The Music of Gratitude

Saturday, October 15, 2016 - By: Hannah R, Mackenzie ’18

Stomachs full to bursting with delicious turkey, mashed potatoes and, of course, pumpkin pie, a cafeteria full of Brentwood students, staff, and their families sat back, relaxed, and enjoyed the first performance of the year put on by students in the performing arts. For the second year now, the annual Canadian Thanksgiving Concert has been held on a stage set up in the cafeteria rather than attempt to squeeze everyone in the Killy Theatre. Michael G, Assistant Head Prefect for Arts, Privett ’17, served as MC for the cabaret, welcoming each act to the stage…and adding a few witty comments between acts.   

Although we were not aware until the beginning of dinner, my sister, Sarah R, Mackenzie ’20, and I were first in line. We sang a family favourite, “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)” by Greenday, with the house band as accompaniment. In the musical interlude, we also used our own experience with stringed instruments to add the viola solo from the original recording.

Derek A, Whittall ’17 serenaded next with Ed Sheeran’s “Hit Me Baby One More Time” accompanying himself on the guitar before handing the spotlight over to Zaid K, Ellis ’17. His rendition of “Sweet Love”, by Philip de Rue, was dedicated to “all the ladies in the audience” (Michael G) and certainly was impressive. Applause and laughter resonated through the building as the stage was once again cleared, and Michael mused whether the temperature of the cafeteria had soared with Zaid’s voice. 

While strumming efficiently on his ukulele, Luke A, Whittall ’19 performed a catchy “House of Gold” before the Women’s Choir graced the stage. The complicated Pentatonix arrangement of “Take Me Home” was a feat to toss together in the small number of rehearsals we have had so far, but it went smoothly, to the relief of all choir members.    

Finally, everyone had the opportunity to add to the music, to let his or her voice join the song ringing through the cafeteria as Antonio C, Rogers ’17 led Adele’s “Someone Like You” with his guitar. The whole-school choir would scarcely let Antonio stop, adding another round of the chorus to his original plan for the song. As always, singing together as a school enhanced the feeling of community; even Mr. Felix agreed: “We should sing more often.”

Although the Grade 9 class returned from its leadership and adventure week at Strathcona Park Lodge only half an hour before the dinner bell rang to announce the start of Thanksgiving dinner, both the delicious meal and following concert were successful. None of it would have been possible without the hard work of our fabulous kitchen staff, music teachers, and students.  Put your hands together for everyone who made the wonderful evening possible!

Hannah R, Mackenzie ’18

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