Year-End Recital

It’s here! It’s here! The online video recital is now complete on our YouTube page…in 5 parts! We ended up having over 100 video submissions – you all are so amazing!


Enjoy the year-end video recital, bravo to all who participated!


*We would like to thank the Community Foundation North Okanagan for their continued support of our Music School and the Gift of Music project.

Year-End Recital, 2021

Outdoor Violin Recital

Carole Ruth had her outdoor violin recital this past weekend, and her students played wonderfully! It was so nice to hear music outside in front of the Smith House, what a beautiful setting! Kaia, Griffin and Alex are seen below, performing their pieces. Thank you so much to all of Carole’s students for participating, we hope you have a fantastic summer! See you all next year!

violin student performing in the outdoor recital at the Vernon Community Music School
violin student performing in the outdoor recital at the Vernon Community Music School
violin student performing in the outdoor recital at the Vernon Community Music School

Starfish Backpack Program

Starfish Backpack Program Donation

Do you remember when violin students from the Suzuki Program busked in Save-On Foods to raise money for the Starfish Backpack Program in 2019? We were finally able to take a photo and give the donation! A huge thank you goes out to the Suzuki Violin Students and our fabulous Bev Martens for their amazing donation of $1380. Fundraising continued over this COVID year as the students worked on their music theory. This donation will feed almost 3 families for the next school year! Way to go, everyone.

Scholarship Winners

Congratulations to the following 2021 Scholarship Winners! We live in such a generous community. Remarkably, we received $10,400 in scholarship money this year, to give away to deserving students in grades 6 up to the ARCT level. The Music School would like to thank the following individuals and businesses for their very generous donations, because without them our scholarship program would not be as successful as it is. If you see any of these individuals or businesses in our community, please let them know they are appreciated and we are so grateful for their continued support for the arts.

Noah Wessels, ARCT Piano—David and June Rempel Scholarship

Angela Zeng, ARCT Cello—Dr. Lora Fellenz and Dr. Mathias Fellenz Scholarship

Holly McCallum, ARCT Cello—Hrabchuk Family Scholarship

Simone Konrad, Level 10 Piano—MQN Architects Scholarship

James Richardson, Level 9 Piano—James Frederick Roh Memorial Scholarship

Claire Richardson, Level 9 Piano—James Frederick Roh Memorial Scholarship

Laura Hrabchuk, Level 9 Violin—Patti Brenner Memorial Scholarship

Amy Curtis, Level 9 Piano—Caroline Galbraith Memorial Scholarship

VCMS Vocal Ensemble

   Alex Thiessen, Level 9 Voice—Sandro Banducci Memorial Scholarship

   Zaela Thiessen, Level 8 Voice—Sandro Banducci Memorial Scholarship

   Ulyana Doerksen, Level 7 Voice—Sandro Banducci Memorial Scholarship

Olivia Sunderland, Level 8 Violin—Caroline Galbraith Memorial Scholarship

Joshua Mark, Level 8 Piano—Willerton Engineering Scholarship

Ella Bannon, Level 8 Piano—Dante Darkazanli Memorial Scholarship

Tianna Dickie, Level 8 Piano—Olive Woodley Memorial Scholarship

Natalie Houle, Level 8 Piano—Peter and Pauline Legg Memorial Scholarship

Abigail Osborn, Level 7 Piano—George Shaw Memorial Scholarship

Anna Hrabchuk, Level 7 Cello—Dr. Jane Laidlaw Scholarship

Autumn Sunderland, Level 7 Violin—Reekie, Kineshanko, Tulloch Memorial Scholarship

Anya Massa, Level 7 Violin—Nixon Wenger Scholarship

Tikvah Osborn, Level 7 Piano—Sanssouci Scholarship           

Thea Vermeulen, Level 7 Piano—Karen Rempel Scholarship

Ella Barton, Level 7 Piano—Vernon Volkswagen Scholarship

Jadyn Dobernigg, Level 7 Guitar—Hurlburt Memorial Scholarship

Mayah Martsellos, Level 6 Voice—Elizabeth Scott Scholarship for Young Musicians

Thank you to all of you for being a part of our Music School, and for your dedication to your respective programs. We appreciate you and all the effort that goes into your studies, and we look forward to seeing you in the Fall!

