Month: December 2014
Hello Byng! Did you check out our school’s band concert last week? If you didn’t, then continue reading – because we will be providing you with highlights of the 2014 band winter concert!
This year, the band and choir department have decided to divide their concert into two nights, as the concerts from last year were exceptionally long! The first night, or the junior night is consisted of the performances from the beginner, junior and intermediate bands, choirs and jazz bands. The second night, or the senior night, is consisted of the performances of senior band, choir or jazz students
The first band that was up on the stage was the Beginner Band. Despite having only one month of experience with their instruments, the beginner band members showcased their impressive skills that they have developed. They successfully delivered the intended feeling of the pieces to the audience and effectively started the concert with the Christmas-themed piece, Jolly Old St. Nick.
The junior band, which came after the beginner band, performed three pieces by John Edmonson. The highlight of this particular band’s performance is the last piece, which is called Jazz Jubilee, by John Edmonson. This piece wraps up the junior band’s performance with an exciting and fun conclusion.
Following the Junior Band is the Intermediate Band, which consists of people with 2 or more years of experience with their instruments. The highlight for this energetic band occurs in their last piece, Kinmount Overture. This piece brimmed with energy, and with the promising last chord, the Intermediate Band earned themselves a big round of applause from the audience.
The senior band did an absolutely amazing job, attracting the audience’s absolute attention through all three of their songs. Personally, I like “October” by Eric Whitacre, the second piece the best. “October” is a piece with beautiful melodies that express a faint sense of sadness. (Sadness for the autumn that is about to end? Sadness for the approaching, freezing winter? I am not quite sure). In addition, beautiful, oboe solos are heard during different sections of the piece. The senior wind ensemble had done an absolutely phenomenal job! Just by hearing them, I feel proud to be member of Lord Byng Secondary.
The choirs, led by the new teacher- Ms. Ip (the substituted teacher for Ms. Lan this year) had also done an amazing job. All three choirs, the junior, the intermediate and senior choir focused on Christmas chorale pieces for this winter’s concerts. The junior choir has sung two familiar Christmas pieces: “We wish you a merry Christmas” and “Oh Christmas tree”. I was very surprised to hear the junior choir singing “Oh Christmas tree” as “O Tannenbaun” in German! The intermediate choir sung “Silent Night” in a capella (without piano accompaniment) and they have done a great job! The senior choir performed the piece: “Make a Wish for Me on Christmas”, portraying a high soprano solo. Overall, all three choirs had done an amazing job!
Club interviews is a regular column in the Grey Ghost Gazette featuring the clubs of Lord Byng. If you want your club interviewed, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and club.
This time, we interviewed club president Vivian Yang for details on her club, Leaders of Hope.
So, what is your group about? What does it do? What is its goal?
Vivian: Leaders of Hope aims to share our members’ love of the fine arts and performing arts with others in our communities. Currently, our activities include performances and in-school projects. We’re a club of people, each interested in some aspect of the arts, and we come together to make friends and give back to society.
Do you have any performances scheduled for this month?
Vivian: Our November performance is scheduled for Friday, November 28th at the German Canadian Care Home. This year performances will be approximately monthly with additional ones when there are special events. We’re also planning to have year-round projects that are in-school, to develop our own community, such as Byng Smiles.
Tell us more about Byng Smiles.
Vivian: With Byng Smiles, we’re hoping to make our school a more caring and accepting place and to train our ability to find good qualities in other people. Through this project, members can send
How can one be involved with Leaders of Hope?
Vivian: We would love to get to know you, no matter who you are! Whether you play an instrument, do drama, dance, write, or just want to have fun, come join us on Wednesdays at lunch in Room 322 and we’ll see how we can make this club work for you! Our departments currently include music, drama and visual arts but if you’ve got some other talent you want to share with us (including vegetating in meetings – we don’t have very many of those), we would be very excited to meet you!
Word of the Month: Slacktivism
Hello everyone! This is our first Word of the Month issue! This section will be updated every month. We talk about a word you may or may not have heard of, and discuss it’s significance in the media.
Most of you are probably familiar with various internet trends that have been circulating social media lately, such as the ALS ice bucket challenge, and the change your profile picture to the yellow ribbon on a black background to support protesters in Hong Kong. These trends among many others have been generating quite a bit of criticism for being examples of slacktivism.
Slacktivism is a portmanteau of “slacker” and “activism”, or activism for the slacker. It’s usually portrayed in social media as hashtags (#prayforacure), display picture/ avatars ( change your picture to your favourite cartoon character to support children in developing areas!), sharing videos *coughUPWORTHYcoughcoughcough*, signing online petitions, posting videos of you doing a challenge such as the one for ALS, or simply liking certain posts(1 like=1$ to save this dying child).
Some of you may ask “How does this remotely qualify as activism (albeit one for slackers)?” And as a shamed Slacktivist myself, I must say that slacktivist movements are mostly just for spreading awareness, but the effect it causes varies by the degree of action required to partake in the activist cause. For example, that picture of the baby with a brain tumour probably will not actually give whatever hospital the baby is in one dollar for your ‘like’. Whaatt? Yeah, its mind-blowing, I know. In fact, Researchers have actually done an experiment on slacktivism, and how slacktivism corresponds with the actual amount of activism coming from an individual. For this experiment, they got three groups of people and asked them to either join a Facebook group, accept a pin, or sign a petition, all for charitable groups advocating for combating various issues around the world. Afterwards, they asked each group of people to donate money to support the cause or to volunteer. What they have found is that the people who joined the Facebook group were the least likely to partake in the donations of money or their time, with the petition signers most likely to do things to help the cause. It is also widely believed that slacktivism does more harm than good to a campaign.
