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:
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
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.
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
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 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
Sheila Whincup – Publicity
15 June 2019 Strings at the Sooke Philharmonic Concert, Sooke Community Hall 7pm
11 June 2019 Strings I and II at Journey Strings Concert
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.
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 https://sooke.pocketnews.ca/ ))
18 December 2018 Strings Christmas Concert at Journey Middle School
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.
One of the new young members of Drumline.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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 email@example.com 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 http://www.sookephil.ca/
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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)
Sheila Whincup (publicity)
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 (email@example.com)
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.
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!
April 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.
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.
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!”
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.
About 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.