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Friday, 02 November 2012 08:31

SCCHS students have opportunity to perform with Marianas Trench

Written by  Jessi Gowan
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Sixteen SCCHS students got to experience a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity last week, when the vocal jazz group won a contest that got them onstage with Juno-nominated Canadian pop-rock group Marianas Trench.

“A parent actually pointed out the contest to me on the band’s website, she was going to see the show with her daughter and thought it looked interesting,” admitted Choral Director Brianna Dennehy.
“I know how popular the band is, and a lot of my students really like the band, so they were excited about it. And what a neat opportunity for them, even if they don’t love the band, to be on stage at a rock concert. It’s a totally different learning experience.”
Since Dennehy found out about the Face the Music competition less than a week before the video auditions needed to be uploaded, the students worked as hard as they could to get their performance perfected for the audition. They had to perform two of the band’s most popular songs — Stutter and Fallout.
Student Dalton Lam stepped up and took the initiative to write out music for the group.
“We weren’t sure what the other groups were doing, whether they were just singing over a recording or what, but we knew we could do better than that,” Dennehy said. “Dalton listened to the recording and wrote out harmonies and parts for vocal percussion, harmonies, and a soloist. We had no instruments, the entire performance was just with voices.”
Dennehy was confident in the group’s audition, and with little time to get everything finished and uploaded, there was really no time to be nervous.
A few weeks after they sent in their video, they received an email from the record company saying that they had won.
“There was lots of excitement, but most of them were in shock and couldn’t even say anything,” noted Dennehy.
“I think that because our video was a cappella, that it stood out a bit. While this is pop rock band, their music does have a lot of harmonies, and musically, I think that’s really important to the band. Also, the kids knew their parts really well, and we made sure to include that the music had actually been written by one of the students in the group. I don’t know if many high-school students have that kind of talent.”
The students performed at the concert in Regina last week, and got to experience a professional sound check, quick rehearsal with Josh Ramsay in their dressing room, and even a VIP performance.
After dinner, they performed with the band in front of 4,000 fans.
“It was absolutely phenomenal,” Dennehy admitted. “Everyone did such a great job, and it was really a fantastic experience. I think any chance kids have to work on their craft is such a great opportunity, and I’m so glad these kids had the chance to experience this. Josh shook all of their hands while he was performing, and it was so important for the kids to have that kind of contact with someone who ‘made it’ in the music industry.”

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