Vincent Massey Collegiate takes part in Just For Kids Voices 2022 fundraising concert in support of Mental Health
The Vincent Massey Collegiate (VMC) “Clef Notes” sang for a good cause on Sunday, April 10. The singing group took part in the Just for Kids Foundation Voices 2022 concert at John Rennie High School’s Louise Chalmers Theatre. The annual singing and fundraising event raised mental health awareness and funds for the Montreal Children’s Hospital.
This year, money raised was directed towards a handful of initiatives, including improving mental health resources at the Children’s through the funding of a social worker specializing in mental health for the Emergency Department. Last year’s virtual event raised over $43,000 for the cause.
“It is one of my favorite things,” said August Di Liello, a Secondary V student and Voices veteran. “It is so exciting. I love performing.”
For fellow teammate Charlotte Renaud, the JFK Voices event this year marked her first time performing in front of a large audience.
“It was an experience for me,” said Charlotte, a Secondary IV student. “I was very nervous. At first, I wasn’t sure how I was going to perform. I was unsure of everything, but once I got on stage and started singing, I right away got so much more comfortable.”
The competition, whose theme this year was “Songs of Hope,” featured 48 students across seven Montreal-area schools competing for the title of best solo, duo, and group performance. The student singers were judged by a renowned panel of music industry professionals, including The Beat 92.5 FM’s Mark Bergman and Catherine Verdon-Diamond, and Jason Rockman of CHOM 97.7 FM. Prizes were awarded to the musical winners as well as to the top fundraisers.
VMC’s Clef Notes, the English Montreal School Board’s (EMSB) lone representative at the event, rehearsed for their moment in the spotlight for over two months, under the supervision of their teacher Alessandra Martoccia.
The team of eight students prepared three performances for the competition: duets by August & Charlotte and Anaïs Comte & Julianna Di Natale; as well as a quartet performance featuring Jessie Ghougassian, Amanda Da Silva, Maya Wagner-Vanamala & Yasmeen Miguel Page.
August & Charlotte’s duet of Found/Tonight, a mash-up from two Broadway musicals Hamilton and Dear Evan Hanson.
“The songs resonated with hope in many ways,” said August. “One is about freedom and the other is about being found in dark times.”
The Clef Notes raised over $3,500 for the cause. Over their many years participating in the event, the school has raised over $30,000 for the Just for Kids Foundation.
While VMC did not place in the competition this year, there was a bigger message to take away from the overall experience.
“We constantly emphasize to our students the importance of supporting charitable endeavors such as the Just for Kids Foundation Voices fundraising concert,” said Ms. Martoccia. “Most of our students are fortunate not to ever require the services of the Montreal Children’s Hospital. Nevertheless, it is critical to support those students that do.”
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Vincent Massey Collegiate raises money for mental health
About the Just For Kids Foundation
Just For Kids raises funds to purchase high-priority medical equipment, and to support initiatives that improve the quality of care for patients of the Montreal Children’s Hospital. Over the last 25 years, JFK has purchased over $12 million worth of equipment, touching almost every department at the Hospital. More than 250,000 children and 1,500 healthcare professionals have benefited from the funds raised over the last quarter-century.
About the English Montreal School Board
With a youth and adult sector population of more than 35,000 students, the English Montreal School Board (EMSB) is the largest English public school board in Quebec. Established on July 1, 1998, when the province created new boards along linguistic lines, the EMSB network consists of 77 schools and centres. For more details, visit the EMSB website at www.emsb.qc.ca.