For a quiet and reserved educator, Darcy Sander has a rather large appreciation of music. The Principal at École Vickers Public School, he believes in the benefits of music education and is one of the driving supportive forces behind the school’s musical successes. He believes that ‘music education is about the parents and parental support’, which is telling as he describes the double sold out performances of this past year’s holiday concerts. The school showcases over 700 students and their love of music during these concerts in a rented performance theatre, which is prepared by the handful of talented musical support staff at the school. Advertised in both the local paper and on the news, you can feel the support of music in the community for the students at Vickers School.
A 2015 Principals of Music Award winner, Principal Sander credits his love of music to his musical background as a band teacher. He describes himself as a ‘jack of all trades, master of none’ during his years as a bilingual music educator. Music continues to be a vital part of his life as he continues to play music in and outside of the classroom. Imagine playing a musical phrase in band class only to look over and see your Principal playing right alongside you. Principal Sander stays involved and has several musical instruments in his office, ready to either join in with the kids in band class or walk the halls and have the students join in. ‘Music is an important part of my life and should be at the forefront of education’, says Principal Sander. Awarded with $1,500 for his school’s music program, Principal Sander tells us that this money has made a difference by contributing to several musical field trips. The music program includes students from grades 5 – 7, where band is mandatory for these grade levels. ‘Music includes relationship building, working together, and it took a while to convince others that this is important as a core subject, but it is’. Principal Sander explains how these students may never become professional musicians, however they will have the ability to call on these skills for the rest of theirs lives and perhaps pursue later on, keeping them active. ‘Music is life’. Principal Sander intends on continuing to make every effort to provide music to the students at École Vickers Public School.