- Our Town
Jamming to raise funds
A creative solution to happier, more effective students without any side effects other than sheer enjoyment of the learning process is what music can bring to the table. And a fundraiser for the music program at the Bowen Island Community School (BICS) will showcase the student’s enthusiasm for music and help to expand the range of instruments.
“There is plenty of reason to think that all this music truly matters. An increasing number of studies show the importance of music and music education to the maturing child,” states Agnes Gund, president emerita and chairman of the International Council of the Museum of Modern Art. How lucky for BICS to have a dedicated music teacher, Mr. Steve Karagianis (Mr. K.) and a part-time band teacher, Laurence Santos and a designated space for the music program which is separate from the main school.
But here’s what BICS doesn’t have: instruments. Well, that’s not entirely accurate. At the start of the 2011/12 school year, BICS had two alto xylophones and 13 glockenspiels (glocks). Approximately half of these instruments require major repairs. Fortunately, Mr. K. was able to borrow 13 glocks from the Caulfeild Elementary school, a loan that was extended into the fall of 2012.
The lack of quality instruments at BICS hit a chord with the community and through generous donations from one family and money collected at the spring concert the school was able to purchase additional instruments including four diatonic resonator glocks, and one bass xylophone increasing the total of playable, and in good repair, mallet instruments to 10.
“Our main goal with mallet instruments is to have a class set of 30 decent quality xylophones and metallophones. The glocks currently in use at the school are harsh in sound (a.k.a. tinny), have an inferior design which makes them difficult to hit notes clearly, especially in the upper register, and are in disrepair,” says Karagianis.
Also on that wish list are drums like basic djembes and cajons, “hand drumming is a great way to deliver students a strong sense of rhythm and multi-cultural music appreciation (African, Cuban, and Brazilian music are built on a foundation of hand drumming). It is also a great vehicle for providing students who find music challenging a simpler way to be a part of the ensemble. Hand drums also provide a very suitable accompaniment to xylophone based ensembles and other elementary music instrumentation”says Karagianis.
On Friday, February 22, a fundraiser for the BICS music program will be held at the Bowen Island Lodge, starting at 6:30 p.m. BICS students will kick off the event by demonstrating their many musical talents. This licensed event will continue into the evening with an island jam of reggae and R&B bands with a special appearance from Mr. K. and Mr. Santos. Tickets are selling out fast so buy them today by emailing Carmen Lane at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you wish to make a donation to the BICS music program, contact the school at 604.947-9337.