In his three years of teaching music at Bloomfield Elementary School, Devin Krauskopf had never before witnessed the level of interest that’s evident this fall.
Fifty-five students, fully one-quarter of the school’s student population, joined up for choir, and there was so much interest in rock band that he created two bands.
While Krauskopf, who is known to his students simply as Mr. K, displays a contagious passion for music, the music teacher believes the opportunity to participate in a video helped fuel some of the interest.
Peter and JJ MacNeill, owners of the Bloomfield Foodland store, had approached the music teacher about the possibility of his choir students performing the Sobey’s Christmas jingle, Star of Christmas, for a pre-Christmas online video contest. They decided that, should their store win, they wanted the prize money to go to the Bloomfield School music program.
The students were onboard from the get-go and choir numbers swelled. The choir quickly learned the words, Mr. K acknowledges. Since the video, they’ve also performed the jingle during the school’s Christmas concert and during a choir visit to the Lady Slipper Villa.
The videos were entered in a contest with Sobey’s stores in one category and Foodland and Co-op stores in the other, competing for online votes. The wining videos would receive $5,000 for the charity of the store’s choice.
Bloomfield Foodland, and, thus, Bloomfield School music program, was one of the grand prize-winners.
“I think we’re going to be in pretty good shape,” Krauskopf said in assessing what the prize money will mean.
“I think it’s going to be awesome,” chimed in Grade 4 choir member Ciara Shaw.
“We definitely need new ukuleles” added Madeline Oliver, Grade 2.
Krauskopf had already been trying to think up fundraising activities to help replace some of the school’s ukuleles, some of which are borrowed and are date-stamped 1987. With the prize money on its way, the worry about finding the funds is out of the way.
The rock band’s base amp is in need of replacement and Krauskopf said some child-sized acoustic guitars would come in handy. He would also like a xylophone for younger music students and a complete set of puppets for the Kindergarten to Grade 1 students.
“You buy the ukuleles yet?” a rock band member asked upon arriving for practice.
The money will also allow for some odds and ends, and some funds to be set aside for future needs.
“I would never have thought of fundraising that much,” said Krauskopf. “This puts us in good position.”
Committing the prize to the music program at Bloomfield was an easy choice said Peter MacNeill. “We knew (the prize) would be put to good use.” The school is close to the school and he sees staff and students in his store daily. The MacNeills have two children currently attending the school and one who has graduated from the school.