Sechelt Arts Festival's Emerging Sounds going all in

One of the perennial highlights of the Sechelt Arts Festival will be bigger and brassier than ever this year. 

The Emerging Sounds Concert (Saturday, Oct. 13 at shíshálh Nation Community Hall) will feature the School District No. 46 (SD46) Jazz Band, made up of student musicians from Chatelech and Elphinstone secondary schools. 

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“Every year we try to do something different and push ourselves and go big, and this is the biggest so far,” said producer Steve Weave (aka Steve Wright), who has put together Emerging Sounds for the festival for the last seven years. “This is the most musicians we’ll ever have had on stage at once.” 

The 13-member band is an offshoot of the two high schools’ concert bands, taught by music instructor Tom Kellough. 

“When Steve asked us to be in the show, I just thought, ‘I’m going to take this opportunity,’” Kellough said. “We’re getting the kids out into the community, and they’re doing most of it.” 

Weave said he’s conducted and produced many kinds of music, but has never worked with a jazz band before. 

“It’s a huge challenge and something I’m really excited about. Tom was game to have the kids involved, so we’re all in,” Weave said. 

The band will perform five songs, all written by local young people in collaboration with Weave – and the tunes will not be the usual jazz band fare. 

“We’re doing a hip hop song about ping pong,” Weave noted. “And we’re doing a song about [the video game] Minecraft.” 

The SD46 Jazz Band closes the concert’s two-hour program, which will open with Keys to the City, comprised of singers Gretchen Hergesheimer, Solomon Hergesheimer and Hadley Laviolette. 

Another highlight will feature Sunshine Coast musician Daniel Bate, who, while just in Grade 10, won a coveted scholarship to the Nimbus School of Recording and Media in Vancouver. Bate, a former piano student of Kellough, will present an original electronic music composition. To add to the effect, Bate will perform in silhouette behind a shadow screen, accompanied by dancer Kaliyana Denham-Rohlichek. 

The evening will also feature light projections throughout the band hall by Roberts Creek multimedia artist Mieke Jay. Plus, there will be a “sleeve-face booth,” where participants can have a selfie photo taken with an old-style record album cover cleverly used as part of the picture. 

Not surprisingly, Emerging Sounds has sold out in previous years. Advance tickets are $10; $15 at the door, available online at the festival website or for cash at the Sechelt Visitor Centre. It’s an all-ages show, licensed for those 19 and over. It starts at 7 p.m., doors at 6:30 p.m.

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