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Apr 02
Surrey music students jam & perform virtually with Sunshine Band Club

The student-led Sunshine Band Club held an online performace at Christmas, and has a spring concert coming up on April 4.

In-person concerts may be cancelled for now, but that won't stop the music for the Sunshine Band Club, a new student-led initiative for musically inclined students in Surrey and beyond.

In response to the pandemic's effect on live performance, students from Fraser Heights Secondary and Fleetwood Park Secondary formed the Sunshine Band Club, an inclusive group for secondary music students to collaborate, produce and perform together virtually. Since late September, the group has hosted two virtual concerts, while also putting their musical efforts toward COVID-19 relief.

"We thought it would be great to host concerts to raise money for the VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation," said Fraser Heights Grade 11 student and Sunshine Band Club president David Liu. "We raised more than $2,000, it was really successful and we got more than 1,000 views."

"It was exciting to see the donation amount rising, knowing it would go towards helping COVID relief," said vice-president Kevin Hua, a Grade 11 student at University Hill Secondary in Vancouver and former student at Fleetwood Park Secondary.

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The group started with a handful of students performing individual instrumental tracks and combining their performances into videos. Following their first concert, word spread about the club and more students joined, bringing their current membership to more than 50 music students in Surrey and neighbouring cities.

"I heard how they exceeded their goal and joined shortly after," said club secretary and Grade 11 Fraser Heights student Chelsea Kim. "I was really impressed by their efforts in fundraising."

"I felt like I could connect to people outside of my friend circle and meet new people who had the same passion with music and are wanting to work together towards a common goal," said Maggie Wang, the club's director of marketing and a Grade 11 student at Guildford Park Secondary.

The group is open to secondary students of all skill levels, with the main criteria being a willingness to commit to practice sessions and participate in biweekly meetings.

Heading into spring, the club has scheduled a third concert, showcasing both group and individual performances. They are also discussing putting on a community concert to reach an audience outside of school communities.

Liu said he hopes the club grows and other students are inspired to join, and that future performances continue to be a positive experience for both students and virtual concert-goers.

"We feel like this club is something the community really needed," he said. "It's given a great sense of accomplishment for all of us."

The Spring Concert takes place Sunday, April 4 at 7 p.m. For more information about the club, visit the Sunshine Band Club website.


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