Small but mighty singers will perform Salmon Arm at the National School Music Challenge – Salmon Arm Observer


Small but mighty singers will gather downtown at the giant treble clef of Salmon Arm later this month to present their entry into a national classroom music challenge. And they won’t do it alone.

Bastion Elementary is one of the schools participating in this year’s CBC Music Class Challenge. For the competition, schools are given a list of music by Canadian artists to choose from. One of the options in particular, Ginalina’s Small But Mighty, immediately struck a chord with Bastion music teacher Shannon MacLachlan.

“I hadn’t even clicked on it before I thought, well, it’s Salmon Arm, because our city’s tagline is Small City, Big Ideas,” MacLachlan said. “So I listened to the song and liked it right away, it was the right level for a number of my classes and I thought they would enjoy it, it’s really catchy.”

An idea began to take hold, MacLachlan explained. It was an opportunity for his students to do something big – the musical entrance to Bastion could also be an opportunity to present Salmon Arm and its music scene, using the giant treble clef sculpture as a backdrop .

“The kids are going to be the main piece of the song… but we thought we would invite other people to come join us, sing our song with us and get everyone together under the treble clef,” MacLachlan said.

Selected musicians, city councils, school board members and others are invited to join the music students on the day of the recording to sing the last verse of the song.

COVID-19 health and safety protocols will be in place and participants have been asked to maintain a minimum distance of two meters from students, or to be masked if they are at that distance.

Supporting the project, city council agreed to temporarily close Lakeshore Drive in front of the treble clef, as well as Alexander Street between Lakeshore and Hudson Avenue, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Thursday, October 28.

MacLachlan said his music students were “more excited” about their next performance.

“These kids light up when they sing the song,” MacLachlan said. “It gives them confidence… And they’re actually doing a powerful act that’s going to be part of something really big and it always feels good to be a part of something really positive.”

While the CBC Music Class Challenge might be the spark behind this year’s Bastion Elementary entry, the goal, at least for MacLachlan, is to show kids the power of music and how it can unite people.

“People can come together and whether they’re singing or not, they’re going to listen and enjoy and watch and inspire and that’s really the message I hope to get to the kids and everyone who watches the show as well,” he said. MacLachlan said.

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