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Selkirk College Music Students Showcase Talents

Bob Hall
By Bob Hall
March 12th, 2017

A wide range of genres and exceptional talent will be on display at Nelson’s Shambhala Music & Performance Hall when second-year students in the Selkirk College Contemporary Music & Technology Program hit the stage for the annual showcase concert series.

Starting on March 15 and running until March 31, there will be nine fantastic nights of music from students who are putting the finishing touches on their education in the acclaimed two-year program that has been a staple of Selkirk College’s Tenth Street Campus since 1989. The 17 graduating students will bring a range of tastes from pop and jazz to hard rock and funk to the stage at the intimate Nelson venue.

“Each student has worked for two years and this is the final result musically,” says Gilles Parenteau, keyboard and arranging instructor at Selkirk College. “It showcases what they are about and what they really want people to hear… it’s the highlight of the year.”

Under Parenteau’s guidance in the first semester, students got a taste of staging a major event when they put together the musical entertainment for the annual Selkirk College Gala that attracted almost 300 people to Mary Hall in November. The showcase concerts are a culmination of two years of education as students put together their own special night.

“It’s not just about performing their own part,” says Parenteau, who has been mentoring Selkirk College students for more than 25 years. “They need to think about organizing rehearsals, directing the band, details of the visual presentation, the music performance, the arrangements, stage hands, lights, video… it’s a lot more than just getting up there to be centre stage.”

Brody Parachoniak is a drum and performance major who will be on stage for the last show on March 31. Arriving to Selkirk College from Manitoba in September 2015, the 23-year-old is looking forward to the final major assignment of the program.

“It takes a lot of self-management and organization,” Parachoniak says about what goes into putting on a showcase concert. “You get good insight into the business side of music, where you are responsible for other people’s time more than your own and making sure everything is as efficient as possible. It’s certainly more than playing and having fun.”

Parachoniak grew up the tiny northern Manitoba town of Gillam—population 1,281—where from an early age he played in bands with his younger brother Austin, who is also a Contemporary Music & Technology Program second-year student. After graduation in April, Parachoniak is looking forward to the next stage in his musical journey. 

“Since I was a kid I wanted to write music that I would want to listen to, write music that inspires people and then record that music with people I get along with and tour it,” says Parachoniak. “Music can be my means to grow as a person, travel, explore and learn about the world. All you can do is try and this is the first step.”

The students perform half-hour sets each, with most evening shows including two student performances. The following is the list of dates and performers (with primary music style):

March 15: Trevor Unruh (pop/folk) and Bethany Petch (pop/folk)

March 16: Kiana Tingley (pop/Latin)and Carmina Bolinao(soul)

March 17: Aybars Savat (horn)and Davis Yates(jazz/funk)

March 22: Emilaea Woodwolf(folk) and Robyn Edgar(jazz)

March 23: Clayton Whalen(hard rock) and Danya Van Besouw(oldies)

March 24: Austin Eagle (alt rock)and Connor Oswald(progressive rock)

March 29: Drey Bombardier(metal)

March 30: Alex Harper(progressive rock) and Levi Schulhauser(funk fusion)

March 31: Brody Parachoniak(jazz/contemporary country) and Austin Parachoniak (jazz/contemporary country)

Doors open at 7 p.m. with all shows starting at 7:30 p.m. Admission to all showcase concerts is by donation. For more information on the Selkirk College Contemporary Music & Technology Program please go to:

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