Liam Shearer, Kaitlyn Cumberland and Jackson Howard are all being carried away to different music schools in the fall, after graduating from G.W. Graham secondary in Chilliwack. (Jessica Peters/ The Progress)

G.W. graduates travelling across Canada to study music

Three students chosen for notable music programs, with scholarships

Music may transport you, but a music education will really take you places.

Three graduates at G.W. Graham secondary have all earned themselves seats in notable music programs, with scholarships to help them succeed. And their plans illustrate that not all careers in music need to follow the same path.

Jackson Howard earned the one open chair for the Glenn Gould School of Music, an orchestral program with only 120 students at a time. He travelled to Toronto earlier this year, to audition on the trombone for the prestigious program.

“By far it was the most anxiety I’ve ever had,” he say, laughing with his classmates, Kaitlyn Cumberland and Liam Shearer.

Cumberland auditioned for the University of Victoria’s music education program with the oboe and English horn, while Shearer went for the music program at Grant MacEwen in Edmonton, where he will study the trumpet.

Cumberland remembers her exact thoughts during the audition.

“This is what the rest of my life is riding on,” she said to herself.

But these kids thrive on a bit of pressure, and all of them not only earned their place in their programs, but did so with scholarships.

For all three, music has threaded through their lives from a young age.

Howard started playing piano at age three, and started lessons at age five. But in Grade 9 he wanted to join the band at G.W. Graham, and had to choose an instrument.

“The trombone just felt like a natural fit,” he says, and over the years he’s leaned toward playing classical music.

The Glenn Gould School of Music clearly agrees. They’ve offered him a full-ride scholarship. In total, Howard was offered $350,000 worth of scholarships from various schools.

But the deciding factor for him wasn’t about money. It was about a connection. He’s had a lifetime of music teachers already, and when he got to practise with one of the Glenn Gould teachers he’ll have in the fall, he says they really worked well together.

“It was because of the teacher, the connection, it just fit,” he says. “It was a fantastic experience.”

For Shearer, the choice was between Capilano University and Grant MacEwen. In the end, he chose Edmonton for a change of location, and to be close to family there. He’s a multi-talented musician, taking on the drums at age 12 and the trombone “just for fun.”

But his instrument of choice is the trumpet, after he picked it up in Grade 7 when his older sister put it down.

“I guess I’m carrying on the family legacy,” he says, smiling.

For Cumberland, studying music is a passion, but performing is not her favourite part of it. She will dive into music education and imagines somewhere in her future she will be “behind the scenes” musically.

“I’ve always been interested in the business side of it,” she says. “I love the playing but I’m more a behind-the-scenes person.”

She started out on the clarinet, but bored of it quickly and was looking for a challenge.

She landed on the English horn, which she describes as “emotive in its timbre.”

“It’s a beautiful sounding instrument,” she says.

Music teacher Shane Monkman says it’s unusual to have three students who all go onto a musical post-secondary education in one class, and for them all to have scholarships is even more impressive. The extra work that goes into being accepted into a music program shows their dedication to their studies, he adds.

“These kids have worked hours outside of class to prepare audition material, study and travel for these auditions,” he says.

Do you have a success story to share? Let us know at editor@theprogress.com.

Just Posted

Chilliwack judge veers from joint submission, bumps up sex assault sentence

‘I find the joint submission is contrary to the public interest and I’m rejecting it’

VIDEO: Dramatic car fire on Highway 1 in Chilliwack

Vehicle on the shoulder of the westbound lanes west of Lickman Road Friday evening

Fraser Valley author launches second crime novel

Seamus Heffernan releases book Ten Grand on June 27 in Abbotsford

Chilliwack car show cancelled due to weather forecast

Popular Village Classic car show will not be rescheduled, say organizers

Judge gives 16 months jail for Abbotsford vehicle theft, flight from police, Chilliwack crash

Michael Joseph Hasell has more than four dozen criminal convictions in B.C. and Alberta

Protesters rally in Victoria over newly approved Trans Mountain pipeline

The Still No Consent! No Trans Mountain! 20 kilometre march will end at Island View Beach

Wildfire burning in coastal forest

A fire beside the Sea to Sky Highway is burning up a steep slope

PHOTOS: Event marks one year since soccer team rescued from Thai cave

Nine players and coach took part in marathon and bike event to help improve conditions at cave

Rock climber dies after fall at Stawamus Chief in Squamish

The man had fallen about 30 metres while climbing in the Grand Wall area

Five B.C. students taken to hospital after playing with vaping device

School district said students were taken to hospital ‘out of an abundance of caution’

Being a pot dealer is not what it used to be

Sunday Big Read: the business of selling marijuana in B.C. is a slow bureaucratic slog

VIDEO: Two more pride flags have been stolen from Langley woman

Lisa Ebenal was “angry” and “fed up” after the latest theft. Then people started showing suppport

Canucks acquire forward J.T. Miller from Lightning

J.T. Miller, 26, had 13 goals and 34 assists for the Lightning last season

Most Read