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Salmon Arm’s Hillcrest Elementary a finalist in CBC Music Class Challenge

Music video received praise from Canadian rocker Hawksley Workman
Hillcrest Elementary’s music video entry for this year’s CBC Canadian Music Class Challenge was named a finalist in the Elementary Vocal category for Grades 4-6 on Dec. 7, 2021. (Hillcrest Elementary video)

A music video created by Grade 5 students at Salmon Arm’s Hillcrest Elementary continues to receive attention across Canada.

It was announced on Tuesday, Dec. 7 that the video, created for this year’s CBC Canadian Music Class Challenge, had been named one of 10 finalists in the Elementary Vocal category for Grades 4-6.

The video features Hillcrest music teacher Brook Roberts and his Grade 5 music students performing a cover of the Hawksley Workman song Safe and Sound. Described as a “car-tune,” the video has unique look with illustrated cardboard cutouts of buildings and trees animating the background and a coloured cardboard cutout of a Volkswagen Beetle travelling in front. Students take turns singing in the driver and front passenger seats. Roberts explained the video was influenced by the song, which he picked from the list of Canadian artists’ songs available to choose from in this year’s Music Class Challenge.

Shortly after its release, the video caught the attention of Workman who shared praise and gratitude via Twitter.

“OMGoodness…another artful, stunning and emotional rendition of •safe and sound• from Hillcrest Elementary…I’m floored again…”

Roberts said the video has since received about 3,600 views.

“It’s great to be recognized…” said Roberts. “People are interested and people like it and that’s pretty amazing.”

Some of those views were at a school in Montreal.

“I had a music teacher in Montreal reach out via email and just said, “Hey, we watched your video, thought it was great, showed it to all my kids,’” said Roberts. “That’s so cool right; it’s a big city, it’s on the other side of the country - there are kids over there checking out what kids over here are doing.”

While Hillcrest is one step further in the running for first prize, which includes $3,000 in musical instruments and a plaque, Roberts considers the recognition the video has already received as a win for his students.

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