The AcousChicks from Brentwood College School had a winning season in 2021. (Submitted)

The AcousChicks from Brentwood College School had a winning season in 2021. (Submitted)

Brentwood picks up national music honours in spite of pandemic

“It’s not easy running choirs and bands in the middle of a pandemic”

In spite of the COVID-19 pandemic and all of its restrictions, the Brentwood College music program has come out of the 2021 season with a number of national honours for its bands and choirs.

“It’s not easy running choirs and bands in the middle of a pandemic, but somehow even with masking, cohorts and physical distancing from one another, somehow, we have managed to keep going despite these obstacles, resulting in much success for our efforts,” said Head of Music Phil Newns in a press release.

The school’s bands and choirs entered a number of festivals virtually this year, recording performances on film.

“In a ‘normal year’, we would have packed our bags and our instruments and travelled to sometimes far away destinations to participate in these festivals in person,” Newns said. “The camaraderie fostered on these school band and choir trips has been sadly missed, but that didn’t stop us from putting our best foot forward.”

AcousChicks won an Adjudicators Choice Award for Senior Vocal Jazz Ensemble at the Victoria Festival for the Performing Arts. The Jazz Band and Intermediate Rock Band won a place in the Highlights Concert.

Next up was the West Coast Choir Festival where the Pitches Vocal Ensemble received a silver rating and the AcousChicks received gold. Then it was onto the West Coast Jazz Festival where the Jazz Band, AcouChicks, and all three of the rock bands received a gold.

Nine Brentwood’s ensembles had qualified in 2019 for the Nationals, Musicfest Canada back in 2019, so the school entered three of their ensembles this year. Pitches Vocal Ensemble received a gold, the Jazz Band a silver and the AcousChicks a silver.

In addition, three of members, Justin, Peju and Ally, also received National Honour Awards for their valued contributions to their ensembles.

“That makes it six golds and three silvers overall,” enthused Newns. “We are all thrilled with the results of our endeavors, and very proud of our ensembles accomplishments, but we can’t wait to sing and play without masks and be “normal” again. Mandy Bryant, Scott McGill and myself direct our ensembles, but we owe a special note of thanks to Mike Minckler for his professional filming expertise.”

If you would like to see some of these ensembles in action, Musicfest Canada will be live-streaming their performances on May the 24 and 26 at 2.30 p.m.

Phil Newns


Just Posted

The Crofton trailer park home where the bodies of two people were found. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Mom still waiting for answers after daughter and her fiance found dead in Crofton

Pair discovered dead in their Crofton home in May identified as Rachel Gardner and Paul Jenkins

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

Robert’s column
Robert Barron column: Looking forward to 39 Days of Summer

I have always been a big fan of live music.

Cowichan seniors have a new resource. (submitted)
Free Cowichan Seniors program offers social prescriptions

Seniors 60 and over who are at higher risk of frailty due… Continue reading

Cowichan District Hospital. (File photo)
Guest column: The story of a surgery in Cowichan

In homage to the Cowichan District Hospital and its surgical team

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

The Sacred Hearts church on PIB land burned Monday morning. (Theresa May Jack/Facebook)
Two churches on First Nation land in South Okanagan burn to the ground

Sacred Hearts church on Penticton Indian Band land was reduced to rubble

Tl’etinqox-lead ceremony at the site of the former St. Joseph’s Mission in Williams Lake, B.C., June 18, 2021. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
‘We are all one people’: Honouring residential school victims and survivors

Love, support and curiousity: Canadians urged to learn about residential schools and their impact

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Indigenous rights and climate activists gathered outside Liberty Mutual’s office in Vancouver to pressure the insurance giant to stop covering Trans Mountain. (Photo by Andrew Larigakis)
Activists work to ensure Trans Mountain won’t get insurance

Global campaign urging insurance providers to stay away from Canadian pipeline project

In the first election with public money replacing corporate or union donations, B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, B.C. Greens leader Sonia Furstenau and B.C. NDP leader John Horgan take part in election debate at the University of B.C., Oct. 13, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. MLAs ponder 2022 ‘sunset’ of subsidy for political parties

NDP, B.C. Fed call for increase, B.C. Liberals have no comment

Investigators use a bucket to help recover human remains at a home burned in the Camp fire, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018, in Magalia, Calif. Many of the missing in the deadly Northern California wildfire are elderly residents in Magalia, a forested town of about 11,000 north of the destroyed town of Paradise. (AP Photo/John Locher)
‘Forever War’ with fire has California battling forests instead

Five of the state’s largest-ever blazes seared California last year, as authorities tackle prevention

Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto and IOC President Thomas Bach, on a screen, speak during a five=party online meeting at Harumi Island Triton Square Tower Y in Tokyo Monday, June 21, 2021. The Tokyo Olympics will allow some local fans to attend when the games open in just over a month, Tokyo organizing committee officials and the IOC said on Monday. (Rodrigo Reyes Marin/Pool Photo via AP)
Tokyo Olympics to allow Japanese fans only, with strict limits

Organizers set a limit of 50% capacity — up to a maximum of 10,000 fans

Most Read