Semiahmoo Secondary jazz bands rock online – Surrey Now-Leader

Semiahmoo Secondary’s jazz band program may have been muted somewhat by the pandemic – but it’s alive and well and ready to hit home screens, according to program director Dagan Lowe.

The proof of this, he said, will be the program Christmas and winter 2020 concert, broadcast online on December 17 at 7:30 p.m. on

The broadcast will be set up so that home viewers can donate through PayPal, he said.

Profits will be shared, with 50% reserved for the program and payment of production costs. The remaining 50 per cent will go to Sources White Rock/South Surrey food bank and Covenant House, Lowe said.

“We try to do everything we can to get our music out into the community,” he said, noting that the gig was made possible by South Surrey-based content creators/producers/distributors Hubcast Media.

“We always try to reach out and play for people.”

Hubcast, he said, is “a company owned by one of our Grade 12 parents, so we’d like to thank them and the Semiahmoo Music Society, which is our parent group, for helping organize that.”

Five of the school’s jazz bands will be featured, including two 9th grade bands led by Wayne Ablitt, a 10th grade band and a larger-than-usual band of 12th graders that Lowe has split into two jazz bands.

The only reason 11th grade isn’t represented is because, as part of Semiahmoo’s quarterly school year division system, the concert only features musicians actively playing in that quarter, Lowe said. .

The enthusiasm of the young musicians preparing for this concert is impressive, he added.

“They’ve only been playing together for a few weeks; just put the horns back in their faces.

Nonetheless, each set plays two pieces, which Lowe described as “mostly holiday or Christmas songs in a jazz style.”

“Grade 12 students do some Gordon Goodwin big band hits, including an ‘elevator’ of Glenn Miller’s swing version of clink bellswhich is more or less at the professional level,” Lowe said.

“It’s pretty amazing that they agreed to play at this level of music.”

The concert will also feature a cast of professional musicians who have served as inspiration – and online workshop mentors – for the program, including renowned Semiahmoo alumnus Jodi Proznick on bass, her husband Tilden Webb on keys, Jesse Cahill on drums, and singer Dawn Pemberton (“she’s a wonderful singer I went to college with,” Lowe noted).

“One of our goals this year is that if we can’t get students to outside events, we’ll bring them professional musicians, to tell them that’s what we’re trying to emulate,” said Lowe.

“This year there have been very few concerts for professional musicians, so we try to put them in the spotlight as well.”

Lowe said that while teaching a group program under pandemic conditions has presented its share of challenges, Semiahmoo has been able to follow guidelines from the BC Music Educators Association to ensure it gets done. safely. The music rooms are well ventilated, with doors open to both the hallway and the inner school courtyard, and fans to create a steady flow of air to clean the rooms.

Most wind players wear masks with resealable flaps that allow them to blow through the mouthpieces, while the “bells” of the instruments are also covered.

In general, musicians from each group can be successfully moved away or play in sections of their own “cohort”, he added.

“Overall the kids were very responsive,” he said.

To access the concert, and for all the information, go to

Arts & EntertainmentJazzSchoolsSurrey

Ada J. Kenney