Outstanding vocals backed by well-orchestrated instrumentation carried the Chemainus Elementary School’s Treble Makers to second place in the Elementary Vocal (Grades 4-6) category in the CBC Canadian Music Class Challenge.
“It’s pretty amazing,” noted Anna Steininger, intermediate music teacher at the school. “I am so proud of them.”
The Treble Makers are an enthusiastic, creative and energetic group of Grade 5 and 6 students who love to sing, strum and drum. They meet every Tuesday for 30 minutes to rehearse together and several students practice the music on their own.
“The contest gives you a pre-approved list of songs by Canadian musicians,” explained Steininger.
The group’s selection was ‘October’ by Alessia Cara.
There were 17 students present for the video recorded for submission into the contest, including eight strummers on ukulele, seven singers and two percussionists.
“We were missing eight kids, so usually we’re a group of 25,” noted Steininger.
First prize of $3,000 in new musical instruments and a plaque for the category went to Nelson Rural School in Miramichi, New Brunswick for its performance of ‘Like a Flower to the Sun.’
Chemainus Elementary has regularly entered the competition, but was only informed of top 10 placings rather than the specific placements identified this year.
“Three out of five years we’ve been in the top 10,” said Steininger.
The Treble Makers started working on their song toward the end of September and submitted the video on Nov. 17.
Steininger makes a determination each time about what’s the best category to enter.
“You just have to kind of feel it out each year and see where your strengths are,” she said.
“This year we had some amazing vocalists so we wanted to highlight that in our video.”
The Treble Makers previously highlighted an exceptional drummer who’s at the high school now.
“It’s whatever you have in our program,” said Steininger.
But, most of all, after everything is said and done and the satisfying results are in, “it’s a group effort,” she emphasized.