The ALS ice bucket challenge is widely seen as a good cause because it has done the two things most forms of slacktivism are striving to achieve: raise media awareness, and promote donation. However, this infographic (http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/infographic-shows-differences-between-diseases-we-donate-and-diseases-kill-us ) shows us ALS is a far lesser concern compared to, say, heart disease (which you can donate to at the Heart&Stroke’s Jump Rope for Heart here : http://www.heartandstroke.ab.ca/site/c.lqIRL1PJJtH/b.5777647/k.2BA0/HeartStroke_Jump_Rope_for_Heart.htm ) killing 597, 577 people just in the US alone. Another well funded disease is Breast cancer, for which the Komen Race for the Cure raised approximately 257 million dollars for. Of course it is good to raise money for ALS since it has caused many deaths and continues causing pain for patients and their families as you read, but the distortion of perspective the media influence gives the general public takes away significance from what needs more attention. It’s actually the same thing happening with Ebola right now, which you can see very clearly with it’s portrayal on Fox News, amongst other corrupt news sources. Yes it is a scary disease, but the scariest thing about it is the fear it provokes, in turn getting youtube videos watched, news pages and posts shared which then turns into profit.
As mentioned, I am a slacktivist myself. But why? you might ask. Didn’t we just go over why slacktivism is such a bad idea? I personally believe slacktivism has great potential in the movement of goodness worldwide, but the negative effects listed above are a result of exploitation of social media by selfish companies looking for profit. The main problem is, Slacktivism is mostly used by selfish companies looking for profit or attention-seeking teenagers; whereas the organizations that actually deserve more money to fund their causes are usually less adept at using the internet to their advantage. It’s like communism in the way that the idea of it isn’t bad, but rather the people who abuse it’s powers. In a perfect world, slacktivism would advertise for all the right causes but since we’re only on earth, I guess we just gotta deal.
The Byng Arts Student Council has many exciting events planned for this year. We kick-started the year with Mustache Madness, two FAB assemblies, and our first coffee house (they were all amazing, don’t you think?). We are delighted to share some new exciting events coming up. Here are some to get excited about:
Holiday Food Drive: This year, the Byng Arts Student Council will be running a food drive. This event will be open to the whole school, not just Byng Arts. The plan isn’t finalized yet, but our Food Drive Committee has brought out some exciting ideas so far, such as having a prize draw, and competing with other schools to collect the most cans.
If you are interested in planning this holiday food drive, please feel free to attend meetings for the Food Drive Committee, held on Fridays at lunch in Mr. Hartley Folz’s room.
Movie Night: We are excited to have a movie night coming up before winter break. Like the food drive, we haven’t sorted out the details of this event yet. What we do know is that this will be open to everyone, not just Byng Arts students, in Byng. You can come enjoy a good movie with your friends, and make new friends! There will be delicious homemade treats and hot chocolate available to buy.
Gala: Like always, we will have a Gala this year. Unfortunately, this year’s is postponed even further towards the end of this school year, so be sure to cross off the Gala date written in your agenda! It is likely that the event will be held in the first week before spring break, but nothing is certain yet. The Gala venue is changed as well. The new location is the False Creek Community Centre.
This year’s theme is “Fairytales and Fantasy”. We hope that you are as excited for the Gala as much as we are. There will be lots of food to munch on, performances to enjoy, and songs to dance to. And of course, there will be lots and lots of amazing costumes!
These are the plans we have for now! If you have any ideas or suggestions for future events, please feel free to tell your class rep or attend Byng Arts Student Council meetings held in Mr. Hartley-Folz’s room at lunch on Thursdays. Everyone is welcome!
Title Info: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Genre: YA, Science Fiction, Dystopian
What It Reminds Me Of: Blood Red Road by Moira Young
Summary: Juliette hasn’t touched a living thing in 264 days. The last time she did, she didn’t even do it on purpose. She didn’t mean to hurt anyone. The government still saw it as a threat and threw Juliette in an empty jail cell for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is lethal, but as long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else nobody really cares. But the world is dying without a good thing in sight. Then one day Juliette gets a roommate, Adam. Juliette knows Adam from before, but does Adam remember Juliette? She finds herself falling for him once again. But suddenly the government sees Juliette as a weapon rather than a threat. Now Juliette must choose whether to become their weapon, or fight back.
I really enjoyed this book. It had strong characters and an interesting style of writing. If you’re not a big dystopian fan, I wouldn’t recommend this book to you, but if you are, I highly recommend this book.
My favourite aspect of the book was definitely the writing style; it was what set it apart from other dystopian books. To me it represented Juliette’s journal; the author would have the sentences or words crossed out. Something I disliked, however, was that the book was not complicated enough; it was a bit too simple.
A crucial part of a book is the characters. They need to be lovable, relatable and some characters need to be hated too and this book had them all. Even though we may not all have the power to kill people with our touch, many of us can understand how Juliette’s feeling- that feeling when you do something bad, yet you did not do it on purpose. I also felt like the characters were really well balanced. There was the disliked character, the lover, and the strong main character.
The plot was definitely interesting, but predictable. Although I felt like this book was more of a build-up to the next book then it was an individual book. I also felt like the author didn’t tie up enough of the loose ends. The originality of the plot wasn’t the best, but was a bit different from other books.
Overall I did really enjoy this book, but I felt like it had a lot of potential it didn’t achieve. I would recommend this book, but I would recommend getting it from the library or borrowing it instead of buying it. Know that it depends of what kind of books you like and dislike.
*There will never be any major spoilers in my review