2023-09-19  Registrations are now being accepted for Fall Classes!


2023-09  HPS grad to study music at University of Victoria

Nolan Branch began playing cello in HPS when he was in grade seven.

Flash forward to May 2023 when in grade 12, Nolan is mentoring younger cellists in HPS Orchestra. This September he began freshman year at UVic to study Music and Computer Science. Read the whole story here…


2023-07-09  HPS Strings opened the show with a rendition of  “Despacito”at the Sooke Phil’s Fling!


2023-06-27  Board members elected for 2023-24 term at AGM

Left to right, back row: Richard Sharman (Treasurer), Susan Colonval (Director), David Stewart (Director-fundraising), Katherine Lesyshen (Director-grants), Janice Hlady (Secretary), Julia Gibb (Admin Assistant). Front row: Lorna Bjorklund (Executive Director), Terry Cristall (President), Sheila Whincup (Director-publicity).

Missing from the photo is Lee Anderson, who is stepping away from the HPS board this coming term in order to focus on his role as co-chair of the Sooke Philharmonic Society. But we’ll appreciate his continued contributions, especially in collaborations between the Sooke Phil and HPS.

Many thanks to the teachers, students, parents and all friends of HPS for your participation in musical education this year! With best wishes for a happy, refreshing summer!


2023-06-27  AGM will be on Tuesday June 27th at 3781 Phillips Road, 6-8pm
Please come for a Report on the year’s highlights, board elections, good company and refreshments!


2023-06  Year-End Concerts, at Journey Middle School Gymnasium

~ Drumline on Tues June 13th at 7pm
~ Strings on Mon June 19th at 6pm

Everyone is invited to come hear and see the students perform at their year-end peak.


2023-05  Spring Awards and Adjudications

In April the HPS-SD 62 Strings Orchestra won the special top “Adjudicator’s Choice” Award at the Greater Victoria Performing Arts Festival held at UVIC.

Then in May, adjudicator Sarah Falls from Port Alberni marked the Orchestra’s performances for the V.I. Concert Band Festival which is a competition of MusicFest Canada. The Orchestra received the top mark of “Superior” in all aspects, including for tone quality, rythmic accuracy, interpretation, responsiveness and concentration.

The Orchestra was conducted by Susan Colonval, an HPS board member who was subbing for Lead Strings Teacher, Maria Wang, who was away performing on tour.

Adjudicator Sarah Falls listened, marked, then led the Orchestra in a Clinic to point out their strong points and areas that could be improved.

“First, I want to say you’re already fabulous, your dynamics are excellent…but I’m a stickler for intonation, so let’s look at the F# in bar 9, E flat in bar 15…sharper, sharper!”

What a pleasure it is to learn and stretch toward perfection.

The Superior mark qualifies the Orchestra to participate in the MusicFest Nationals to be held in Toronto in May 2024.


Drumline travelled to Abbotsford for the BC Regional Competition of the Canadian Drumline Association (CDA). HPS Middle Line received 9th Place, and Senior-Alumni Line received a First Place. Teacher Alex Mold said the members can be very proud of their performances and it was a super experience, especially for the Middle Line in their first ever provincial competition.

Drumline in Abbotsford for the CDA competition.

Middle Line performing in their first ever provincial competition.

See HPS Drumline performances in Abbotsford below:



2023-04-15 Next Bottle Drive is on Sat Apr 15th

To arrange for pick ups, please contact Richard: 250-884-8382 or


2023-03 Newest Beginning Strings students receive their instruments

Students are excited to learn how to play their instruments. Parents and students attended a presentation on how to care for the instruments.


2023-03 Purdy’s Chocolate fundraiser wraps up

Friends of HPS bought over $1,800 worth of chocolates to support HPS programs! Pick up will be on April 1st at Holy Trinity Church 10-11am. For more info, please contact Katherine:


2023-02-18 First Bottle Drive of the year

Young cellist, Owen, collected over a dozen bags of empties from his neighbours!

Parents, students, and Board members braved a cold rainy day to raise funds for Strings and Drumline.

2023-02  HPS Classes are “hoppening” this Rabbit Year!

David Stewart, HPS board member and former Concert Master of the Bergen Orchestra in Norway, helps to mentor Orchestra class.

Drumline Middle Line is making an impressive sound under teachers Chris Rivollier and Alex Mold.

Our newest Beginning Strngs class has 12 students. They have not yet received their instruments, but are learning about musicianship in other ways. Lead Teacher, Maria Wang asks: “What is missing from this violin?”

Music Reader student learns from teacher, Hollas Longton.


2023-01-10  Happy New Year and welcome to a new Beginning Strings Class!

Both Drumline and Strings Classes have resumed. Plus, registrations are being accepted for a new Beginning Strings class for students in grades 3-5. Lorna Bjorklund, Executive Director welcomes young students who would like to learn how to play a violin, viola or cello:

“We still have room for students in the beginning class of Harmony Project.  An information session for parents/guardians will be held at 10:30 am on January 14th at Holy Trinity Church, 1962 Murray Road.  The first class will be on Tuesday, January 17th from 3:30–5:00 and the next class on Saturday, January 21st from 10:30–12:00, also at Holy Trinity Church.  Anyone who would like to join could e-mail Julia Gibb at to request a registration form and come to the meeting.”



2022-12-13  HPS Winter Concert at Journey Middle School 6:30pm

Members of the “Music Reader Class” who first received their instruments in January 2022!  They performed “Ode To Joy” and “Are You Sleeping?”

Executive Director, Lorna Bjorklund, welcomed the enthusiastic audience of HPS parents, friends and board members.

Junior Drumline performed “Storm”, “Natural Beat” and “Double Beat”.

Junior Strings conducted by Lead Teacher, Maria Wang, preformed “Sinfonia in A minor”.


The Senior Quartet performed a lovely arrangement by Kenneth Abeling of the traditional carol “Holy Night”.

Senior strings players, Zara Viala and Leah Paquette have been members of HPS since its inception in 2016.

Sooke Strings Orchestra including HPS senior and junior members performed a rousing “Murphy’s Jig” plus “The Huron Carol” and “The First Noel”, in which the audience sang along.


Senior Drumline demonstrated advanced skills in a complex three-part piece, “Beneath, Between, Behind”, composed by DL teacher Alex Mold.

The joy and satisfaction of making music!



2022-12-04  Drumline marching in Sooke Lions’ Santa Claus Parade (video by Victoria Bailey).



2022-11-13  Mary Brown Memorial Concert to raise funds for the Juan de Fuca Health Foundation.

Junior Drumline welcomed audience members as they arrived at Holy Trinity Anglican Church.


Additional photos of Junior Drumline by Irene Morden of “Bullistic Imagin

With teacher, Alex Mold.

Junior Strings were conducted by Brent Straughan in performing the Finale to Symphony No. 5 by Ludwig von Beethoven.


2022-10-30  HPS “Music Readers” performed at the Sooke Philharmonic’s first fall concert of 2022.

