May 11, 2018 – Tonight is the final show for St. Thomas Aquinas High School's Spring Concert – Jukebox Heroes. Students along with the accompaniment of a live band are performing songs from music legends like ABBA, Dolly Parton, Joni Mitchell, Stevie Ray Vaughan, James Brown and many other classic artists.
Director of Music at St. Thomas Aquinas High School, Darcy Ura, talks about the theme – Jukebox Heroes. "This year we chose a theme that was open to a lot of different styles of music and songs. We were thinking about how students listen to music now, through their IPods, and it reminded us of the old jukebox classics where all your favorite songs were in one place."
Grade 9 student, McKenna Isfeld performed Jolene by Dolly Parton and talks about what it feels like to be on stage. "It's nerve-racking at first but when you get into the music it takes you away, and you just sing and have fun."
Isfeld has been preparing for the vocal show for the last two months. "I'm really happy with the song Mr. Ura chose for me. The vocal show gives our school and community an opportunity to listen to live music and see the talent in the school community. It lets us do what we love to do."
The planning for the Spring Concert starts in the fall explains Ura. "In the fall the students do auditions and we start working with the singers through the choir and Music Ministry to get to know their voices and individual singing styles. Each song is selected for the performer based on the student's voice. We match students with songs that will suite them."
Students at Kenora Catholic elementary schools were able to attend daytime matinees of Jukebox Heroes. "Every year we offer a daytime matinee for the elementary students so they can experience the music and see the older students performing, says Ura. "Our music program at St. Thomas Aquinas High School is accessible to everyone. No previous music experience is necessary. We take beginners and all learning styles and find opportunities for students to learn music and become a performer at our concerts. Our program is all-inclusive and has an open-door policy for giving students experiences and opportunities."
The final performance of Jukebox Heroes starts tonight at 7:00 p.m. and costs $10 per person for ground-floor seats or $20 per person for luxury box seats. There will also be a live auction at tonight's show, where items donated by local businesses, including a Melissa Jean painting and a guided fishing trip will be auctioned off. All proceeds will go towards funding the Seniors Band's Trip to perform at the 46th Annual MusicFEST Canada Competition
, May 14 – 19th in Toronto.
The next concert for St. Thomas Aquinas High School's Music Department is on May 24th. "The May 24th Concert will be a culmination of all the things the students have been working on all school year," says Ura. "The Senior Band will be performing songs they performed at MusicFEST. There will be performances from the Junior and Intermediate Band, guitar class, percussion class and choral groups. The concert will be a mosaic of different performances and music styles."