Central School students team with Straker to salute Centennial

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This year Central School students have been learning about the school’s 100 year history through classroom activities, a noon hour Centennial club and school tours.

In February, they had a very special and unique experience enabling them to create their very own school Centennial song. Saskatchewan singer/songwriter Jeffery Straker spent two and a half days in the school working with students. Straker helped them to put their ideas and inspirations into a song that reflects on the history of the school and what the school means to them. All students in Grades 1-5 were involved in brainstorming ideas and inspirations, then a group of Grade 5 students spent an intense day on the songwriting process. The final day was spent practicing and recording the song. This included the recording of a backing track by local musicians Ken Friesen (acoustic guitar), Tanner Wilhelm-Hale (drums) Michael Lyngstad (bass guitar), Celia Hammerton (violin) and Straker on keyboard. Students were then recorded with the choir singing the verses and the whole school singing the chorus. Straker had never before facilitated a student workshop exactly like this, with students writing and recording a complete song in such a short space of time and he was very impressed with the way the students focused and worked. He was also impressed with the final product, after many hours of intense editing and work on the recording by Ken Friesen.

Central School is excited to have Straker coming back to help celebrate the launch of the song at a special assembly at 9 a.m. on May 23rd. The song will be available as a free download (to be announced at the assembly) and will be performed by the students at the assembly. Straker was keen to come back and join the students for this special event, and as part of the assembly he will perform a song or two for the students. Straker will talk about how he developed an early love of music through the encouragement of a local music teacher and how this lead to his singing/songwriting career.

Straker will also be performing a concert at Central School the evening before, on May 22nd from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 each or $100 for table of eight (includes coffee and desert). Email chammerton@chinooksd.ca if interested in purchasing tickets.

Organizations: Central School

Geographic location: Saskatchewan

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