The “Music Readers” are the most recent Beginning Strings Class which only received their instruments in January of this year! Performing here with teachers, Hollas Longton and Maria Wang (not in photo).

2022-10-30 Third annual Halloween Drive-in Movie Night, with thanks for generous funding from the District of Sooke.
Despite pouring rain, the Drive-in Movie took place without a hitch. Both Junior and Senior Drumlines bravely tuned their drums under tents and performed to enthusiastic applause in the form of honking car horns and flashing headlights.

Councillor Al Beddows welcomed the audience and praised the leadership and organizational work that help to bring about events such as this.

Junior Drumline in costume.

2022-10-30  Third annual Halloween Drive-in Movie Night, with thanks for generous funding from the District of Sooke.
2022-10-15  Bottle Drive 10am-2pm, under the Seaparc sign.
Thanks to volunteer cartoonist, Joan Stiebel, for poster below with details.
2022-09  Fall Classes Resume!
Despite continuing absences due to illness (Covid and just plain cold/flu), both Strings and Drumline classes are in session, with exciting events already lined up for the fall term.

On Tuesdays after school in the Journey Middle School gym, the basketball hoops stand still while the HPS strings reverberate. Lead teacher, Maria Wang introduces a new piece to the HPS strings ensemble class.

Remember these grade two students (Evy on left and Leah) back in 2016 when HPS first began Strings Classes? Here they’ve just received their first instruments on which they would soon be learning to play “Hot Cross Buns”.

Flash forward to Oct 2022 and we find Evy and Leah continuing to be immersed in HPS Strings, and now they’ve gained the focus and skills to perform the Finale of Symphony No. 5 by Beethoven!

Intermediate Strings are also gaining concentration and coordination.

Yay, we finally nailed that B flat!

Drumline teacher Alex Mold provides instruction on how to execute double strokes on the quads.

As the sun sets, teacher Chris Rivollier accompanies student in practice, and more practive.


2022-08-06  Next Bottle Drive is on Saturday Aug 6th, 9am-2pm!

Under the Seaparc sign at corner of Sooke and Phillips Roads.

We could really use some helping hands during all or part of the day. It’s fun to work together, and it won’t be quite as hot as it is now 🙂  We’d like to space helpers out so please let us know when you can help by contacting our Treasurer, Richard Sharman:

If you can’t get your bottles to the Bottle Drive on that day, you can drop them off at Richard Sharman’s house, 2289 Church Hill Drive (off Church Road north of Throup). Knock or just leave them beside the driveway.

You can also take them to the Sooke Bottle Depot at 2032 Idlemore Road, and designate them for the HPS account. But you have to sort them there yourself; the Bottle Depot does not have staff to do that.

If you’d like to arrange for pick-up of your empties, please contact Richard, as above. Thank you, Richard!

2022-07-10  HPS Strings performed at the Sooke Phil Fling, which was, as always, a beautiful celebration of music in the summer!

HPS Strings warming up with support from violin soloists David Stewart and Paule Prefontaine.

Lead teacher, Maria Wang, conducted Junior and Senior Strings members in playing “Fiddles on Fire” and the Finale of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5.



2022-06-17  AGM on Friday, June 17th, at 2pm
2022-06  Awards and Performances this Spring!
Greater Victoria Performing Arts Festival – HPS Junior and Senior Strings students gave performances which won them two of the four awards given in the whole GVPAF event!
Victoria Day Parade – Senior Drumline marched in the Victoria Day Parade.
But their coordinated marching and playing was only possible after much practice in class!
And studying the score, including original pieces composed by teacher, Alex Mold.
MusicFest Nationals
Congratulations to the teachers and the students for their fine results!
It took much rehearsing and then taping and submitting performances to MusicFest, an annual event that judges competitors from schools across Canada.
Junior Drumline preparing to record their entry for MusicFest Nationals.
It’s hard work!
Senior Strings prepare to record their entry.
Canadian Drumline Championships-BC in Abbotsford
Junior DL won Silver and Senior DL won Gold in the CDL-BC Championships. Teacher Alex Mold composed original pieces for the students to perform, which received high praise. The trip also helped the boys build camaraderie and enjoy treats on the ferry!
Sooke Philharmonic Chamber String Workshops
The long and close relationship between HPS and the Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra enjoyed a lovely boost in May when HPS students were allowed to watch and learn from the adult musicians who came from far and wide to participate in the SPO’s Chamber String Workshops.
On the closing evening of the Workshops, Lead teacher, Maria Wang, conducted Junior Strings in performing three pieces to enthusiastic applause from Workshop participants.
Students also benefited by being able to watch close-up as professional musicians such as violinist David Stewart (left) instructed and led performances by Workshop participants.
2022-04  Spring Has Sprung!

Strings student taking a Saturday morining class break at Sooke Baptist Church.

Julien Haynes conducts Junior Strings.

How to fine tune your instrument.

And organize your music.

Lead Teacher, Maria Wang, conducts Beginning Strings, who only received their instruments in January and are already playing “Hot Cross Buns”!

Look, Ma, no hands!

Hollas Longton guides Beginning Strings in technique.

Junior Strings member coaches new Beginning Strings student.


Coldest Night of the Year (CNOY) Walk – 4pm on Saturday Feb 26th at Evergreen Mall

“Team Harmony Project” under Captain David Stewart is participating in the CNOY Walk this year to help raise funds for the Sooke Shelter Society. We have already reached our modest money goal, but would still welcome your support either by walking with us or donating. If you’ve already joined another team, that’s great.

To join or donate to Team Harmony Project, log onto If you need help, email Team Captain, David Stewart at

A few words below about times and routes from Captain David:
“We will do the 2 km loop walk. We will meet to register at the Evergreen Mall gazebo Saturday, Feb 26 @ 4 pm. Then it’s up Otter Point Rd, Waddams Way, Church and back to Evergreen. That’s the official walk. I actually preferred last year’s walk, so we could go up Otter, around Phillips park and back if we want. (Up to us!)

Oh, there are hot dogs and hot chocolate at the end this year. A strong sign the pandemic is passing! Ma….molto lento!

Hoping for nice weather this year, but I will include rain gear in my car. I know, ‘Coldest Night of the Year’ doesn’t really apply in coastal BC, but it makes me think of those folks I’ve passed by -30˚ in TO and Mtl in their cardboard ‘houses’ on top of subway grates. And I could barely make it two blocks to my parked car!

Let me know if you plan to walk it with us. Parents, kids, teachers, board members and all friends of HPS are welcome!”

2022-02-20  Help Wanted!

1)  Does being organized (and organizing others) bring you joy? Can you record discussions accurately and communicate them clearly in writing? Would you enjoy reminding board members about upcoming meetings? Then you may be the Secretary that HPS wants and needs!

The Secretary is primarily responsible for:

  • recording and distributing minutes of monthly board meetings
  • organizing and carrying out correspondence as needed
  • maintaining HPS documents and records

No musical skills are required! But if you (or someone you know) are a person who has some secretarial experience and would like to help children thrive through learning music, then please consider volunteering with our small and friendly board to promote the healthy development of youth in our community.

