Music Students Bring Dreams to the Stage at Selkirk College Gala 2017

NELSON – Elijah Bekk has come a long way to pursue his post-secondary dreams in the Selkirk College Contemporary Music & Technology Program.

PHOTO: Second-year students in the Selkirk College Contemporary Music & Technology Program will be the featured entertainment at Gala 2017: Inspiring Dreams at Mary Hall on the Tenth Street Campus. The annual event takes place on Saturday, November 25 starting at 6 p.m. Tickets are still available and can be purchased online at selkirk.ca/gala-2017.

Originally from Faro, Yukon (population 400), the 19-year-old chose the West Kootenay as the launching pad for what he hopes will be a career in the music industry.

Bekk will join 19 of his classmates on stage at Nelson’s Mary Hall on the Tenth Street Campus for Selkirk College Gala 2017 that takes place on Saturday, November 25. The annual event is a showcase of student talent in the music program, the Professional Cook Training Program and the Resort & Hotel Management (RHOT) Program.

“It’s a chance to show what support from the community does for Selkirk College students,” Bekk says of the evening. “The tuition here is affordable and that is one of the reasons I am able to come here and pursue my education at this level. Without the people who come to these events and that support the college in other ways, it wouldn’t be possible.”

The theme of this year’s gala is Inspiring Dreams. Funds raised on the night will go towards the Selkirk College 50th Anniversary Legacy Fund that’s creating a $50,000 endowment for scholarships and bursaries. The community is invited to the elegant evening that includes a fabulous three-course meal prepared by the cooking students, exceptional service provided by the RHOT students and a stellar 50-minute performance by students in the Gala Band.

This year’s talented second-year music students will play a mix of original music and covers. At last year’s gala, the Contemporary Music & Technology Program was the primary beneficiary of funds raised on the night which have been used to bolster the growing partnership with Rwanda’s Nyundo School of Music.

Students were asked to create a pair of original songs to play this year based on the theme Inspiring Dreams and the international partnership with Rwanda. Bekk’s original “Someday, Somehow” is one of the songs chosen for this year’s performance.

“It’s about bringing everybody together from all over the world and how music doesn’t have any boundaries,” says Bekk, a guitar major. “It’s a universal language and with our partnership with Rwanda, you can come together and still sing a song about love.”

Second-year vocal major Anika Wallace will lead the band in the performance of her original song “Turn It Up.” Arriving to Selkirk College from Vanderhoof, Wallace’s song is also focused on how music brings people together. The 20-year-old says the gala theme of Inspiring Dreams fits well into the message she conveys in her song.

“It’s an opportunity to show everybody how much we appreciate the program and how we appreciate the effort the teachers put into making us improve,” says Wallace.

As students put the finishing touches on the sound and look of their Gala 2017 performance, veteran keyboard instructor Gilles Parenteau says this year’s event is not to be missed.

“The students have been working very hard and the music they have put together is impressive,” says Parenteau who has been mentoring students in the Contemporary Music & Technology Program for almost 30 years. “I always say that this is the best one yet and this year is no exception. We have a very talented group of students who are looking forward to putting on a great show for the community.”

Tickets are still available for the Selkirk College Gala 2017 at $70 each or a $520 for a table of eight. They can be purchased online at selkirk.ca/gala-2017.