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Watch Midnight Shine visit a music class in Moose Cree First Nation
By
Grant Lawrence

Published

December 4, 2017

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Each year, CBC Music in association with MusiCounts — the charity of the Juno Awards — launches a contest to engage music classes across the country with Canadian music. It’s called the Canadian Music Class Challenge. The top 10 finalists for the 2017 Canadian Music Class Challenge will be announced on Friday, Dec. 8. The winners of the 2017 Canadian Music Class Challenge will be announced on Friday, Dec. 15.


Of the hundreds of submissions we received for the 2017 Canadian Music Class Challenge, one of the most remotely located music classes was Delores D. Echum Composite School, a private school located in Moose Cree First Nation on the coast of James Bay.

Fittingly, the music class at the school chose "James Bay" from our song list this year. It's a song by Midnight Shine, a band that hails from the Moose Factory and James Bay area.

While the class was in the process of learning the song, Midnight Shine bassist Stan Louttit dropped by to give some performance pointers for the song and ended up joining the class for the video.

"We pulled it off in true Cree fashion," Louttit said. "Two days of rehearsals and we rocked it!"

Check it out:

Grade 11 students Kelsey Wesley and Sheena Moses sing lead on their club's version of "James Bay," while Louttit can be seen on the far left, back row. Other musicians include vice principal Paul Linklater and teaching assistants Darrell Mcleod, Terrence Kataquapit and Lynn Cheechoo. The video and photo of the performance were taken by Grade 11 student Moira Chamandy McComb.

The Delores D. Echum Wolf Pack Music Club is an after-school program where members of the club include students and staff interested in music and learning how to play instruments. The music club meets at least once a week to rehearse for performances at school and community events throughout the year, and it invites experienced musicians from the community to share their expertise and assist with certain instruments or songs.

And who doesn't love a blooper? Check out this false start, when Louttit counts in the song in Cree.

More to explore:

Midnight Shine Bandcamp Page

Watch all the entries for the Canadian Music Class Challenge

Meet the judges for the Canadian Music Class Challenge