For more information please visit and contact Terry Cristall or Sheila Whincup

2)  Grant Writer

A skillful grant writer is vital to most non-profit organizations. HPS is grateful for donations, fundraising efforts and partial fees which help to sustain our Strings and Drumline programs, but grants from foundations, governments and companies provide the major funding.

HPS is seeking a volunteer and/or part-time modestly paid grant writer (hours and rate to be determined according to grants applied for and by mutual agreement). The Grant Writer will be someone who is enthusiastic about helping children thrive through the learning and performing of music, will collaborate with a board member Grant Coordinator, and will have some experience applying for grants, ideally in the non-profit, arts, and education sectors, and is able to navigate online application forms and processes. There may also be opportunity to research alternative funding options such as corporate and private sponsorships.

For more information please visit and contact Terry Cristall or Katherine Lesyshen


2022-02-26  “Team Harmony Project” to walk in Coldest Night of the Year (CNOY) event on Feb 26th.
Team captain, David Stewart invites all students, parents, board members, teachers, volunteers and supporters to join “Team Harmony Project” on this walk to raise funds for the Sooke Shelter Society. More details to come about the walk route and time. For info about CNOY and our team, please visit:


2022-01-11  HPS enters 2022 with caution, hope and perseverance in the face of the Omicron variant.
Strings and Drumline Classes will begin the week of January 11th, with Covid protocols in place. Beginning Strings Class is especially excited since they will receive their instruments.



2021-12-14  Strings Winter Concert – 7pm at Holy Trinity Church

Finale performed by Senior String Orchestra was Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 by J.S. Bach, arr. Merle J. Isaac.

Flowers and thanks were presented to teachers Julien Hayes, Gary Sun, Hollas Longton, and Lead Teacher, Maria Wang.


2021-11-23  NEW Beginning Strings Class (for grades 3 and up) starts this week; registration is still open (see info below).

Recruitment session

On Sat Nov 13 an info and recruitment session for the families interested in the new class was held at Sooke Baptist Church. HPS students in Wolfgang Quartet demonstrated what they have learned.

NEW Beginner Class Information 
  • Class schedule: 
    • Tuesdays at 3:30 – 5:00 pm – Holy Trinity Church
    • Saturday at 10:30 – 12:00 pm – alternate between Holy Trinity Anglican and Sooke Baptist Church.
  • Start date: Tuesday, Nov 23, 2021 (last class before Christmas is Dec. 11)
  • Course outline:
    • Students will start with musicianship training (group movement, oral training, singing, clapping, intro to string instruments)
    • Students won’t be assigned to an instrument until the New Year.
  • Registration (Information of fee and payment included):
    • Fill in online form
    • Paper form is available on request

For more info please contact:
Maria Wang
Director, Sooke Strings Program
Head Teacher, Harmony Project Sooke


2021-10-31 Intermediate Strings performed at “Together Again”, the Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra’s 1st in-person concert during pandemic.


2021-10-30  Students attend Open Rehearsal of Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra

Students watched and heard Sooke Phil conductor Yariv Aloni and soloists run through pieces for their upcoming concert.


2021-10-30  Halloween Drive-in Movie Night recap

Jr. Drumline

Junior Drumline played as the cars arrived.


Nolan Branch demonstrates expertise on cello


Wolfgang Quartet incognito


Welcome by Sooke District Councillor Ebony Logins and HPS Executive Director Lorna Bjorklund. Great appreciation to the Sooke District for sponsoring the event and to Sooke Harbourside Lions for providing their popcorn machine and donating the proceeds to HPS!

Sr. Drumline

The Senior Drumline’s performance was applauded by the cars’ honking horns and flashing headlights.


2021-10-30  Students invited to attend Open Rehearsal of Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra

SPO open rehearsal

Parents and students watched and listened to the orchestra and soloists rehearse the program of the SPO’s upcoming concert under conductor Yariv Aloni.


2021-10-30  Halloween Drive-in Movie Night!
Thanks to generous sponsorship by the Sooke District Municipality, this safe and fun Halloween event is offered to our community. Popcorn Machine will be provided by Sooke Harbourside Lions. Attendance is by advance booking and by donation. See details in poster below. Spots are limited and going fast!


2021-09-28  Fall Classes Begin!  (To register, complete the new Google Form below.)

[New] Beginner Class for grades 3-6 – Recruitment starting Sept 2021
Our last beginner class (previous level 1 class) began in 2019. We will now open a new Beginner Class for students in Grades 3-6.  For more information, please contact Lorna Bjorklund at

[New] HPS Junior Strings  (previous Level 1 & 2 students)
Starting on Tuesday, September 28, at 3:30 – 5:30 pm at Holy Trinity Chuch.
To provide a better ensemble experience, we will combine the two classes, the previous Level 1 & 2, to form an “HPS Junior Orchestra.” Students will have one session of orchestra class and one technique class. Details are as following:

  • Orchestra Class: Tuesdays, 3:30 – 5:30 pm at Holy Trinity Church
  • Technique Class: Saturdays, time/venue TBA

Sooke String Orchestra  (previous Level 3 students)
The Sooke Strings Orchestra meets on Tuesdays evening from 5-7 pm at Journey Middle School. Orchestra students who sign up for the HPS program will receive a weekly 1-hr private lesson with an assigned teacher. Students who want to join the orchestra must be Grade 6 or above and pass an audition.

Instrument Renewal Day – Tuesday, Sept 21, 3 – 4:30 pm at Holy Trinity Church.
All HPS students and parents are welcome to come and renew their instrument sign-out form, even if you are not getting a larger instrument. Students who came to resize their instruments before the summer can come and swap for the new one. This will help us have a good start to the first class.

Drumline Classes will begin in first week of October on Tuesday afternoons at Journey Middle School.  For more info please contact

HPS Registration Form
  • This year we have adapted to online registration with a Google Form format. The form has all the information for program registration of strings and/or drumline, payment process, student and parents information, etc.
  • Please click here HPS REGISTRATION FORM 2021-2022 and complete the form for each of your child/children. 



2021-08-29  Be sure to catch the Sooke Phil Fling! on Sunday Aug 29th at the Ed MacGregor Park. For info please visit:



2021-08-08  “Music for a Sunday Afternoon: A Benefit Concert for HPS” took place on Aug 8th in perfect weather!  As the sold-out audience arrived at the lovely private Otter Point garden, they were treated to performances by Harmony students in the Wolfgang String Quartet and on clarinet and trumpet.

Wolfgang Quartet: (left to right) Isla Pugh, Emerson Ackeroyd, Alannah Garbella and Etta Pugh.
Merrick Pugh on clarinet and Bryn Pugh on trumpet.

The main concert featuring pieces by Grieg, Dvorak and Piazzolla was beautifully performed by our stellar line-up of musicians.

Left to right: Christina Mahler on cello, David Visentin on viola, and Paule Préfontaine, Hiroko Kagawa and David Stewart (not in photo) on violin.

