Members of a Semiahmoo Grade 9 jazz band rehearse for the band program’s upcoming online Christmas and Winter concert. (Wayne Ablitt photo)

Members of a Semiahmoo Grade 9 jazz band rehearse for the band program’s upcoming online Christmas and Winter concert. (Wayne Ablitt photo)

Semiahmoo Secondary jazz bands swing out online

Chistmas concert available for streaming

Semiahmoo Secondary’s jazz band program may have been somewhat muted by the pandemic – but it’s alive and well and ready to swing out on home screens, according to program director Dagan Lowe.

Proof of that, he said, will be the program’s Christmas and Winter 2020 concert, streamed online Dec. 17 at 7:30 p.m. at semiahmoomusic.ca

The broadcast will be set up so that home viewers can donate through PayPal, he said.

Proceeds will be split, with 50 per cent earmarked for the program and to pay production costs. The remaining 50 per cent will go to the Sources White Rock/South Surrey Food Bank and Covenant House, Lowe said.

“We’re trying to do as much as we can to get our music out in the community,” he said, noting the concert has been made possible by South Surrey-based content creators/producers/distributors Hubcast Media.

“We’re still trying to reach out and play for people.”

READ MORE: Semiahmoo Secondary jazz bands score festival glory

Hubcast, he said, is “a company owned by one of our Grade 12 parents, so we’d like to give a shout out to them, and also the Semiahmoo Music Society, which is our parents group, for helping organize this.”

Featured will be five of the school’s jazz bands, including two Grade 9 groups under the direction of Wayne Ablitt, one Grade 10 group and a larger-than-usual group of Grade 12 students that Lowe has divided into two jazz bands.

The only reason Grade 11 is not represented is that under the quarterly system of dividing the school year at Semiahmoo, the concert is only featuring musicians actively playing in this quarter, Lowe said.

The enthusiasm of the young musicians who have been preparing for this concert is impressive, he added.

“They’ve only been playing together for a matter of weeks; only just got the horns back into their faces.”

Nonetheless, each ensemble is playing two pieces, which Lowe described as “mostly holiday or Christmas songs in a jazz style.”

“The Grade 12’s are doing some Gordon Goodwin big band charts, including a ‘lift’ of Glenn Miller’s swing version of Jingle Bells, which is more or less on the pro level,” Lowe said.

“It’s pretty amazing they’ve taken on playing this level of music.”

The concert will also feature a set by professional musicians who have been serving as inspiration – and online workshop mentors – for the program, including famed Semiahmoo alumna Jodi Proznick on bass, her husband Tilden Webb on keys, Jesse Cahill on drums and singer Dawn Pemberton (“she’s a wonderful vocalist I went to college with,” Lowe noted).

“One of our goals this year is that, if we can’t get students to outside events, we’ll bring the professional musicians to them, to say this is what we’re trying to emulate,” Lowe said.

“This year, there’s been very little in the way of gigs for professional musicians, so we’re trying to bring them into the limelight, too.”

Lowe said that while teaching a band program under pandemic conditions has presented its share of challenges, Semiahmoo has been able to follow B.C. Music Educators Association guidelines to ensure that it is being done safely. The music rooms are well-ventilated, with doors open to both the hallway and the school’s inner courtyard, and fans to create a steady stream of air to clear the rooms.

Most wind players wear masks with closable flaps which allow them to blow through mouthpieces, while instrument ‘bells’ are also covered.

Generally musicians within each band can be successfully distanced, or play in sections of their own ‘cohort,’ he added.

“Overall the kids have been very responsive,” he said.

To access the concert, and for full information, visit semiahmoomusic.ca

Arts and EntertainmentJazzSchoolsSurrey

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Family and friends of Hudson Brooks marched as part of a call for answers from an IIO investigation into his 2015 death. (Black Press Media files)
Inquest to look into RCMP shooting death of Hudson Brooks

Charges agains the RCMP officer who shot Brooks were stayed in 2019

Mike LeSage. (submitted photo)
LeSage to head Community Policing Bureau of new Surrey police force

Second of three Deputy Chief Constables to be hired by fledgling force

The old Rickshaw sign today, with the former restaurant location in the building behind it. (Photo: Tom Zillich)
SURREY NOW & THEN: Rickshaw sign stands as a reminder of Jung family’s restaurant days

A weekly look back at Surrey-area landmark sites and events

A little brown bat, which has become endangered due to white-nose syndrome. (Greg Michalowski photo)
Bat sightings on Semiahmoo Peninsula spark worries of white-nose syndrome

Fungal disease is deadly for local bat populations: BC Community Bat Program

Through his lens, Doug Cook captured this picture of the Fraser River, Mount Baker, an eagle, and even the Golden Ears Bridge on a sunny fall afternoon. The photo was taken from the wooden walkway leading down to the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport float plane dock. (Contributed photo)
Friends of Semiahmoo Bay to host virtual World Wetland Day event

Webinar event to feature six speakers, to be held Feb. 2

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

Powell River-Sunshine Coast MLA Nicholas Simons was appointed to the NDP cabinet as minister of social development and poverty reduction after the October 2020 B.C. election. (Hansard TV)
B.C. job training fund increased for developmentally disabled

COVID-19 has affected 1,100 ‘precariously employed’ people

B.C. driver’s licence and identity cards incorporate medical services, but the passport option for land crossings is being phased out. (B.C. government)
B.C. abandons border ID cards built into driver’s licence

$35 option costing ICBC millions as demand dwindles

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

BC Emergency Health Services has deployed the Major Incident Response Team (MIRRT) as COVID-19 positive cases rise in the Williams Lake region. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
B.C.’s rapid response paramedics deployed to Williams Lake as COVID-19 cases climb

BC Emergency Health Services has sent a Major Incident Rapid Response Team to the lakecity

(Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
RCMP say ice climber seriously injured after reportedly falling 12 metres near Abraham Lake

Police say man’s injuries were serious but not life-threatening

The RCMP was called to a condo complex in Langley City in the early hours of Jan. 18, 2021, for a shooting. (Shane Mackichan/Special to the Langley Advance Times)
27-year-old taken to hospital after overnight targeted shooting in Langley

RCMP have not confirmed the incident is link to the Lower Mainland gang conflict

U.S. military units march in front of the Capitol, Monday, Jan. 18, 2021 in Washington, as they rehearse for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremony, which will be held at the Capitol on Wednesday. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Biden aims for unifying speech at daunting moment for U.S.

President Donald Trump won’t be there to hear it

Williams Lake physician Dr. Ivan Scrooby and medical graduate student Vionarica Gusti hold up the COSMIC Bubble Helmet. Both are part of the non-profit organization COSMIC Medical which has come together to develop devices for treating patients with COVID-19. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Group of B.C. doctors, engineers developing ‘bubble helmet’ for COVID-19 patients

The helmet could support several patients at once, says the group

Most Read