Children at Berens River School in central Manitoba have released a high-quality music video showcasing their community.
Kenneth Davidson, a music teacher at the school, had his students cover When I’m Gone from the movie Pitch Perfect.
The film was released in 2012, but several schools have released cover videos of the song sung by Anna Kendrick’s character in the film. Kendrick uses a cup to make part of the song’s music.
“I thought this would be great for the music curriculum here,” said Davidson. “Most of them already knew of the song and where it came from.”
So Davidson, who arrived in the community in September last year, set about teaching many of the school’s students how to perform the song.
Then, a professional recording crew from Winnipeg visited the community for a week to put the song together, filming eight hours of footage in the community.
“I discovered these kids are beautiful children — very gifted, very talented, lots of ability,” he said. “Their culture is very significant, and it’s really imbued in this song as they sing it.”
Davidson said singing the song isn’t just about the future of Berens River, but also about celebrating the things already there.
“We use the word hope there but that’s not entirely it,” he said. “People often think that reserves up here or anywhere in Canada are desolate places or in state of ruins or decay but it’s not actually, there’s quite a lot of beauty here.”
Now, he said, the global community has a chance to watch what the kids are capable of.
The video will “tell them if they come to this community, the community will be more beautiful when they arrive here by their very presence,” he said.