Campus View students’ contest win music to their ears

A Campus View Elementary School band is among six winners announced Friday in the Canadian Music Class Challenge, a national contest that attracted more than 500 entries from across the country.

The Campus View group, known as the Orffestra Club, is made up of about 60 students. The win came in the elementary school instrumental category.

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“It’s a Grade 3 to 5 group and they meet at lunchtime once a week to rehearse,” said Jody Onuma, a music teacher at the Saanich school. “We worked together since October to prepare.”

Being chosen as a winner is a thrill for the students, she said.

“We’re very excited.”

The contest was put on by CBC Music and MusiCounts, a music-education charity.

Onuma said the name of the Campus View club refers to Orff music training for children, a method of instruction based on learning rhythms and movement.

She had planned to focus on recorders and xylophones when she started the group a few years ago, but students kept asking to play other instruments. Now the lineup includes ukuleles, violins, a string bass, a flute and piano.

The win means Campus View will receive more than $5,000 worth of equipment for a high-tech classroom studio, including a laptop computer, recording software, a keyboard, speakers and microphones. “That’s really neat for the school,” Onuma said.

A judges’ note praised the Campus View performance, saying: “It’s never easy to play together with such a large group. But these kids make it look effortless, and really fun!”

Contest participants, who were in elementary through high school, prepared a video of a performance of one of 15 songs by Canadians. The songs on the contest list included Adia by Sarah McLachlan, Ahead by a Century by the Tragically Hip and Stitches by Shawn Mendes — the song chosen by the Campus View group.

Bands, symphonies, choirs, dance troupes and more were all welcome to take part.

jwbell@timescolonist.com

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