HPS is grateful to the many who made this concert such a success. Major thanks go to Paule  Préfontaine (below right) who spearheaded the idea, gathered the performers, prepared the program and scores, gave extra coaching to the Wolfgang Quartet, and performed in the concert!

Wolfgang Quartet was congratulated by David Stewart, HPS board member, violinist and concert MC extraordinaire.

Thanks to all the talented performers, young and more experienced; to our generous but anonymous hosts; to HPS board members, executive director, and teachers; and also to the Sooke Phil members (Lee, Sue, and Jenny, to name a few) who had the skills to tackle the many tasks required for a concert to go smoothly.

This collaboration between the Sooke Phil and HPS reflects the close relationship between our two organizations, and honours the legacy of the late Maestro Norman Nelson, who founded both.

Last but far from least, thanks to generous donations from our audience members, HPS was able to net just over $3000, which means at least two students will be fully sponsored for a year in our Strings or Drumline program. The support from the community is heartwarming and will help to change lives through music! (Our Treasurer has issued most tax receipts, but if you still need one, please email Richard Sharman at: )

Christina Mahler, former principal cellist with Tafelmusik in Toronto, meets an admirer in Etta Pugh, cellist in Wolfgang Quartet.


2021-08-08  “Music for a Sunday Afternoon: A Benefit Concert for HPS”
will take place in a lovely private Otter Point Garden on Sunday Aug 8th at 2:30pm

A stellar line-up of musicians who have performed and taught all over the world will be performing in support of HPS. They include:

Hiroko Kagawa (violinist with the Canadian Opera Company and the National Ballet of Canada)
David Visentin (Director of postsecondary studies at the Victoria Conservatory of Music and Founder of Sistema Toronto)
Christina Mahler (former principal cellist with Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra in TO)
David Stewart (former Concertmaster of the Bergen Philharmonic in Norway, professor at University of Ottawa and University of Manitoba, now recently retired to Sooke and is co-founder and violinist in Voces Intimae String Quartet, and is a new board member of Harmony Project Sooke)
Paule Préfontaine (former Assistant Concertmaster in the Bergen Philharmonic, guest 2nd violin in Porto, Portugal, now co-founder and violinist in Voces Intimae String Quartet, and organizer of this benefit concert).
Plus, several HPS students in Drumline and the Wolfgang String Quartet.

It is interesting to note that the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra in Norway is an internationally renowned symphony orchestra with a rich history which spans over more than 250 years. Harmony Project is thrilled to have Bergen’s former Concertmaster, David Stewart, join the HPS board, where he brings great enthusiasm and skills, particularly in support of its Strings program.

The concert will feature works by Grieg, Dvorak, and Piazzolla.

Admission is by donation (suggested minimum of $20; tax receipts can be issued upon request). For more info and to RSVP, please email Sheila at or Jenny at

***Audience, volunteers and performers agree to not attend if they are sick or feeling unwell.


2021-08-07  Bottle Drive Sat Aug 7th, 10am-2pm.
Under the SeaParc sign at corner of Phillips and Sooke Roads. Remember to save your empties for us!  If anyone can help out on the day, please contact Sheila at


2021-06-29  Congratulations to Drumline Grads heading off to university!

Evan Nagy (left) will attend U Vic and Dymetri Taylor will attend McGill Univ in the fall.
Dymetri and Evan joined Drumline back in 2016, the year that HPS began, and they have been mainstays of the group ever since. Wishing them all the best, and hope that they’ll come back to visit!

Awareness Film Night fundraiser, December 2016

First Drumline in Sept 2016 included (left to right) Dymetri Taylor, Evan Nagy, Daniel Josok, Aodhan Tonnesen.


2021-06-24  Year-End Virtual Celebration Concert on Thurs June 24th at 7pm.
Please follow the Zoom link below to watch prerecorded performances by both Strings and Drumline students!


2021-06-09   AGM Election Results

Terry Cristall – President
Richard Sharman – Treasurer
Victoria Bailey – Secretary
Directors at Large:
Jenny Nelson
David Stewart
Sheila Whincup (Publicity)

The Board also thanked Lorna Bjorklund, Executive Director, for tirelessly nurturing HPS Strings and Drumline programs since their inception in 2016, and especially during this past pandemic year.


2021-06-09   AGM 7pm on Wed June 9th at 3781 Phillips Road
This will be safely-distanced outdoors (weather permitting). Please bring a lawn chair and your good ideas. For more info please contact Lorna Bjorklund 250-642-6681

2021-06-05  Bottle Drive on Saturday June 5th 10am-2pm
Please bring your empties to support our Strings and Drumline programs!  If you’re able to help out on June 5th, please contact Sheila:

2021-05-25  Musicfest Nationals Festival May 24-27 (livestream)
This is the 49th year of the Festival which promotes excellence in music education and involves the participation of thousands of students across the country.
Competitors include HPS Drumline and Strings Students (Wolfgang String Quartet and HPS stings students who are in the SD62 String Orchestra). Three Sooke school bands taught by Lorna Bjorklund are also entered.
Watch the performances at the link below.

Update: Sooke’s results at MusicFest Nationals were outstanding:

Sooke Community Senior Drumline – Gold
Sooke Community Junior Drumline – Silver
SD62 String Orchestra – Bronze
Wolfgang String Quartet – Silver
Edward Milne Community Concert Band – Silver
Journey Community Band – Gold
Journey Beginning Band – Gold

2021 Spring  A Gift from Ellen to Isla

Eleven-year-old Isla Pugh loves playing the violin!  Last year, she and her twin sister, Etta, along with their two cousins Emerson and Alannah, took the initiative to form the “Sooke Elementary String Quartet”.

Their proudest moment was to getting to play for Premier John Horgan at the BC Legislature.

Students in HPS and SD62 Orchestra with Premier John Horgan at the B.C. Legislature.

This year, the budding musicians have re-branded themselves the “Wolfgang String Quartet” and have already participated in the Greater Victoria Performing Arts Festival and are preparing to compete in the MusicFest Canada Nationals.

Enter a benefactor, Ellen Himmer, who heard the young musicians play in a church service and thought “these kids are good!” She found in Isla a worthy recipient of a violin which she had lovingly refurbished decades ago.

Ellen herself has had a long career as a professional musician, including traveling as principal cellist with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. She currently plays cello in the Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra and the Victoria Chamber Orchestra.

Read the rest of the story as told by Ellen…


2021 Spring  HPS inherits “Coffin-style” violin case

An antique wooden “coffin-style” violin case with quite a storied past has found its way to Harmony Project Sooke (HPS). More than 100 years old and smuggled out of the former East Germany through Checkpoint Charlie in the late 1960s, the painted black case with violin within was inherited by Colin McMechan of Shirley from his German great-grandfather.

To stimulate interest in the history of violins and their cases, Colin has kindly donated the case to HPS, a non-profit society which provides musical instruments and instruction to children in the Sooke Region.