Summer Newsletter

First off, we wanted to say thank you so much for a truly remarkable year. We have made it through and were able to continue to do what we love. It is so hard for me to believe this is June already. All of us here at the school appreciate your flexibility and compassion to help gets us through, and we are looking for to September and whatever adjustments that will bring. Below is the Summer Newsletter for your perusal; there is some really great content that reinforces how remarkable our students are.

Just a reminder that registration is now open for returning students in September. Please let your teacher know if you are wanting to continue with lessons, and then register with Heather in the office. Thank you!

Summer Newsletter page 1
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Summer Newsletter page 8

Open Registration

Registration is now open for the 2021-2022 school year. For current students, please let your music teacher know if you will be returning next year; you can pick up a registration form in the office or download it from our registration page on the website. Plans are in the works for another fantastic year, and we would love you to join us!

For new students interested in starting lessons and being a part of our Music School community, please contact Heather in the office. She will let you know which teachers have space in September, and will get you set up with registration.

Live Concert

We had an exciting opportunity to host a Violin Duo with the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra Chamber Ensembles in a socially distanced performance this past weekend; what a spectacular Sunday afternoon is was!

OSO concertmaster Rachel Kristenson and principal second violinist Martine denBok performed on our newly restored veranda for some of our students and their parents. We had four 20-minute concerts maintaining appropriate COVID-19 safety protocols for the musicians, staff, students and their families.

The sun was shining and people were so happy to hear live music for the first time in what feels like forever. We are grateful to be able to share the joy of music within our community, as well as provide a bit of comfort to those who need it – especially in a pandemic. We look forward to having more outdoor concerts at our school in the near future, as we all look for ways to connect in our community!

Check out the great Castanet article written about the afternoon.

OSO concertmaster Rachel Kristenson and principal second violinist Martine denBok
Violin duo performing at the Smith House
Audience enjoying the performance in a socially distanced capacity.
Audience dancing to the music at the Smith House.

Pachelbel’s Canon in D

Friends! It’s here! Over 60 violin and cello students of Bev Martens, Morna Howie, and Natalie Kober came together in the Vernon Community Music School‘s Suzuki program, and with the extreme hard work and determination of Natalie and her husband Daniel Hayduk this masterpiece emerges! Pachelbel’s Canon in D…enjoy! BRAVO!

Background story:

Since March our Suzuki groups and our orchestra have not been able to meet in person. There are far too many of us for one thing (50+ students — not including parents or teachers) and using an online platform for this sort of group class was not feasible. 

The idea for a virtual orchestra project came after many of the Suzuki students and their parents lamented how much they were missing the group classes: the camaraderie, the experience of playing with others in unison or in harmony resulting in beautiful music, and the inspiration that comes from older students playing with younger ones.

The song Natalie knew would work for this virtual orchestra project was Pachelbel’s Canon: It is a piece with multiple parts and many layers. With some tweaking it works for our beginner students and even those who are more advanced.  

Technologically, Natalie relied on the expertise of her photographer/videographer husband, Daniel Hayduk. She said she would not be able to do this without his support, and since all his international assignments have been cancelled, he has time!

If you or your child are interested in learning more about creating multi-layered tracks and videos, check out the CBC music counts website for videos on how to do this. 

Spring Newsletter

The Spring Newsletter is out and available for your perusal! This issue is chalk full of good information, including a “Guess Who” page, a Music Scavenger hunt to do during Spring Break, and information on the upcoming Spring Concert Series. As always, our newsletters are best enjoy over a hot beverage, so sit back, relax, and enjoy the read!

To download your own copy of the newsletter, click here.

Spring Newsletter – page 1
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Spring Concert Series

Close your eyes and picture listening to beautiful sounds of students performing the magic of a song, the smells of spring and blossoming flowers tickle your nose, with a gentle breeze flowing around you. Your heart feels happy and joyful because this is one of the first times you’ve heard live music since the pandemic started. This year we are excited to announce our Spring Concert Series. This is an outdoor concert series that will be held out the front of the Smith House, by the newly restored pillars. The series will be held on Sunday afternoons, from May 23 – June 13, starting at 1:00 pm. Seating on the grass will be marked out so that physical distance can be maintained. More information to follow in the upcoming weeks, check our social media pages and website blog to learn more!

Outdoor Spring Concert Series at the Vernon Community Music School, May 23 - June 13.