Biggar Central School (BCS) Voices is a choir that recently performed at the Canada Music Week concert in Biggar under the leadership of their acting Director, Grade 12 student Clair Mantyka with help of fellow choir member Minjun Kim.
BCS Voices consists of 13 members who are Grades 7-12 students. They practice twice every six days during lunch hours and sometimes have additional practices when preparing for events. They were formed about five years ago under the direction of Mrs. Amy Zhao, the music teacher at Biggar Central School 2000 (BCS2000).
The choir performs a huge range of music! In the past this has included have songs in Swahili and Pashto, songs about important historical figures or events, traditional Canadian and Irish folk tunes, Jazz, Christmas carols, tunes from Broadway and acapella numbers.
Most recently the BCS Voices sang in the annual Canada Music Week concert, which has been happening in Biggar and across Canada for over two decades. Communities across the nation hold these concerts to highlight Canadian music. The event also served as a fundraiser for the Biggar Music Festival that takes place in March. The choir will be performing again on December 5 at the Biggar Carol Festival with two new pieces and then at school recitals and probably at the Music Festival.
At the Canada Music Week concert BCS Voices performed “Royal Hudson,” a song about the train that pulled the Royal family across Canada on their 1936 visit. They also performed, “I Am Leaving,” an acapella piece with solos and some complicated harmonies. Besides performing “Royal Hudson” at the Music Week concert they also entered the performance of that song in the Saskatchewan Distance Learning Corporation (SDLC) Talent Contest.
Mrs. Zhao has recently gone on leave and although she left a good plan for the choir it was up to the students under acting Director, Grade 12 student, Claire Mantyka with the help of Minjun Kim, to execute it and make sure they rehearsed and were ready for the Music Week performance. “I think we did really, really well,” stated Ms. Mantyka, “and worked together as a team!”
Going forward, BCS Voices will be assisted by Mrs. Dubriel and Ms. Tremblay, who will help them arrange songs and provide supervision.
Ms. Mantyka stated: “We are all so involved in the arts in our community it only seemed natural to perform at this event, despite any challenges. Everyone pulled together and put on a great showing that represented our school well.”
BCS2000 Vice-Principal Talie Chupik added: “We were very proud of the responsibility and dedication that these students showed in continuing with practices while they were without a conductor.”
Pictured above: BCS Voices performing at the Canada Music Week Concert (From Left to right): Minjun Kim (Pianist, Grade 12), Roberto Ramos (Grade 11), Aiden Fecht (Grade 10), Anthony Santiago (Grade 10), Katrina Crozier (Grade 9), Dausha Ilyasov (Grade 9), Annika Hadden (Grade 12), Amelia Smith (Grade 11), Malia Hadden (Grade 8), Hanna Keefe (Grade 9), Diana Kurnasova (Grade 9), Skye Moore (Grade 7), Claire Mantyka (Acting Director, Grade 12)