Three elementary schools from the York Catholic District School Board recently participated in the 12th Annual By the Kids for the Kids Festival, organized by Choir Festivals Canada. The purpose of the festival is to bring together elementary school choirs to give them the opportunity to share their music with friends, family and the community.
The friendly singing competition was held at Upper Canada Mall and consisted of elementary school choirs from across York Region. Participating York Catholic schools included St. Mark CES in Stouffvile, San Lorenzo Ruiz CES in Markham and St. Agnes of Assisi CES in Woodbridge.
The choir from St. Mark CES consisted of almost 90 students in Grades 1-8. Choir director, Susan Whitebread noted that it was the fourth year the school has participated in the festival and that the, “school choir performs at school masses and liturgies on a regular basis, as well as at the Stouffville festival of choirs at Christmastime. Whenever there is a chance to perform in the community, we like to take them out.”
The junior choir from San Lorenzo CES was comprised of 45 students, in Grades 4 - 8. The choir was directed by Lara Ripandelli and Gina Creta. It was also accompanied by Gary Yankech. San Lorenzo Ruiz’s junior choir has been sending a team to participate in the festival since the school opened five years ago.
The 100 member choir from St. Agnes of Assisi CES consisted of students from Grades 1-7, and was directed by Felicia Marini and Rosanna Cristello. The choir was supported by the school’s 15 member Grades 6-8 school band, which was directed by Philip Cada and Sonia D’Angelo.
All three schools were among a select number of schools invited back to perform at the festival’s grand finale held on February 18, however St. Mark CES had to decline due to scheduling issues. At the finale, the San Lorenzo choir sang the catchy song, The Neverending Story, and Adele’s Someone Like You. St. Agnes of Assisi CES placed second overall, with its performance of the classic songs, Let it Be and Forever Young.