The Salmon Arm Secondary jazz combo, known as ‘Five Shades of Gray’ and consisting of Gray Simms, Madeline Wiebe, Matt Burke, Luke Rivette and Carson de Vries, performed a selection of jazz tunes at the first meeting of the new school board Nov. 20, before speaking about their invitation to a national music festival in Ottawa in 2019. (Jodi Brak/Salmon Arm Observer)

Salmon Arm students hope to perform at national music festival

Five Shades of Gray is looking for paying gigs to fundraise travel costs

A tight performance from a jazz ensemble might not have been what people expected when coming to the first meeting of the new School District 83 trustees on Nov. 20 in Salmon Arm, but soon after the session commenced the rhythmic beats and subtle lead notes of five talented student musicians had the audience spellbound.

The Salmon Arm Secondary Jazz Combo – known as Five Shades of Gray, and consisting of Gray Simms, Madeline Wiebe, Matt Burke, Luke Rivette and Carson de Vries – performed two numbers at the board meeting. This talented combination has qualified to take part in a national music festival in Ottawa in May, and they are looking for a little help getting there.

Related: Music teacher Brian Pratt-Johnson honoured in special concert

Ensemble lead Gray Simms explained during the performance that the group was invited to perform at the festival last year, but received the invite at the last minute and decided to take a rain-check, raise funds and take the stage at MusicFest Canada in 2019.

To that end, the group took the opportunity at the Nov. 20 meeting to offer up their services as a stellar addition to any holiday parties, birthday parties, family gatherings or other events that could use some talented instrumentalists to set the soundscape. They are also interested in joining with other fundraising events as an entertainment offering, splitting the proceeds with the charity.

Board chair Marianne VanBuskirk thanked the students for sharing their incredible talent, saying, “We really appreciate you taking time to come here. This was a high quality performance and it is clear why you’ve been invited to take part in MusicFest Canada.”

Related: Changes cause discord over school music program

The SAS Jazz Combo, Five Shades of Gray, can be reached at sas.jazz.combo@gmail.com to inquire about bookings and fundraising opportunities.


 

@Jodi_Brak117
jodi.brak@saobserver.net

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