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Stoney Nakoda students dedicate concert to out-of-this-world Canadian icon

Calgary

Stoney Nakoda students dedicate concert to out-of-this-world Canadian icon

Stoney Nakoda students were researching Canadian space-themed songs when they decided to pay tribute to Chris Hadfield, who gained global fame for his musical performances aboard the International Space Station.

Elementary school pays tribute to astronaut Chris Hadfield in annual spring concert

The Stoney Nakoda Elementary School's 2019 spring concert paid tribute to Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield. (Livia Manywounds/CBC)

The Stoney Nakoda Elementary paid tribute to Canadian Astronaut Chris Hadfield as a theme at their annual spring concert.

Faculty, students, and parents gathered in the Stoney Nakoda school gymnasium for a spring concert earlier this week.

Hadfield's songs have been a big inspiration for the kids at Stoney Nakoda Elementary.

Back in January, when students were researching Canadian space-themed songs, they were inspired to honour Hadfield, Canadian music and space.

Since then, the curious minds including their teacher have been learning about space in a variety of areas.

They explored science, social studies, geography, and music.

Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield plays his guitar and sings from the International Space Station. (Canadian Space Agency)

Students also received help to translate and record Darkest Dark in the Stoney Nakoda language — it's the children's book written by Hadfield.

The video was presented at the concert as part of the tribute to the Canadian Icon.

Grades 3-5 performed tunes sung by Hadfield, April Wine, the Tragically Hip and David Bowie, including the song Space Oddity.

Ocean Dixon, a Grade 4 student at Stoney Nakoda Elementary, played the xylophone during the concert. (Livia Manywounds/CBC)

Grade 4 student Ocean Dixon was excited to perform after months of preparation.

“We learned new things on the xylophones, we learned one song and we played all the songs we learned.”

Dixon demonstrated one of the songs played on a xylophone during her interview with CBC.

“I was really excited about this concert,” Ocean said.

As part of the performance, students honoured the Canadian hero through song, dance and language. 

The production included students recording themselves reading Hadfield's book in the Stoney Nakoda language and singing Canadian space-themed songs. Some students played the xylophone and others danced in their traditional regalia.

“We felt that was an excellent opportunity to showcase our Stoney Nakoda culture,” Van Allen said.

Music teacher Drew Van Allen says the students explored space and learned a ton.

Drew Van Allen is the music teacher at Stoney Nakoda Elementary. (Livia Manywounds/CBC)

“We were exploring space, we were able to use that theme as a cross-curricular technique to cover a bunch of different learning opportunities.”

The end result was this production, said the music teacher.

The audience learned space facts recorded on video from two Canadian Astronauts and a NASA engineer during the concert.

During the months prior, students also had the opportunity to participate in a series of workshops with NASA engineers via Skype as part of their space curriculum.

They got the opportunity to meet Calgarian Bruce Callow, who wrote the book, To the Stars: Costa Rica in NASA. He arranged for some of the engineers featured in his book to speak with the students about pursuing future careers in the field of space.

The music teacher posted the concert video on YouTube. It's titled “Nakoda Elementary School Chris Hadfield The Darkest Dark Tribute Concert Video.”

Last year, the elementary school honoured another Canadian Icon, Gord Downie.

About the Author

Livia Manywounds is a reporter with the CBC in Calgary, a rodeo competitor and a proud member of the Tsuut’ina First Nation.

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