse, is adding his voice to a tsunami of residents opposing proposed cuts to the Greater Victoria School District music programs.
Victoria-born Bryce Dane Soderberg is probably best known for his band’s early 2000s hits Hanging by a Moment and You and Me. Several of their other songs have been featured in shows like One Tree Hill and The Vampire Diaries.
Little known to many, is that Soderberg got his start in Greater Victoria elementary and middle school music classes.
“I owe my career and life purpose to music education,” he wrote in a photo posted to Instagram on Monday, before thanking the two teachers who helped him along the way. “I am grateful for my teachers.”
In the post accompanying the photo, Soderberg continued to call out SD61 for proposing to cut middle and elementary school music.
“There is no way kids from my hometown should lose the privileges that myself and thousands of others have had at that formidable age,” he wrote. Besides himself, other big names to originate from Victoria include Hot Hot Heat, Nelly Furtado and David Foster.
“I hope that the Victoria school system will reconsider and CONSIDER the future of the children they claim to ‘serve and support to reach their full potential’,” Soderberg finished.
The SD61 Board of Education is neck-deep in determining how to balance its 2021/22 budget, featuring a controversial $7 million deficit. Perhaps the most ire-inducing part of it for the community has been a proposed $1.5 million cut to music programs, which would eliminate them from elementary and middle schools, leaving only a Grade 8 band class.
Other cuts would hit vice-principals, clerical staff, literacy programs and supports for students requiring alternative education plans.
The district has stressed that the draft budget is only that, a draft, but that the cuts must come from somewhere. The board is scheduled to have a completed version by the end of May and people can provide their input before then through an online survey at surveymonkey.com.
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