|G Major, St. George's School of Montreal|
You heard me.
It exists in Canada...in real life, not just on television.
I know this because my kid is in a glee club at her school. G Major, to be exact. I thought that was pretty cool, especially when she made it onto their national team.
But I still did not really understand what she was becoming a part of.
Now? After a weekend spent immersed in joyful song and dance? I get it.
It has been a long time since I have been surrounded by artsy types. I do not just mean hipsters hanging in galleries...I mean individuals who live and breathe their art. Yeah, yeah...it is just Glee, you might be saying.
But it is not.
The environment that I got to be a part of in Toronto last weekend is one that I have not experienced since existing in a dark room as a Cegep student, anticipating what would emerge, created, from the trays, and the excitement ( and potential disappointment ) that that moment held.
This weekend there was song, and there was dance but there was also passion and discipline and mistakes and missteps and beauty and excitement in it all. There were tears and spontaneous outbursts of happy during these performances. And in between? Reminders of how important having the arts in our schools is for so many kids.
These talents were celebrated this weekend.
Several of the schools participating are arts schools, ones where you audition to gain entrance to the enriched arts program, and then audition again to be part of the show choir. Etobicoke School of the Arts and Wexford Collegiate shared performances worthy of professionals.
Mixing Mumford and Sons and Les Mis? Well, thank you for thinking up that combination, Gleeks.
A tribute to Bob Fosse, ESA?
Well, okay, if you insist and all that jazz.
And while these were highlights, there were smaller stories, tucked in and around the competition. Like D-Verses from Marc Garneau Collegiate, with Yang Chen, a science student with a love of show choir who brought together his Romeo and Juliet inspired set on his own, no teachers, no vocal coaches, no pro choreographers. Their set was filled with heart and soul, showcasing the love of song. While it may have lacked some of the polish of the other groups, D-Verses certainly won over the audience with the hard work of it's 17 year old student director.
Show Choir Canada brought together 11 Canadian school show choirs from across the country. These groups were adjudicated and given the opportunity to learn and grow. And those judges were tough. Industry professionals, they were not there to pat these kids on the back...they were there to guide these performers, through criticism and recognition, to improve and move forward. What an opportunity.
I may have gone in expecting the Glee I know from t.v. but what I was left with was a fantastic reminder that hard work in your discipline brings about results. I know the time and effort my kid and her group worked to get to the nationals. They are a small group that danced away with big results ( third place behind ESA and Wexford and the top non performing arts school result) but passionate leadership, youthful enthusiasm and a love of the arts paid off. And I think it is safe to say that this rings true for every one of those kids and schools present last weekend.
So hats off to the artsy kids, the kids that dance and the kids that sing and the kids that create.
You were something else this weekend.
Some video goodness ( not mine ) of the event:
G Major, Finals Performance -
Wexford Gleeks, Finals Performance -