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Selkirk College Music Students take to virtual stage to showcase talent

Contemporary Music & Technology Program student Aden Goertzen is one of the second-year students who will be performing virtually on March 22 starting at 7 p.m. — Submitted photo

Pushed online due to the pandemic, students in the Selkirk College Contemporary Music & Technology Program are undeterred as they get set to welcome the widest audience ever for annual year-end showcase concerts.

A tradition that spans more than three decades of learning on Nelson’s Tenth Street Campus, students on the cusp of graduation will take part in three diverse evenings of virtual concerts that are open to music lovers everywhere. The student showcases will cap off a most unusual year of learning for post-secondary students in all programs.

“The pandemic has suspended most live performances this past year, but amidst the challenges comes opportunity,” says Melody Diachun, one of the instructors who oversees the showcase concerts. “Students in our program have responded with remarkable resilience. Instead of giving into the barriers that exist in their learning, practicing and performing, these talented musicians have shown energy and creativity that is inspiring. They have adapted and it’s exciting that they will have a chance to perform to an online audience.”

Offered entirely online this year through synchronous learning due to the restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Contemporary Music & Technology Program has students located across the country and around the world. Though adapted to mesh with the available technology, instructors have provided the education and training that meets the expected outcomes of learners. 

The annual year-end showcases are usually presented at the Shambhala Music & Performance Hall on the Tenth Street Campus and are an important measure of academic progress and an entertaining display of newly acquired skills.

This year’s showcase concerts feature a wide range of genres and exceptional talent. Student artists include Tristan Shears, Katie Keeling, Aden Goertzen, Jake Kostuchuk, Susannah Bigler, Talel McBriar, Nathan Blacklock and Grace Clark along with supporting musicians from their classes.

Enjoy eight virtual concerts presented over three nights in late-March:

  • Monday, March 22 - 7 p.m.
  • Wednesday, March 24 - 7 p.m.
  • Friday, March 26 - 7 p.m.

Students will introduce their showcase in real-time and then viewers can expect a mix of performances and recordings accompanied by visual elements.

Performing students are taking advantage of technology in bringing a new kind of viewing experience. Blacklock’s band features a fantastic lineup of Selkirk College musicians who have been separated across the country by the pandemic, but brought back together virtually through the means of today’s technology. 

“In these days of virtual concerts, the lack of a dance floor is of great concern,” Blacklock says of his showcase on March 26. “It is strongly suggested that listeners find their nearest family member, roommate or broomstick to use as a dance partner. If dancing isn’t your bag, then simply sit back, tap your foot, and enjoy some of the complimentary imaginary virtual popcorn.”

Get more information and the link to join the virtual concerts at: https://selkirk.ca/program/music