Baker music groups prepare for spring concert

Brad McCue and Tobias Schmid during a recent Wild vocal jazz rehearsal. - Kerstin Renner
Brad McCue and Tobias Schmid during a recent Wild vocal jazz rehearsal.
— image credit: Kerstin Renner

When you walk the halls of Mount Baker Secondary School these days, chances are songs will draw you to the music room. “There’s music in this room every day, during school, after school and before school,” says Brandon Lefebvre.

Along with his fellow musicians and singers, the Grade 11 student is preparing for the school’s spring concert, coming up on Wednesday, March 9. Concert band and choir as well as the jazz ensembles will be presenting the material they are working on for a trip to the Whistler International Music Festival in April.

Music teacher Evan Bueckert says the groups are still polishing some of the songs, but all performance-ready pieces will be on the program. “It’s our first chance to showcase the repertoire we’ve been preparing for the festival,” Bueckert believes. “There’s nothing better than performing to see where you’re at.”

The vocal jazz group alone is working on around 25 songs and Grade 12 student Brad McCue says they like to mix it up as far as style goes. There are a lot of up-beat and funky songs, but also slow pieces with meaningful lyrics. Fellow singer Ashley Taylor, also in Grade 12, explains there is anything from ‘MLK’ by U2 to the ‘Safety Dance’.

The students hope that in their first big concert, people will get a chance to enjoy the music and see just how much fun they are having performing it for the audience.

Even with the concert coming up fast, the atmosphere at rehearsals is relaxed.The students say they have found a way to have fun and still be productive, keeping in mind what Bueckert expects of them.

“He’s always in a fun mood, but at the same time, he likes to be productive and get things done,” explains McCue.  “I feel bad if I disappoint him,” adds Taylor. “He’s just that important to us.” Besides admiration for their teacher, the students share a mutual interest in music and enjoy working and hanging out together.

“I find it fun, because it’s such a cohesive group,” states Lefebvre. All of the performers are looking forward to the Whistler trip. “Even when we’re not singing, I get to be with such a great group of kids,” McCue adds.

Bueckert expects it will be a fun experience for all. “These students are so motivated and so close,” he says, “it’s a great year tp go on the road.”

The Mount Baker spring concert will go this Wednesday, March 9, at 7:30 pm at the Key City Theatre. Admission is by donation with proceeds going directly to supporting the music groups’ trip.

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