Students from the Sandowne (foreground) and Georgia Park elementary schools sing 'Like an Eagle' in the finale of last week's Music Showcase at Carihi Secondary

Students shine in Music Showcase

Annual School District 72 concert held as tribute to late music teacher Darlene Ngo

Nearly 300 Campbell River students took a bow in the spotlight last week as School District 72 hosted its annual Music Showcase at Carihi Secondary School.

The event, which has taken place in each of the past 15 years, was also staged as a tribute to one of its principal founders. Darlene Ngo taught music in the district for more than 20 years before succumbing to cancer last spring.

“We usually use the showcase as a means of collecting donations to the food bank,” said Jake Autio, music instructor at Pinecrest and Ripple Rock elementary schools.

“This year, we asked for donations to the Darlene Ngo memorial fund.”

More than $1,000 was contributed during the March 19 concert, bringing the fund’s balance to just under $10,000. When it reaches that threshold, said Autio, it will provide a perpetual $400 annual grant, administered through the Vancouver Foundation.

Last week’s Music Showcase featured bands from Carihi and École Phoenix Middle School, as well as elementary choirs from Sandowne, Georgia Park, Quadra/Discovery, Pinecrest/Ripple Rock, Cedar and Penfield.

In addition, a dozen-member strong fiddle group from Sandowne performed to a packed house in the Carihi gym.

After each school’s entrant performed a series of numbers, the choirs combined for a grand finale performance of Carl Strommen’s “Like an Eagle”, accompanied by the Carihi band rhythm section.

The song was used regularly by Ngo for graduation and other ceremonies, and it was also performed in her memorial service following her death last year.

“It was a very purposefully chosen song for the finale and tribute,” said Autio.

Donations to the Darlene Ngo fund can be made online, at bcksc.ca/darlene-fund.