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Arbutus students win a top prize at Canadian Music Class Challenge

The annual contest is run by CBC Music in partnership with the charitable organization MusiCounts.
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Arbutus Middle School music students performing Share the Land for CBC’s 2023 Canadian Music Class Challenge. ARBUTUS MIDDLE SCHOOL VIA YOUTUBE

Students from Arbutus Middle School in Saanich have won the top prize in its category in the 2023 Canadian Music Class Challenge and will receive $3,000 in new musical instruments and a commemorative plaque.

Their performance of the Guess Who’s Share the Land nabbed the win in the junior vocal category for Grades 7 to 10.

Last year, Arbutus made it as a finalist but did not place in the top three.

The annual contest is run by CBC Music in partnership with the charitable organization MusiCounts.

In a statement, competition judge Heidi Wood, choral director at Calgary’s Joane Cardinal Schubert High School, congratulated students and staff at Arbutus for their level of performance and professionalism. “Your clever arrangement allowed for both singers and instrumentalists to shine and I loved the nod to [Johann] Pachelbel.”

“Arbutus Global Middle School, you should be very proud. You left it all on the floor with heart, poise and confidence in this wonderful performance,” Wood said.

To qualify for the competition, music teachers at the elementary, middle and high school level were asked to submit videos of their students performing selections from a list of 26 pre-approved songs, including hits by Neil Young, Gordon Lightfoot, Carly Rae Jepsen and others.

Students of Comox’s École Robb Road Elementary School won second place in the primary vocal category for students kindergarten to Grade 3 for the second year in a row.

mjlo@timescolonist.com