The case features brass fittings and has a manufacturer’s label stating: “C. A. Bauer Dresden-N Gegründet 1850.”  (Photo by Colin McMechan)

Although not quite as well-traveled as the famous “Red Violin”, this violin and its case also have a tale to tell.  Read the whole saga as told by Colin…

2021-04-03  Three violins to HPS former CBC arts producer, Don Mowatt

Don Mowatt was for 34 years a producer of radio features and drama at the CBC in Vancouver and the leading western contributor to the acclaimed IDEAS series. When searching for a worthy recipient of three excellent violins in his possession, he consulted his good friend Don Kissinger, who happens to be a violinist in the Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra, and who was able to direct him to Harmony Project Sooke.

HPS was delighted to receive the violins which will serve our senior students well as they graduate to adult-size instruments. In the process, Jenny Nelson, a stalwart board member of both the Sooke Phil and HPS, was able to personally thank Don Mowatt, with whom she had worked at the CBC in Vancouver in the 1970’s shortly after she and Norman arrived in Canada. A nice reunion!

2021-04-02  April Bottle Drive is Postponed due to Covid-19 restrictions. Please stay tuned, and stay well.
2021-04-10  Spring Bottle Drive on Saturday April 10th (Postponed!)
Please start saving your empties, thank you!


2021-03-28  HPS students prepare to enter Greater Victoria Performing Arts Festival

Among them is the recently formed “Wolfgang String Quartet”.  Watch one of their entries below:

2021 Feb 20  HPS Board members braved the “Coldest Night of the Year” walk to raise funds in support of the Sooke Shelter Society


2021 January   Strings and Drumline Classes resume on January 5th

Drumline now has a veteran Senior line plus a newly formed Junior line!  The Senior line is moving into more advanced repertoire, and the Junior line is working through important fundamentals of playing. DL is excited to prepare for entering (virtually) the MusicFest Nationals and the DCA competitions this spring.

Strings Levels 1-3 are busily learning via one-on-one lessons and group classes on zoom, as well as though in-person classes.  Level 3 along with the SD62 Orchestra are excited about their new repertoire which includes Libertango, St. Paul’s Suites, Theme from the Greatest Showman, etc. They plan to enter the Nationals in May.

2020-12-26  Happy Holidays Youtube Video
Maria Wang, HPS Lead Strings Teacher, prepared this wonderful year-end review of performances by both Strings and Drumline students. These performances would be wonderful during any normal term, but they are truly impressive during this most challenging pandemic year.

We are so proud of all the students and teachers, and want to express much gratitude to all the participants in HPS (students, parents, teachers, volunteers, donors and supporters) who help to keep music education alive and well in our community.

6 Dec 2020  A Holiday “Cellobration”
Organized by U Vic cello professor, Pamela Highbaugh Aloni, this fun and joyful event will bring all cello lovers together for an early celebration of the holiday season.

The concert features UVic alumni cellists around the globe and cello students in the Greater Victoria community, including: Victoria Conservatory of Music, Harmony Project Sooke (Nolan, Etta, Hunter and Owen), SD 61 Cello Ensemble, Victoria Cello Quartet, GVYO Cello Sec tion, UVic Cello Studio, and UVic Cello Alumni Ensemble.

Sunday, Dec 6th, at 7:00 PM (poster attached)
Admission by donation to Music Scholarship Fund, see detail here.

31 Oct 2020  First-ever Halloween Drive-in Movie and Concert Event!

Admission is by invitation only and will be limited to 50 cars. We anticipate spaces to be taken up fast – so hurry.  To RSVP an invitation and space, call 778-565-6653 or email  We will need your name and contact number; attendees will later be sent a Covid policy/protocol sheet for the evening.

HPS is extremely grateful for funding from the District of Sooke to cover expenses that make this safe and fun event possible for the community. The event is also an important fundraiser for HPS…all proceeds will go toward helping to sustain our Strings and Drumline programs.

All donations are much appreciated (our suggested minimum is $15 per car). Donations may be sent by E-transfer to (our preferred method because it saves on admin fees), or by Paypal and credit card via the HPS website (under Help Us):

We look forward to seeing you there! Don’t forget to bring your own popcorn since unfortunately a food concession is not allowed.

24 Oct 2020  Bottle Drive under the Seaparc sign at Sooke and Phillips Roads, 9am-1pm


15 Oct 2020  HPS Students perform at celebration of Stickleback Urban Trails

September 2020  Fall Classes have resumed!
Both Strings and Drumline are offering in-person group classes and online individual lessons. All following Covid safety protocols.

For more info or to register, please contact Lorna Bjorklund at 250-642-6681 or

23 Sept. 2020  AGM  1:30pm Wednesday Sept 23, 2020
3781 Phillips Road, Sooke
Outdoors (weather permitting).
Come learn about the Fall program.
Bring your lawn chair, mask, and good ideas!
Info and RSVP (250) 642-6681


September 2020  Return of Fall Classes…time to dust off those strings and drum heads. More info soon!

25 July 2020  Bottle Drive was fun and a great success! Thanks to board, teachers, parents and students, and donors!

25 July 2020  Bottle Drive 8am-noon under the Seaparc sign at Sooke and Phillips Roads
Please save your empties and bring them on Saturday July 25th to support our young musicians.  If you have empties but can’t make it that day, please email Jan Barylski  to arrange for pick up.  Thank you!

Poster w treble clef

23 June 2020  Virtual Year-end Celebration Concert was presented on Zoom
Below is a screen-shot of some of the performers and audience members:

23 June 2020  First ever HPS Virtual Year-end Celebration Concert – on Zoom at 4pm
Students will perform individually and in duets, trios and quartets. An added treat will be performances by HPS teachers.

The approximately two-hour program will include folk songs to works by composers such as T. Suzuki,T.H. Bayly, Frank Blatchford, Scott Joplin, Leonard Cohen, plus Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Vivaldi, and more!

Parents, friends, and members of the public are invited to attend. To receive an invitation to the Zoom meeting-concert, email Lorna Bjorklund at

April- June 2020  HPS conducts online classes during Covid-19 pandemic

Screen-shots of Level 2 and 3 Strings Class

Drumline teacher Alex Mold at his home online teaching “cockpit” surrounded by drums, laptop, microphone, music stand, curriculum book, and lesson notes.

Spring 2020   Self-Isolation Gifts  Lorna Bjorklund, HPS Executive Director and well-loved band and orchestra teacher at Sooke schools, received some surprise visits during her self-isolation at her home, which is tucked in the forest far from Sooke centre.  For many evenings, she found dinner brought to her door, accompanied by a serenade in her yard of strings, clarinet and trumpet music!

The serenades took place at 7pm in order to also be part of the public’s tribute to all medical workers. The quartet of young musicians consists of Pugh family siblings: Etta, Isla, Merrick and Bryn. All are students in Harmony Project Sooke, the girls in Strings and the boys in Drumline.

