Well, it happened. Music students assembled again to draw attention to the looming budget cuts that are threatening our music program. We took time out of crazy exam schedules to stand up for future music students. People brought gear, skills, & smiles to make this happen & it was beautiful.
This is Leslie. She showed up at 8 AM, bundled up, flute in hand, & ready to roll. She kicked this whole thing off as we scrambled to get the rest of our gear set up in the weather. It was welcome background music that made the rain a little more bearable. Leslie was smart & wore rain gear. I was envious in my wet boots!
This trombone goddess is my dear friend & colleague, Hannah. She has busted her butt right along side me to put this together in under 48 hours. She was practically living on the phone & in her email, diving way out of her comfort zone to save the VCM–Camosun relationship. Her passion for her instrument is admirable & she has some great chops. This could not have happened without her tenacity.
After some shuffling around to accommodate other students taking exams, we were finally set up in what would be our home for the day. Oscar had a seat at my keyboard & sang a few tunes as the weather cleared up. One of the things I really loved about our demonstration was hearing other people play my piano & to hear the way it blends with other instruments. I feel fortunate to be surrounded by such talent. This small community is part of what makes our music program unique. Our music helps us forge relationships. This is vital to a healthy, thriving society.
As the day pressed on, more & more people arrived to join the jam & next thing I knew, we had a full jazz ensemble! Dylan (drums) was diligent enough to not only keep the beat, but gather signatures for our petition right there at his kit. We even had a piano super hero join us & for some reason, there was a pineapple! The sun came out & the music flowed through the court yard as students rushed in waves to their exams, returning visibly relieved after the fact.
By the end of our day, we had amassed 342 signatures. Not a bad haul for something planned in such a short time. I’m eternally grateful to the Camosun College Students Society for all of their help with planning on such short notice. They had tents for us to protect our gear, they had our backs when we were being pressured to pack up & leave, & they even brought granola bars! They were right beside us for the whole day gathering signatures for us, as well as for the Squash the Squeeze Campaign, which aims to stop the funding cuts to education, increasing accessibility to post-secondary institutions.
This still isn’t over. We are gaining ground & we will not stop until the decision is handed down to preserve our music programs.
There are many great links to articles about what we’re up to on our Facebook Page! Go check it out & share it with your friends!
Stay tuned for more action! We will not stand down!