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GCVI Music has gone virtual this year for unique student experiences 

October 23, 2020 

GUELPH, Ontario – Guelph Collegiate Vocational Institute’s Music program has moved to an online setting this year to accommodate rehearsals and concerts under COVID-19 restrictions.  

At the start of the year, GCVI Music teachers decided to put their winter concert online with multitrack videos, however, to make things even more interesting, their music sessions collaborate with groups from around the world.  

The GCVI Sr. Symphonic Band is doing a large video project with four other Southern Ontario high schools: Thomas A Blakelock HS in Oakville, Sherwood SS in Hamilton, Glendale SS in Hamilton, and Westmount SS in Hamilton, as well as with the McMaster University Concert Band. When complete, this video could have as many as 200 students involved. Each school is recording a seven-minute piece called “ISS Flyover,” by Canadian Composer Pete Meechan that was written about the International Space Station. 

GCVI Sr. Band

The GCVI Stage Band will be recording Michael Jackson’s “Man in The Mirror,” which will feature guest soloist and renowned Canadian Jazz Saxophonist Phil Dwyer from British Columbia. He will be playing the main solo parts along with student band recordings. 

GCVI Stage Band

The GCVI Chamber Choir is working on two very exciting projects. They are recording the piece “Helpless,” from the musical Hamilton. The chamber choir has the help of Broadway actor Joseph Morales, who played the role of Hamilton in the Toronto production. Morales is performing his part in the video all the way from his home in Los Angeles, USA. Students in the chamber choir are very excited about this collaboration.   

GCVI Chamber ChoirThe GCVI Chamber Choir is also going to be recording a Christmas piece entitled “Prepare the Way,” along with a choir from Sweden called Umea Vokalensemble. The piece will be half in English and half in Swedish. 

The collaborative projects at GCVI Music are not the only exciting things happening this year. It was recently announced that Dan Austin, GCVI Music teacher, is being recognized by the Toronto Jazz Festival for his efforts as a Canadian music teacher who has made the most out of the situation the pandemic has left music teachers and students facing.  

Austin is being recognized for his idea of “Jamming with the Pros,” a new youth jazz education project through which students have the opportunity to videotape themselves playing or singing along with a cross-Canada rhythm section. Read more about this honour on the Toronto Jazz Festival website.

We look forward to seeing these collaboration videos later this year!


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