Vernon area students are about to join the country and astronaut Chris Hadfield to fill the skies with music.
The International Space Station commander is joining hundreds of thousands of students from communities across Canada on Monday as his final link to Earth before he returns home.
The event, called Music Monday, will raise awareness about the importance of music education in Canadian schools and in our lives.
At 10 a.m. Monday, Vernon students and their teachers are gathering to perform the official Music Monday song, I.S.S. (Is Somebody Singing), co-written by Hadfield and Ed Robertson of The Barenaked Ladies and co-commissioned by CBC Music and the Coalition for Music Education.
Music students from Alexis Park Elementary will be joining the C-Tones Choir from W.L. Seaton Secondary to perform the song at Vernon’s Wesbild Centre.
“Alexis Park students are excited to participate in Music Monday this year,” said Nicole Shaver, music teacher at Alexis Park. “This annual event celebrates music in our lives, and specifically the importance of music education in school. In our district, we are lucky to have a music teacher in every elementary school. I wanted my students to feel connected to a larger community through music, so we are joining with the Seaton Secondary choir and singing together.”
Alexis Park has also connected to be part of the event with Agnes Taylor Elementary school in Brampton, Ont., where Shaver’s sister is the music teacher.
“It is exciting for my students to look on the map and see how many schools across Canada and around the world are learning the same song to sing at the same time,” she said.
Also participating in the event are BX and Ellison Elementary Schools.
“The magic of the event is that at the same point during that day, schools right across the country are united by one piece of music,” said Coreen Smith, music teacher at BX Elementary, adding students will perform along with staff in the school’s outdoor courtyard. “The idea is that if one were to open the door of his or her home and stand on the street on the first Monday in May, one would hear music and the skies would be filled with melody.”
The Coalition for Music Education created Music Monday to celebrate the galvanizing power of music and demonstrate how that power is rooted in school music programs.
“(It’s to) demonstrate that music needs to be strongly rooted in our school system, and importance should be placed on preserving quality music programs in our schools,” said Smith.
The event will also be featured on a live webcast with Hadfield from the space station, now scheduled to start at 9:30 a.m. Those wishing to tune in can visit http://asc-csa.gc.ca/webcast.