Friday 6 April 2012

St. George's School of Montreal lone Quebec rep at national Glee competition

As the City of Toronto prepares for the battle of the Gleeks, one Montreal high school has gained the opportunity to represent this city and province in the second annual Show Choir Canada (SCC) Nationals at the Sony Centre for the Arts, April 13 and 14. 

G. Major of  St. George’s School of Montreal  is the only non-Ontario entry. They will demonstrate their best vocals, dance moves, and musicianship against defending champions Wexford Glee. Wexford School of the Arts (Scarborough);  CN Explosion, Cardinal Newman Catholic Secondary School (Stoney Creek);  SPCH, St. Peter Catholic High School (Orleans); Synergy, Unionville High School (Markham); Cheat Notes, York Mills Collegiate Institute (York Mills); Splash, Etobicoke School of the Arts; Adrenaline!, Marc Garneau Collegiate Institute (Toronto); Vocal Fusion, Richmond Hill High School; GCVI Glee Club, Guelph Collegiate Vocational Institute; Claude Watson Glee, Earl Haig Secondary School (North York); Storm Surge, South Carleton High School (Richmond); Coca Codas, Sinclair Secondary School (Whitby).

St. George’s won the 2010 Just for Kids Foundation Glee Showdown and came in second last November. “It is such an honour to be representing Montreal and Quebec as the only school in the competition from outside of Ontario,” says Candace Grynol, the head of the St. George’s Performing Arts Program and  of the Glee program. “ Our students are extremely excited and are working very hard, investing their time into many many hours of rehearsal. Our goal is to embrace the experience, learn a lot and have a ton of fun performing our set at the Sony Centre.”

Here they are in action at the last Glee Showdown:

Toronto native and Juno Award-winning performer Shawn Desman, who served as a judge last year at the inaugural competition, will step out from behind the judging table and take the reins as host. With an accomplished career including a platinum debut album, a sophomore Juno Award winning album for Best R&B/Soul Recording, chart-topping singles and videos, movie performances and numerous accolades under his belt,  the singer, dancer, actor, songwriter and producer’s most recent album is entitled "Fresh."

This year, Show Choir Canada will also showcase the talents of the top-rated, nationally ranked U.S. show choir, In Sync, from Burbank High School in California. Participating as part of a cultural exchange, In Sync will perform outside of the official competition, but will receive valuable feedback from the judging panel. The Burbank High School show choir program ranked number one in the U.S. in 2009 and 2010.

The 2012 judging panel will consist of five top industry experts who will assess the teams competing in the preliminaries and finals.  This includes Montreal  educator  and  vocalist Jeri Brown.
Jeri Brown

 “Not only does the event provide a healthy and educational outlet for emerging talent, it also provides a new and refreshing perspective on vocal performance in 2012,” Brown says.” I think of shows like Smash, Glee and   and others as indication that its time has come. At this year’s Nationals in Toronto I will be a judge and conduct workshops to over  300 participants. I am definitely excited and hope to get others involved in the Montreal community in the future.”

Choirs that place first to sixth in Toronto   will be awarded trophies and prizes totaling over $25,000. The competition will also award scholarships to the Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts for exceptional individual performers.

SCC was developed in collaboration with Peter da Costa, Owner/Agency Director, da Costa Talent Management and George Randolph, President/Founder, Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts.  Peter da Costa, the CEO and executive producer of  Show Choir Canada, is excited to see a Montral entry this year.Absolutely,” he told The Suburban. “Our goal is to make this event truly national. This year we have two schools from the Ottawa region  and we are thrilled to have with us our first out of province school, St. George’s of Montreal. Our invitation went out to as many schools across Canada as possible and we are constantly researching and growing our list of existing and newly forming Canadian show choirs. We have been in contact with several schools on the west coast who have expressed that they plan on attending next year’s event. 

Da Costa says that  Yamaha Music Canada has also increased its support and participation from last year’s prize of a digital grand piano that went to the winner, to this year offering $20,000 in prizing to be shared by all sixfinalists. “Our venue is also much larger at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts as well as a panel of five judges over last year’s three,” he said. “ All in all – great growth in a number of different areas.”  

Tickets can be purchased online at or by calling 1.855.872.SONY (6779).

Follow me on Twitter on April 13 for updates on the competition.

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