Watch video of Easter Sunday Serenade below:


Read the whole story on CBC News:

March 30th onward  –  Due to the
COVID-19 Pandemic, school closures have been extended indefinitely.  Classes will be offered online.  HPS teachers are enthusiastically developing online lessons and classes to begin in mid-April.

Mar 16-27  Spring Break  –  Schools closed.

7 Mar 2020  Bottle Drive!  9am-1pm, under the Seaparc sign at corner of Sooke and Phillips Roads.   Poster by Victoria-2

The Bottle Drive was a very successful fundraiser, thanks to Board members, teachers and parents, and all those who pitched in their empties!

Feb 2020   New Member joins Drumline   Nelson Idris is the oldest child in the refugee family from Sudan who arrived in Sooke last fall. Nelson expressed a keen interest in drumming, so HPS was pleased to be able to invite him to join Drumline.

DL teacher, Chris Rivollier, reports: “We are excited to welcome Nelson Idris to the team! He is in our lessons slot and also part of our cymbal line. Nelson is developing fantastically, learning snare drum, some drum kit, and cymbals.”


14 Jan 2020  First ever “Strings Faculty Concert” (Cancelled due to snowy weather; to be re-scheduled at a later, warmer date!)
Organized by Maria Wang, Lead Strings Teacher, the concert will showcase the talents of the Strings Faculty plus guest performers. “We want to show the students what their teachers can do, and also share an evening of lovely music with the community,” said Wang. The program will feature Brahms, Mozart, plus a Sooke premiere of solo violin compositions by HPS teacher, Hollas Longton.

9-10 Dec 2019  DL and Strings performed at Journey Middle School Christmas Concerts

Dec 2019  Drumline marches in Santa Claus Parades in Victoria and Sooke
Watch video below shot by DL parent Cam Waldie
DL Santa Parade by Cam Waldie

Fall 2019  Doll House Raffle! Draw at ASAAC Christmas Craft Show Sunday Nov 17th

Doll House poster final

26 Oct 2019  Open Rehearsal with the Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra
Strings students literally “sat in” on an open rehearsal of the Sooke Phil. Maestro Yariv Aloni invited the kids to come sit beside their favourite instrument and listen, ask questions, enjoy.

16 Sept 2019  Fall Classes Begin: Drumline for students in grades six and up, and Strings for students in grades 2 and up.

7 Sept 2019  HPS at Sooke Fall Fair – Strings performed and HPS launched sales of tickets for the Doll House Raffle

7 July 2019   HPS announced $20,000 grant from Telus at the Sooke Philharmonic’s Fling!

Attending for Telus was Shaye Draper, General Manager of Customer Solutions for Vancouver Island. As a member of the Community Board at Telus, he reviewed the HPS application and visited the HPS classes where he could observe the kids learning and making music. “We are very pleased to support Harmony Project Sooke. We fund programs that best meet our vision and clearly demonstrate criteria such as enabling youth to succeed, and focus on health and education,” said Draper.

“The funding from Telus will really help build the strength of the ensemble and orchestra experience for the students.” said Lorna Bjorklund. “It will allow us to sustain current programs, mount a third Beginning Strings class for students in grades two to four, and to start a second Drumline class for beginners.”

26 June 2019  HPS AGM at  Journey Middle School Library 7pm
Year-end review, slide show of program highlights, elections. Everyone welcome!

Board Members for 2019-2020 :
President – Terry Cristall
Vice-president – Ellen Paulsen
Secretary-Treasurer – Richard Sharman
Jan Barylski – Fundraising
Jenny Nelson – Membership
David Watson
Sheila Whincup – Publicity

15 June 2019  Strings at the Sooke Philharmonic Concert, Sooke Community Hall 7pm


15 June 2019  Drumline at 1st Annual Sooke Youth Arts Fair at Ed MacGregor Park 2pm

Congratulations to DL from teacher Chris Rivollier.


11 June 2019  Strings I and II at Journey Strings Concert

Thank you HPS teachers! Left to right: Erin Tinney, Kathryn Wiebe, Tyson Doknjas, Anne McDougall, Lorna Bjorklund (executive director), and Maria Wang.

10 June 2019  Drumline at Journey Middle School Band Concert

3 June 2019  Strings at Sooke Phil’s Secret Garden Tour

20 May 2019  Drumline marches in Victoria Day Parade

1 May 2019  Strings I and II performed at Ecole Poirier on Music Monday

April 2019  HPS students participate in competitions

Several Strings students performed with District 62 Orchestra at Musicfest Canada in Port Alberni. This was the first time competing for HPS students; they were thrilled to be part of the orchestra which was awarded “Excellent Plus” along with an invitation to the Nationals in Calgary in 2020.

Drumline participated in a competition at Oak Bay High School on April 12th. Having some of the youngest students at the competition, they did very well and came in 5th. Seeing the other groups, some from up-Island and the mainland, was very helpful. Belmont DL, also taught by Chris Rivollier, came in 2nd.

March 2019  2nd Beginning Strings Class in action
Teacher Tyson Doknjas offers individual attention.

Executive Director, Lorna Bjorklund, appreciating progress.

Class assistant, Brent Straughan, demonstrates finer points of technique.

23 Feb 2019   HPS Raffle at Seedy Saturday, Sooke Community Hall 10-3pm
Your chance to win beautiful gift baskets loaded with garden-related prizes, all donated by the farmers and gardeners who participate in Food Chi’s “Seedy Saturday”. Come for a preview of Spring, and to support both HPS and Food Chi.

1 January 2019   HPS at Mayor’s New Year Levee
Drumline and Strings Class welcomed 2019 by entertaining Sooke Mayor Maja Tait, BC Premier John Horgan, and Randall Garrison, MP for Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke, plus members of the Sooke Council and of the Sooke community.

( Photos by Britt Santowski, Sooke Pocket News ))

2019 Mayor’s Levee

2019 Mayor’s Levee

2019 Mayor’s Levee

18 December 2018  Strings Christmas Concert at Journey Middle School

Thank you to teachers: Maria Wang, Anne McDougall (Lead Teacher), Brent Straughan (Class Assistant), Tyson Dokjnas, Kathryn Wiebe, and Erin Tinney.

2 December 2018  Drumline at Sooke Santa Claus Parade (two video clips)
Drummers marching in the Parade:

Drumline at the Legion after Santa Parade:


17 November 2018  “Burger and Beer NIght” fundraiser at Sooke Legion

HPS extends much gratitude to the generous businesses and individuals who donated auction items for this major HPS fundraiser. Brenda Parkinson conducted the live auction with flair and generated excited bids for the featured items of a Norman Nelson baton and a lunch date with Mayor Maja Tait of Sooke District Municipality. Thanks go also to all the wonderful volunteers, young musicians and their parents, the teachers, and the attendees who helped to make the evening such a joyful success.

Among attendees was Yariv Aloni, new conductor of Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra (2nd from left) who carries on Maestro Norman Nelson’s support for young musicians.

Silent Auction featured donations from many generous local businesses and individuals.

Strings II Class performing after only a few short months on their instruments.

