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Remembrance Day assemblies in schools may not look the same this year, but they’re getting some help from the Surrey City Orchestra.
Under the direction of former Surrey student Stuart Martin, the Surrey City Orchestra (SCO) has recorded a 48-minute Remembrance Day video for classes in the district to watch as part of their Remembrance Day ceremonies. In following traditional Remembrance Day assemblies, the program includes a reading of “In Flanders Fields,” performances of “The Last Post” and “Rouse,” and a moment of silence.
Arts Education Helping Teacher Tricia Liversidge said the district’s involvement with the video came about after Greg Farrugia, one of the orchestra’s founders and a former Semiahmoo Secondary band teacher, reached out to offer its use for assemblies.
“They were aware that assemblies in recognition of Remembrance Day were going to be challenging this year and so they chose to make their video production available to Surrey Schools,” she said. “We are extremely grateful for their generosity and consideration.”
The project has a number of connections to Surrey Schools, including Ellen Farrugia, a former teacher who coached Semiahmoo's first string orchestra; Kevin Lee, a retired Semiahmoo teacher; Henry Christian, a North Surrey Secondary grad; and Christine Lin, the SCO personnel manager and a violinist in the orchestra, and her brother Steven Lin, who both attended Enver Creek Secondary.
The video has been made available to classes and students to recognize Remembrance Day within their cohorts and at home in the blended learning program.
“Although we have a tradition of holding ceremonies to show our gratitude and respect for veterans, this year, honouring those who gave so much to protect our freedoms will mean doing what we can to protect them,” said Liversidge.
Additionally, some staff have produced their own presentations for Remembrance Day. Guildford Park Secondary music teacher Jonathan Sykes has put together a
30-minute video that includes readings from students, a performance of “Universal Soldier” by Buffy Sainte-Marie, and a speech by a veteran about the parallels between wartime Britain and our combined response to the pandemic.
To support these virtual ceremonies, the district is following
BCCDC guidelines for school ceremonies, including continued protocols for physical distancing, hand washing and hygiene and keeping students within their cohorts.