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The sounds of Christmas
A Garden City school has so much holiday spirit it’s students and staff decided to share it with anyone who would like to listen.
R.F. Morrison School has put the finishing touches on a CD of Christmas carols it recorded here in the city. The disc, entitled 50 Years of Carolling at R.F. Morrison School, is chock full of holiday classics, sung in multiple languages, and was created to commemorate the school’s 50th anniversary as part of Seven Oaks School Division.
To reflect the school’s diversity, the CD includes carols sung in English, Ukrainian, French, German and Tagalog in addition to the Huron Carol.
"We like to give our kids the opportunity to be exposed to different things," said director and music educator Rosemarie Todaschuk.
This isn’t the first time the school has given its students a chance to go into the recording studio. R.F. Morrison students also put out a disc around the turn of the millennium.
The school began preparations for its latest album around Halloween, taking about three weeks to prepare the carols. Students ended up recording a total of 15 tracks at Resosound Studios in Elmwood over the course of a week.
"Every class recorded their own carol," Todaschuk said.
One of the many carollers involved was student Paula Kenidra, who sang in the recording of Ukrainian carol Boh sya rozhdaye.
"I liked it very much. Inside the studio, I was like ‘Whoa, that’s pretty cool,’" Kenidra said of the experience.
"I enjoy singing a lot."
Student Zachary Preachuk said it can sometimes be difficult singing in another language, but that it "gets a lot easier" with practice.
Vocalists weren’t the only ones getting involved.
"We also had, because our Grade 6s take band, the band learned Carol of the Bells and they also recorded," Todaschuk said.
Todaschuk mixed the tracks after recording finished, and the CD has since been sent to Toronto for mastering. The school ordered 500 copies, and held CD release parties on Dec. 12 and 13.
It was an exciting, but daunting project, said Todaschuk, who gave credit to the school’s parent advisory council and Carpathia Credit Union for their financial support. She also thanked principal Ricki Valcourt for supporting the choir’s efforts over the years.
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