Mennonite Brethren Collegiate Institute (MBCI) hosted their first concert with people in the audience yesterday since 2020.
Andrew Klassen teaches concert band and jazz band at MBCI.
"We're very excited," says Klassen. "Our jazz bands and vocal jazz ensembles did a concert called An Evening of Jazz at MBCI. What's exciting is that we haven't done this concert in two years. We were in preparation to go to the Brandon Jazz Festival but it shut down."
Another teacher that was a part of yesterday's concert was the vocal teacher at MBCI, Scott Riemer.
"This will be two years since we've done an actual concert in Jubilee Place with an audience," says Klassen. "We did two concerts earlier this year but it was just the performers there and we live-streamed it on YouTube."
The junior jazz band played a song by the well-known jazz artist Miles Davis, with his tune 'All Blues.'
"It's great [to be back in-person]. I told the students, you're going to play a piece and there's going to be applause. Get used to it."
Klassen hopes that things continue in this direction, which will allow his students to perform music together.
"We kind of anticipating not only spring coming and things warming up but hopefully the pandemic being in the rearview mirror and everything starting to get back to the way it was. We're able to do live concerts and we're able to take the masks off and able to congregate together. To do all the wonderful things that music engenders."
The previous school year no one was allowed to sing or play wind instruments which made music class a difficult challenge. Everything basically was done online.
"There's nothing like actually being there and doing it together. That's the whole point of music, to be together. At our school we're able to worship and sing together to God, to express our faith through our art. This year we've been able to do that again but we haven't had an audience, but now we can."
One other aspect of art that has come to a standstill in all of this is MBCI's musical theatre.
"Our last musical was in 2019, we did Oliver. We put on a major musical every second year and then we go on a big tour on the off-year. Hopefully next year we're back on track doing a musical," says Klassen.
There is no word on what the musical might be for next year.
"Music is valued at MBCI and we have lots of students that have poured their heart and soul into the music program over the years. It's just going to be so much easier when we're able to do it safely again which it looks like it's starting to happen."