Brooklands kids perform with Roger Waters
Students sang Another Brick in the Wall (Part II) at Roger Water concert
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This article was published 31/10/2017 (1864 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
They weren’t even born when Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters wrote the lyrics of one of his most famous songs, but a group of Brooklands School students were excited to be on stage with him all the same.
Waters presented his Us + Them Tour in Winnipeg at Bell MTS Place on Oct. 22. The first half of the show highlighted tracks from Pink Floyd’s album The Wall. At the end of the set, Brooklands School’s Grades 4 and 5 students joined the start on stage to perform Another Brick in the Wall (Part II).
Brooklands School has a partnership with True North Foundation through their Learn to Play hockey program. A while ago, TNF contacted the school and said the concert tour was looking for a school group to perform with Waters. Rex Ferguson-Baird, the principal of Brooklands School in St. James-Assiniboia School Division, said these community connections are essential as it brings those kinds of interesting opportunities for the kids.
“None of them knew who Roger Waters is, or the music of Pink Floyd. The parents, however, were very knowledgeable… I had a number of parents calling me saying ‘I want my child to be a part of that,’” he said of the parents’ excitement.
The 12 kids showed up in orange convict-like uniforms with a black cover over their heads shouting the words “We don’t need no education, we don’t need no thought control,” from the band’s only No. 1 hit. At one point, the students tore the outfit away ending up in black pants and T-shirts that said “Resist” on the front.
The song, which saw its U.S. release in 1980, features a children’s chorus and was written as a protest against rigid education and abusive teachers. Ferguson-Baird said the experience was more about participation than sending a political message, but they did discuss the lyrics and imagery in the classroom.
“The kids worked through the song and talked to their families about it. We talked to them about what the imagery was. Wearing the orange jumpsuits and we talked about how in today’s society we need to make sure that we’re not just following it blindly, and we need to have our eyes open, and we need to be hearing and learning appropriately,” he explained. “We spoke about how the imagery is that we are moving past the time of having closed minds to a time when we are having our eyes open.”
Grade 5 students Jazkirat and Serene got the main message and said they were excited to perform in front of almost 15,000 people.
“I feel that it made me think that every single person is special even the people from every culture,” Jazkirat said.
“I learned that we can’t judge people by how they look, white or black or Indigenous. My people don’t need to be judged for residential schools,” Serene said. “No one should be scared for who they are or who they are made to be.”