Westview Students Go to Seniors with Music
Students Go to Seniors with Music
It’s Monday, November 17, 2014. The Scene is Ms. Backman’s Music Room at Westview Centennial S.S. and the day has finally arrived when VA (Vocal Andrenaline) and Acoustic Detail (Grade 10 Guitar Ensemble) are going to Leisureworld Retirement Centre to entertain and give back to the Jane-Finch community.
Everything is completed on the check list: permission forms signed, music learned, copies made for sing-along, sound system packed, cables wrapped, guitars tuned, etc... Oh, I forgot to mention, it has started to snow and the students are pumped because they are walking over to the Leisure World and who knows exactly how many snow balls are going to be thrown. As they are leaving my truck, Lillian and Karissa who are the presidents of VA agree to lead all 20 students and Tichaena who is secretary and resident photographer at the back of the line making sure everyone remains with the group. Everyone is happy and excited.
Upon arrival, everyone disinfects their hands, dry of their shoe wear and sign in with visitors tags. We now have 2 hours to get the show ready. Everyone agrees to take on a role whether it is setting up chairs, instruments, the sound system, etc... There is always so much to do and the students are all working together. These Westview students made me so proud; everyone was so respectful and polite.
The room begins to fill up at 2 and the show is about to begin and all the students are so excited to perform. First up, the guitar group comes out. They have only been playing for 2 months but sound like they were born playing as many of the residents commented. As they are playing many of the residents are humming and joining in with words. Their faces lit up and it was such a great ‘feel-good’ emotion for the performers and the residents.
Shortly after, 10 singers arrive on stage ready to bring the house down. And did they ever! Smiles were suddenly turning into joyful singing and laughing. VA took great care to select appropriate songs to involve the residents; old favourites like I’ve Been Workin’ On The Railroad, When The Saints Go Marching In, She’ll Be Comin’ Round The Mountain, and Don’t Go Breakin’ My Heart, You Are My Sunshine just to mention a few. VA really stepped up to the plate and took time during the interlude musical breaks to walk around and personally talk to and shake hands with all of the residents. The room was spectacular to watch.
The concert ended at 5 minutes early when suddenly Ashley Williams, Leisureworld’s Activity Coordinator, requested an encore from me. So, I can’t say no, everyone’s waiting... I pick up a guitar and lead the song, “In The Jungle (The Lion Sleeps Tonight)” requesting everyone to make jungle-like sounds. Suddenly to my pleasant surprise VA enters the floor singing along and encouraging the residents to do the same in grand Westview style. What a magical moment that was. They want us back in the New Year!