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Students join in song

Christine Grimard
Northern News Services
Friday, May 11, 2007

YELLOWKNIFE - As the speed of sound travels at around 1,200 kilometres per hour, the children of N.J. Macpherson, St. Joseph, and J.H Sissons school sang loudly to catch up with children singing the same song across Canada.

Organized by the Coalition for Music Education in Canada, more than 500,000 students from every province and territory sang together May 7.

The students all sang "Our Song," composed specially for the event.

Kamey Dunbar, a music teacher at J.H Sissons school, led the song in both English and French. In addition to inspiring and uniting students in music, the day is also about highlighting the importance of music programs in schools.

"With so many programs being cut, we really need to step forward," said Dunbar. "We need a day like this to champion the music program."

With fewer music teachers around, Dunbar said they have to be louder to advocate their programs.

"We believe that music is key in learning and in life," added Dunbar.

Jackie Boersma, a music teacher at St. Joseph school, agreed that they should seize chances like this to highlight music programs.

"Anytime we can celebrate music in our schools is a great opportunity," said Boersma.

The St. Joseph junior and senior choirs sang along with the N.J. Macpherson choir at the Greenstone building. In addition to "Our Song," the junior and senior choirs also each led a song.

Dunbar led the assembly in J.H. Sissons school gymnasium, attended by parents and Yk1 staff.

"One of the parts of this song that speaks to me the loudest is 'we all have a need to sing,'" said J.H. Sissons Principal Paul Bennett.

The assembly at J.H. Sissons kicked off with the national anthem sung in Dogrib, followed by "Our Song" sung in both French and English.

Students then played a few French tunes, some piano, and a duet on the recorder.