We opened our doors for the first time on September 1st 2017, operating out of a basement in Oakville. We started with 4 students, all of whom still learn with us. Two months later, we moved to Waterdown to expand our studio.
By June, we had grown to 16 students across voice, piano and guitar. Our singers entered the Oakville Vocal Festival for the first time and we successfully prepared our first RCM examination cohort. In December, we presented our first student Christmas Concert at St. James' Church in Waterdown.
January saw our student numbers grow even more, along with the number of opportunities we were able to offer.
With a larger roster, we entered 20 voice students into the Hamilton Music Festival, with each one winning either silver or gold and 2 students progressing to the provincial finals.
In June, we held our first end-of-year student concert, where 18 students performed to a full audience of family and friends.
In July, we prepared 7 students to audition for KooGle Theatre's production of the musical Anything Goes. All were cast, with 2 of our senior voice students being cast as the leads.
The studio was recognized by RBC Ventures for its enterprising approach to private arts education. Click here to read.
We prepared seven of our junior and senior voice students for local auditions, with all of them successfully landing roles in local musical theatre productions, including three students in Hamilton Theatre Inc's youth production of Matilda; one student in Willy Wonka and one student in Pippin, both produced by Theatre Ancaster; one student in the Mayfield Secondary School production of Les Misérables; and a student in a local production of Grease.
In December, we debuted the CBY Music Senior Choir, comprised of 8 senior voice students that came together to provide live vocals in the JJ Dance Arts production of Light Heavy Light.
We finished the year with our biggest concert yet. Our entire student roster of 45 students performed in our Christmas 2019 concert to an audience of over 130 family and friends at the beautiful (and larger!) St. Thomas The Apostle Church in Waterdown. Also at this event, we held an art exhibition and silent auction, eventually raising proceeds that totalled $600 for our friends at Many Hands, Doing Good.
We started 2020 with two junior students successfully joining the ensemble cast for Brampton Music Theatre's production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, with Christian in the role of Joseph and Karen as the Narrator. This production was unfortunately cancelled in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, but fantastic memories were made during the rehearsal period.
We moved the studio operation entirely online in March and quickly launched a program of performing arts enrichment activities to keep our growing roster of students engaged during the first lockdown of the pandemic. This enrichment program included masterclasses led by special guests, online student concerts, extra-curricular programming and our first online summer camp.
We had strong representation at the Ontario Music Festival Association's Provincial singing competition, with 6 students taking part, and one student winning their class for the entire province. We also had another strong year at the Oakville Vocal Festival, with 35 students competing and 6 more students progressing to the 2021 provincial competition.
To meet the needs of our increasingly diverse students, we started our first dedicated acting program in September. "Acting for the Camera", led by award-winning Canadian actor Alysa King, seeks to instruct and prepare students interested in starting a career in film and TV acting.
Our online Christmas concert was viewed by over 600 people on Facebook Live and closed off what had been a turbulent year for everyone.