January 18th, 2021

Fairbairn Flashback Festival to explore music history

By Nick Kuhl on February 29, 2020.

Garrett Simmons
Communications Officer, Lethbridge School Division

The history of music will be explored next week by students at Senator 
Joyce Fairbairn Middle School.
Audiences will not only get to enjoy hit songs from several decades 
but will also have an opportunity to tour Lethbridge School 
Division’s newest school during the Fairbairn Flashback Festival, set 
to hit the stage Monday through Wednesday.
The festival is a celebration of student creativity and commitment to 
excellence across a wide variety of artistic endeavours. Over 250 
students and staff are involved.
Fairbairn teacher Kelsey Huculak said the concept behind the 
production showcases Fairbairn students and the facility.
“The idea was to create a fringe festival-style of performance that 
would allow the celebration of the greatest diversity of student 
creativity and talent,” she said. “In addition, we knew our 
facility provided a unique opportunity to showcase what our students 
can do.”
This year’s festival builds upon last’s year success, she added, 
and uses the theme of music through the decades to highlight a breadth 
of student talents.
“By using the whole school as the stage, we can celebrate and involve 
more students through art displays, student work displays, live 
artists creating during the actual performance and short, student-
created skits in the transitions,” said Huculak.
Using the entire school provides access to multiple staging areas to 
help showcase different types of performers including actors, bands, 
choirs, singers, dancers and artists, as well as gymnasts.
Audiences will enter through the far west doors, where they will be 
able to purchase refreshments provided by students while they wait for 
the show to start. From there, the audience will travel to the atrium, 
where the story will begin with actors, dancers, singers and more.
“As the story moves along, so will the audience,” said Huculak, who 
added the crowd will transition from one collaboration area to the 
next, stopping at each one for the next scene. “The hallways between 
the main stages become artful transitions that help move the story 
Preparing for the show was no easy feat, according to Fairbairn 
teacher Rachelle Fairs.
“With over 250 student cast, crew and staff involved in each 
performance, plus a moving audience, logistics become a major 
challenge,” she said. “Every transition needs to be meticulously 
planned so that it appears to be a seamless integration with the 
Identifying and accessing adequate staging, sound equipment, lights, 
props and costumes was its own challenge, she added, along with 
planning and installing those components without hindering the daily 
activities of a busy school.
The basic premise of the show involves actors taking a class in music 
history and appreciation.
“They, taking the audience along with them, explore the hits of the 
decades through today’s various popular social media platforms,” 
said Fairs. “Much of the script and the various elements were student 
created and selected with guidance of the directors.”
The idea took root last spring, and the theme for the show was 
announced last fall with a staff flash dance mob to during an 
assembly. Prior to the Christmas break, students auditioned for 
various roles or volunteered to be crew.
Along the way, there were many lessons learned for students, according 
to Fairs.
“Every student has something to contribute and talent comes in many 
forms. It takes commitment to make something like this happen. People 
depend on you and you need to take responsibility for that. This kind 
of thing creates its own energy and it means something special to be a 
part of it. Look for these opportunities and get involved.”
Performances are set for Monday through Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. and 
6:30 p.m. each day.
Adult tickets (11 and up) are $10; children (10 and under) are $2. Due 
to the nature of the performance, which has the audience moving 
throughout the school, audiences are capped at 120, and every audience 
member requires a ticket. Tickets are available on SchoolCashonline.com.
For more information, contact Rebecca Adamson at Senator Joyce 
Fairbairn Middle School (403-381-2977 or rebecca.adamson@lethsd.ab.ca.

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