Songs of the Season Celebrates the GNS Community
On December 13, the GNS community gathered at the University of Victoria’s Farquhar Auditorium for the first annual Songs of the Season band and choir concert.
GNS students from Grades 2 to 12 put on a fantastic performance to showcase the results of their hard work over the last few months.
“We haven’t had the opportunity to bring everyone under one roof in a long time,” said Head of School Mr. Chad Holtum. “We had the opportunity to show the community the spirit of GNS and how strong it is. The 1,300-seat auditorium was completely reserved for the school and you could feel the warmth of the community.”
This whole school community event brought students from the Junior, Middle and Senior Schools and their families together under one roof, which isn’t an easy feat. While each group was performing, their peers were able to listen and watch and celebrate the moment with them.
“It was a chance for our youngest students to see a bit into their future, and for the Class of 2023 to be reminded of their past,” said Mr. Holtum.
Earlier in the year, the Arts Department wanted to come up with a way to showcase the musical accomplishments that the students have made during the Fall Term. By including elements of the Service of Nine Lessons and Carols and the Winter Wonderland band concert, they were able to combine them and create a new tradition with the Songs of the Season.
“We really wanted to get our community to gather together from across the whole school,” explained Mr. Steve Thompson, Head of Arts and Band Teacher. “We traditionally held two different musical events in December, each featuring similar repertoire, so we decided to merge them and have one event to celebrate everything.”
Choir students sang a variety of songs, with many of the choirs collaborating to sing pieces together. The songs they sang included Six White Boomers, Perfect Christmas Night and Welcome the Holidays.
“For the Junior School choirs, Mr. Rafe Haines, Music Teacher, had the idea to approach it using a holidays around the world perspective,” said. Mr. Thompson. “You could see that in the repertoire that was very diverse as it represented Australia, Japan and Africa. Mr. Haines wanted to celebrate that we are an IB World School and share what seasonal celebrations look like outside of Victoria.”
The GNS bands played beautiful renditions of many popular songs including Jingle Bells, The Nutcracker Suite and—a GNS favourite—Sleigh Ride.
“It was a neat experience for the kids,” added Mr. Thompson. “I don’t think there are many opportunities for them to play for an audience of over 1,000 people.”
Congratulations to everyone that helped put together such a wonderful community experience!
We wish to acknowledge and respect the Lekwungen-Speaking Peoples on whose traditional territory we stand, and the Songhees, Esquimalt and Wsáneć Peoples whose historical relationships with the land, where we live, work, play and learn, continue to this day.