Strings I Class demonstrating growing competence and poise.Guest musician Bryn Pugh.

One of the new young members of Drumline.

Drumline in attentive huddle with teacher Chris Rivollier.

28 October 2018   Strings performed at the Sooke Phil’s “Young Masters” concert in Sooke Community Hall

17 November 2018   “Burger and Beer Night” Fundraiser
Please mark your calendar for the 2nd Annual “Burger and Beer Night” Fundraiser on Saturday Nov 17th at the Sooke Legion, 6-9pm. Tickets are $20/person available from Shoppers Drug Mart, Pharmasave, or contact Erika at or 250-642-3883. Veggie burgers are available if ordered ahead and non-alcoholic beverage options will be available. Entertainment includes guitar, trumpet, clarinet, and of course Drums and Strings, plus a live and silent auction. Come support the students and programs at HPS!

October 2018  Drumline provides drum roll drama at the Cops for Cancer hair shaving event

September 2018   Fall Classes begin 3rd week of September

Drumline for students in grades 6 and up:
Beginning Drumline Section meets Mon and Thurs 5-6:30pm (will accept seven more students)
Advanced Drumline Section meets Mon and Thurs 6:30-8pm (will accept one more player with experience)

Beginning Strings meets Tues 3:30-5pm, Thurs 3:30-5:30pm, and Sat 10-12.
Advanced Strings meets Tues 5:30–7:45 pm (along with district 62 orchestra) and Thurs  3:00–6:00pm

Many concerts and events are on the agenda for this year!

8 July 2018   Sooke Philharmonic Fling at Ed MacGregor Park
Both Strings and Drumline performed, including members of the new Beginning Strings Class. Our concession was successful, with hotdogs and pie with ice-cream served up by HPS board members, parents and friends of HPS.

Pie and Ice-cream at the Fling!

27 June 2018   AGM at Journey Middle School Library 7:30pm
All are invited. Please come hear about the past year’s activities and discuss plans for the coming year. New volunteers and board members are most welcome.

2 June 2018   Bake Sale at Sunriver Garage Sale
The HPS parents have stepped up to support the project in many ways – from helping with snack time and crafts in classes, to running a Bake Sale at the annual giant Sunriver Garage Sale. Special thanks to Karissa for providing the idea and her yard and to Erika for organizing!

May-June 2018   Busy spring for HPS Classes 
The new Beginning Strings students now number 15 (class is full but names can be taken on a wait list). They have received their instruments and will first appear publicly before the Sooke Phil’s concert on June 9th.

The more advanced Strings Class I is even busier with performances on:
April 14th at Seaparc’s Family Arts Fair;
April 27th at Amber Academy’s Fraggle Rock-a-thon;
June 3rd at Sooke Harbour House for the SPO’s Secret Garden Tour;
June 5th at at Ayre Manor; and
June 12th at the Year-end concert at Journey Middle School 7:30pm.

Drumline has been equally active. They marched in the Island Farms Victoria Day Parade, looking sharp in their black outfits as they marched from Denny’s at Mayfair Mall down to the Legislature Building. HPS is working on designing and making a banner for the drummers to carry proudly in future parades. On June 17th the class will participate in a Drumline Festival at Belmont Secondary.

1 March 2018   Launching of New Beginning Strings Class

After much preparation and fundraising, HPS is excited to be able to mount a second Beginning Strings Class for students in grades 2-3. Three new teachers, Erin Tinney, Tyson Doknjas, and Kathryn Wiebe will instruct in individual technique and ensemble/orchestra performance. The class will meet at Journey Middle School on Tues and Thurs afternoons after school and on Saturday mornings. For more info and to register, contact Lorna Bjorklund at or 250-642-6681.

26 Feb 2018   Drumline leads Carnaval Parade
Drumline class led the Carnaval Parade from Journey to Poirier Elementary schools on Feb 26. They enjoyed marching and the schools loved having them.

24 February 2018    Raffle at Seedy Saturday
Many thanks to Sooke Food Chi for inviting HPS to run a Raffle at their 2018 Seedy Saturday. We raised a whopping $450 for our Strings and Drumline programs! Thanks to all the vendors who generously donated items! We were able to raffle off gift baskets filled to the brim with trees, mushroom spores, compost, salad greens and garlic, T-shirts, dish rags, tasty granola treats, and more. What a wonderful group and event to be part of.

23 February 2018   Norman Nelson (1931-2018)
HPS joins the Sooke Philharmonic Society and the many lovers of music and music education in mourning the passing of Maestro Norman Nelson, who founded both the Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra and Harmony Project Sooke. His contribution of musical talent, vision and dedication will have immense, positive impact on our community. We will miss him terribly, but will commit to carrying on his legacy. A public celebration of his life and legacy will take place at the Sooke Community Hall on Saturday March 10th at 3:30pm. For more information about Norman and the Celebration Concert, please visit

1 January 2018   Mayor’s New Year Levee at Sooke Municipal Hall
HPS Strings led by teacher Maria Wang and Drumline led by teacher Chris Rivollier performed for Mayor Maia Tait, Premier John Horgan, Sooke Councillors, and members of the public.

25 Nov 2017     “Beer and Burger Night” fundraiser for HPS at Sooke Legion
Families and friends gathered for a wonderful evening to support the programs of HPS. The Legion volunteers served up delicious burgers and fries, live music was provided by the HPS Strings and Drumline plus student musicians from Journey Middle School and EMCS, and some fun and very successful auctioneering was conducted by organizer Brenda Parkinson. Thanks go to the over thirty local businesses and individuals who donated gifts and items for the live and silent auctions, and to all the volunteers and attendees for making it such a joyful and successful evening.

25 November 2017   “Beer and Burger Fundraiser” at the Sooke Legion
Saturday 6-9pm. Burger and fries plus beverage. Live entertainment by young local musicians. Silent and live auction of gifts from over 30 donors. Tickets $20 per person are available from HPS Board members and at

28 Oct 2017      Strings Class performs at Sooke Philharmonic concert
Just a month into the new term, the Strings Class will demonstrate their fresh fall skills at 7pm before the SPO concert at Sooke Community Hall on Saturday 28 Oct.

Sept 2017           Drumline Class invites new students for fall session.
The class is open to students in grades seven and up, and meets at Journey Middle School on Tuesdays from 4:45-8pm. For more information or to register, contact Lorna Bjorklund at or 250-642-6681.

19 Sept 2017     Drumline welcomes new teacher, Chris Rivollier.
Mr. Rivollier has taught at the Calgary Stampede Show Band since 2012, and is currently also a teacher of Drumline and English at Belmont Secondary.  He will build on the good work started by Dr. Jack Edwards. Mr. Rivollier started marching in a drumline when he was 16 years old and is super excited at the revival of this musical activity.

Sept 2017    Fall classes begin! 

Strings Class meets on Tues and Thurs after school at Journey Middle School. This session the class is composed of students who have been with HPS since its beginning or have at least one year of experience learning violin, viola or cello. The class is full for this session but will take names on their wait list.

