South Nelson sings its heart out for CBC

The school's choral-instrumental group was short-listed for CBC's Canadian Music Class Challenge.

South Nelson music teacher Carmen Giffen leads her group through a practice for a CBC competition.

South Nelson Elementary’s kids can sing.

The school’s choral-instrumental group was been short-listed in CBC’s Canadian Music Class Challenge.

The contest has attracted over 550 submissions from across the country in six categories. The largest category, Elementary School with Vocal/Choral, had 110 entries, and South Nelson was included in the 10 finalists.

In the end, South Nelson didn’t win. That honour went to Honoré Mercier Elementary of Saint-Léonard, Que., on Friday, but South Nelson music teacher Carmen Giffen said she was happy with what the kids accomplished.

“This was a fun, rewarding process,” said Giffen. “Fifty children (a quarter of our school’s population) and I worked really hard together, and we are proud of what we created.”

The students chose to perform the song “2 Heads,” written by Coleman Hell, that was on a list of 16 songs given to entrants by the CBC from which school groups could choose.

Giffen said her group, comprised of Grade 2 to 5 students, spent a month preparing the song on their own time.

“I thoroughly enjoyed creating this with my students, and especially appreciated the group hug, and overwhelming amount of heartfelt gratitude I received from them after our performance,” she said.

“I am thankful for the opportunity to show the kind of energy and enthusiasm that can accumulate when a music program is given the chance to exist, and is fully supported by staff, administration, parents, and students.”

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