Sannich Peninsula schools celebrate jazz success

Parkland Secondary School’s Jazz Band and the Grade 8 band from North Saanich Middle School have had a successful few months.

Parkland Jazz Band performed at the Music Monday Celebration on May 2 at the Sidney Bandshell.

Parkland Secondary School’s Jazz Band and the Grade 8 band from North Saanich Middle School have had a successful few months.

Music Director Cristina Sousa, who instructs at both schools, said it’s been a great year with the kids having worked very hard.

The Parkland Jazz Band competed in the regional WestCoast Jazz Festival in Nanaimo on April 20 — a qualifier for MusicFest Canada. Sousa said the kids earned a gold standing with both adjudicators that day and were invited to Nationals next May in Niagara Falls. She said it’s a pretty big deal as it marks the first invitation Parkland received to go to Nationals in over 10 years.

Sousa also saw success with her Grade 8 band from North Saanich Middle School, which attended The Con Brio Whistler and Sun Peaks Musical Festivals. While in Whistler, they earned a gold medal, making it the first gold for North Saanich Middle School after 17 years of participating in the Festival.

This year also marks a first for Sousa — the first year she has taught at both schools. She said it’s the ideal situation for her as she can teach the kids from Grade 6 all the way through to Grade 12.

Coming up, Parkland Jazz will perform at Capital City Jazz Fest, and both bands will perform at their spring concerts on June 1 and 2 at both schools.

(Note: The Jazz Band performance at the Eagle Heights Africa Fundraising event at the Mary Winspear Centre has been cancelled.)