Drumline Class is open to new students in grades seven and up. It meets at Journey Middle School on Tuesdays from 4:45-8pm. For more information or to register, contact Lorna Bjorklund at or call 250-642-6681.

July 9 2017     Strings perform on stage at the Sooke Phil’s Fling at Ed McGregor Park


June 14 2017    HPS held its first AGM at Journey Middle School

Elected to the Board for 2017-2018 were:

Terry Cristall, President
Wendy O’Connor, Secretary
Paul Martin, Treasurer
Jenny Nelson (membership)
Brenda Parkinson (fund-raising)
David Watson
Sheila Whincup (publicity)

June 7 2017     A first Meet & Greet of the Board with Parents at Prestige Hotel.

June 4 2017     Strings perform at Sooke Phil’s Secret Garden Tour

22 May 2017     Drumline marches in Victoria Day Parade  

April 29 2017    Strings perform at Rotary Auction

April 22 2017    Strings perform at SeaParc’s Family Arts Fair

April 13 2017     HPS Drumline hosts Belmont Drumline for a drumline clinic sponsored by Tom Lee Music, 10:30 – 3:30pm at Journey Middle School
Instructors Dr. Jack Edwards and Mundart Chan will coach the drummers in skills such as Basic Four Strokes on drum pads, snares and tenors; stance, stick-heights and director signals; count-ins; and mechanics of reading the music while playing. The highlight of the clinic will be learning & performing a piece, first in sections, and then as an ensemble.
Friend and family are welcome to hear a wrap-up piece at approximately 2:30pm at Journey Middle School gyms.

February 18 2017     Happy 1st Birthday with teachers, parents and board members
January 17 2017      Drumline Performs for Lieutenant-Governor
Drumline performed for Lt.-Gov. Judith Guichon during her visit to Journey Middle School, which was part of her commitment to visit 150 schools in BC during Canada’s 150th birthday year.

January 1 2017      Strings and Drumline at Mayor’s levee.

Both Strings and Drumline performed at the New Year’s Levee held at the Sooke District Municipal Hall by Mayor Maya Tait.

November-December     Drumline in Parades
Drumline played at Santa Claus parades in Victoria and Sooke

December 14 2016      Awareness Film Night at EMCS Theatre
Showing of films about Harmony Project LA, and of the Sooke Philharmonic Society’s documentary “For the Love of Music.” Joint fund-raiser with Sooke Philharmonic Society.

October 30 2016     Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra Concert
Strings class plays before the concert and at intermission. Sooke Community Hall.

October 29 2016     Hot Dog sale at Home Hardware

8 September 2016    Classes back in session!
Drumline will accept new students in grades 6 and up. Strings class is full but will take names on a wait list.

20 August 2016     Bottle Drive, Sooke Elementary School parking lot, 9:30am – 2pm
Alternatively, take returnables to Sooke Bottle Depot (2032 Idlemore, Mon-Sat 9am – 4:30pm) and donate funds via Harmony Project Sooke treasurer Paul Martin (

16 July 2016     Fundraising concession by HPS parents (plus busking by the students!) at the Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra’s Fling.

20 June 2016      Year-end Showcase at Journey Middle School, 7:30 pm
Drumline will perform, along with local school and adult concert bands.

17 June 2016     Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra concert, Sooke Community Hall, 7:30 pm
Strings students will perform before the concert. Drumline students will perform outside at intermission.


14 June 2016     Journey Middle School Concert, 7:30 pm
Strings class will perform, along with School District 62 Strings Orchestra.


27 May 2016      Cabaret Sooke Donates to Sooke Harmony Project
Cabaret Sooke has generously offered to donate one third of the proceeds from its show in May to support Sooke Harmony Project!  Presented in collaboration with Sooke Harbour Players, the show “Tight Squeeze” will feature over 20 musicians, dancers and actors who have become recognized and much enjoyed by Sooke audiences. The event is described as a “1920’s speakeasy with a twist” which promises to be “mild to wild”. The audience is invited to a dance (in costume, if desired) with DJ music after the show. Prestige Oceanfront Resort Ballroom, Friday May 27 and Saturday May 28, 8pm. Tickets $25 at Sooke’s grooviest outlets.

family arts fair

16 April 2016      First Public Appearance
The fledgling orchestra of Harmony Project Sooke made its first public appearance at the SEAPARC Family Arts Fair on Saturday, April 16th. Under the leadership of teacher Anne McDougall, seven violin, four viola and two cello players provided a demonstration of what they’ve learned in just a few short weeks, including: proper rest and play positions, care and tuning of instruments, and playing open and fingered strings, with bow and pizzicato!

putting a violin to bedApril 2016     Strings Class Receive Instruments
After showing their teacher that they know how to take care of instruments, students received an instrument of their own to use and take home for practice! They learned how to care for and tune their instruments, they learned the proper rest and play positions, the reading of music notation, and how to play simple tunes.

31 March 2016  First Drumline Class
Under the instruction of Dr. Jack Edwards, eleven students began learning how to play tenor drums on Thursday, March 31st. Dr. Edwards has extensive experience teaching drumline and marching bands in the U.S. and is a teacher in the Victoria School District and at the Victoria Conservatory of Music. The Drumline class currently consists of two groups of grade 5-8 students.

3 drummers
18 February 2016     First Beginning Strings Class
On Thursday, February 18th the first Beginning Strings Class convened at Journey Middle School Library. Eleven boys and girls from three elementary schools in Sooke gathered to begin the fun journey of learning the basic concepts of music. They thought and talked about: what is music, where is it found, what do you feel when you hear different tunes? And they played music and experimented with rhythm using things found on the beach and in their kitchens. Subsequent classes would take them into care and tuning of instruments, proper playing positions and techniques, the reading of music notation, and then receiving an instrument of their own to use and take home for practice.

first strings class

First “Beginning Strings” class

3 February 2016      Recruitment Night
The first recruitment night took place at Journey Middle School. Interested parents and students gathered to watch a video which showed how “fireworks” take place in the brain of a person when playing a musical instrument. Sooke Harmony Project’s organizers described the program’s aims and schedule. As a number of curious and enthusiastic students signed up for the first classes, Norman Nelson, founder of Sooke Harmony Project and of the Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra, was heard to quote Winston Churchill: “This is the end of the beginning!”

Norman Nelson at recruitment night

Maestro Nelson at Recruitment Night: “This is the end of the beginning.”

30 January 2016   “New Harmonies”
On a rainy night at the end of January, the gymnasium at Journey Middle School reverberated with the music of great composers like Bach, Haydn, and Mozart.

new harmonies concertAbout 70 lovers of music and supporters of music education sat under the gym’s basketball hoops to hear a star-studded lineup of performers. The concert raised over $1300 to help kick start the Harmony Project in Sooke.

Performers who donated their talents and time included the Strings of the Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra, soprano soloist Nancy Washeim, Sooke Harbour String Quartet, West Coast Chamber Players, and several top local student instrumentalists.