Dreams DO Come True …

especially if you have the right supports!

This year, twenty of our young violinists were selected to perform with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. The process for preparation was carefully managed by Ms. Sham the SCCS Violin Teacher, who met with the students after hours to learn the repertoire. A violinist from the WSO came out to a rehearsal as well.

Then, it was time. The students loaded a bus, and went to their first rehearsal with the WSO.

“It was awesome!” “I can’t believe I was playing with the symphony!” “It was loud!” “We sounded great!”

The concert was sold out, and over 1600 were in attendance. Ms. Sham led the group out on stage, and the students looked and acted as professionals. Together, they shared a special look – Ms. Sham described it as a “moment” she will treasure. The performance was over too soon. The bus ride back to school was quiet as the experience was processed and the memories filed. Dreams do come true, and music does change lives.

Perfect Practice

….makes Perfect!

Our 2015-2016 VAs after a performance.

Our 2015-2016 VAs after a performance.

Our amazing Violin Ambassadors for 2016-2017 has hit the ground running. Having first practiced at a camp day in August, they have already started their early morning rehearsals.

Many students auditioned in June for the opportunity to share their gift of music with the greater community. Under the direction of Ms. Sham, the Jr. VA group will be performing at local senior residences and parish events. The Sr. VA group, under the direction of Dr. Penny, has a busy tour schedule that includes performing at Culture Days, the Shrine of Divine Mercy, Sts. Vladimir & Olga Cathedral and regional hospitals.

We are proud of our VA groups and look forward to hearing them perform!



Violin Performance

photo 3


The Grade 4 class and the Violin Ambassadors teamed up to provide a violin performance for the residents at Residence Aulneau. This was the first performance by the Grade 4 class, and they charmed the audience with 5 folk tunes they had learned by memory since Christmas! Being the final concert of the year for the Violin Ambassadors, they pulled out all the stops and played for an hour without stopping. Many a resident sang along with the group as they played old favorites such as The Summons, Immaculate Mary, and Scarborough Fair. The students were excited to meet several of the Oblate sisters who were former staff members of SCCS!

Congratulations, Ms. Sham, Ms. Prettie, Dr. Penny and all the students!Picture2


Happiness is ….

Playing the violin!

What could possibly be more exciting than school hallways packed with violin shelves? A school filled with students who can play violin!


Violins come in all sizes. It’s an amazing sight to see children of all sizes, grades 3-8, carrying them into the building each morning.

Bringing Joy to Others

One Note At a Time

The SCCS Violin Ambassadors completed a 2-day tour in Winnipeg during which they performed several full-length concerts, toured a violin-maker’s shop and experienced different cultures.

Group4Their 45 minute concert which included fiddle tunes, hymns and folk songs was performed at St. Boniface Hospital,Holy Family Nursing Home and Deer Lodge. At each venue, the students were excited that the audience members sang along with the familiar tunes, and tapped their toes in sheer joy. After all, the mission of the Violin Ambassadors is to “bring joy” to others. The grand finale for the concerts was when the students left the stage area and, as they played a tune, walked among the residents.

“Hi Dr. Penny, I would like to thank-you and the Violin Ambassadors for the wonderful concert.  The residents who attend were so delighted to see the students performing.  They had smiles on their face and were still humming the tunes as they were brought back to their units.  We were all happy to have the students perform for us.  They are welcomed back anytime.” Dulce Santos, Resident Care Standards and Allied Health Manager, Holy Family Nursing Home

The students had a great time chatting with Anton, a local luthier. Their visit to Anton’s Violin Shop on Portage answered many of their questions about how violins are made.

Group1And, of course, they had a great time eating at the East India Company buffet and DeLuca’s Pasta buffet!

Open House

Welcome to Our Community

On Tuesday, January 27th, we hosted our annual K-8 Open House. The gym was packed with interested families.

On the agenda was a performance by the Grade 4 violin students, presentations by students Sandro (Gr. 7) and Alyssa (Gr. 3), and grade level overviews by all the teachers.

Families who missed it are welcome to contact the school directly to arrange a tour – 204-837-1520.

Welcome Aboard to Our New Staff Member


Ms. Rachel Sham joins our SCCS community.


Rachel Sham has always had a love of music. Starting violin and piano lessons at age of eight kick-started her music career. Ms. Sham has studied music with many inspiring musicians and music educators in Regina and London Ontario, including, Dr. Howard Leyton-Brown, John-Paul Bracey, Janice Denike, Melissa Morgan, Rudolf Sternadel and Dr. Carl Cherland. Ms. Sham holds a Bachelor of Music honors in Music Education, as well as a Bachelor of Education from the University of Western Ontario. In London, Ms. Sham had successfully built a private studio teaching violin and piano, and was a soprano singer in the St Paul’s Cathedral choir.  Ms. Sham had devoted time to coaching El Sistema’s String Orchestra, Montessori School Band, and local school string orchestras in London. Ms. Sham is delighted to be joining St. Charles Catholic School and dedicated to bringing a love of music to the community.

Playing for Perogies

Violin Ambassadors Perform for Holy Eucharist Perogy Makers

VAs2On Thursday, November 20th, the SCCS Violin Ambassadors took  the “show on the road” for their first full-length concert of the year. Every year in November, the VAs travel to a church in East Kildonan to perform for the crew that makes perogies as a fundraiser for the Church.

These hearty parishioners began their perogy making duties at 6:00 AM that morning and were just thrilled to have our students play a variety of tunes during their mid-morning break!

Once the students finished performing crowd favorites such as “Merry Widow Waltz”, “Long, Long Ago”, “Hungarian Dance #5”, and the “Blue Bells of Scotland”, they shifted into a set of Christmas carols including “Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and “Huron Carol”. Some audience members were so caught up in the moment that they swung into a waltz pattern – right there in the middle of the auditorium while the students were playing!

The performance ended with a rousing rendition of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”, which summed up the positive vibe in the auditorium perfectly.

The students were treated to a lovely luncheon, and then they were invited to learn to make perogies alongside the pros. Soon after, the students boarded the bus carrying samples of HE perogies which were very much appreciated by the students and their families.

We look forward to visiting you again in 2015! But before then, we have a year’s worth of performances to experience. Hope you can join us at one of them!

Bring Your Lunch

Noon Hour Events Wednesdays and Thursdays

Come out to the Carol Shields Auditorium, 2nd floor Millennium Library Thursday, December 4th and enjoy a Holiday Concert by our very own SCCS Violin Ambassadors.

Bring your lunch and be informed and entertained by the ‘Skywalk series of noon-hour events! Wednesdays feature thought-provoking lectures from some of the University of Winnipeg’s best professors. Thursdays bring you concerts by an eclectic assortment of local musical performers.’ Brought to you by the Winnipeg Public Library, the University of Winnipeg, and Virtuosi Concerts.

VA Skywalk 2014-12-04