Canadian Music Class Challenge

Watch this B.C. music class get a surprise visit from Said the Whale

'I've always wanted to hear 'Camilo' with a ukulele and 16 guitars' — Said the Whale guitarist Ben Worcester.

'I've always wanted to hear 'Camilo' with a ukulele and 16 guitars' — Said the Whale guitarist Ben Worcester

Vancouver band Said the Whale visited the music class at Terry Fox Secondary in Port Coquitlam as part of the 2019 Canadian Music Class Challenge. (CBC Music)

Each year, CBC Music in association with MusiCounts — the charity of the Juno Awards — launches a contest to engage music classes across the country with Canadian music. It's called the Canadian Music Class Challenge.

It's become a tradition during the CBC Music Class Challenge to surprise a few lucky classes with a visit from a Canadian musician or band. Some past examples:

This year, we invited Juno-winning band Said the Whale to make a surprise visit to Terry Fox Secondary School in Port Coquitlam, B.C., whose music class signed up to learn the Vancouver band's breakout hit "Camilo" for this year's Canadian Music Class Challenge. 

What made the visit extra special is that the Terry Fox Secondary music program is run by Steve Sainas, a Juno winner as well. Sainas won the 2015 MusiCounts Teacher of the Year Award for his unique rock program.

"At Terry Fox Rock School, students form their own rock bands and can choose whichever songs they wish to perform on the instruments of their choice", says Sainas. "The goal is putting on a professional full production rock show in the Terry Fox Theatre at the end of each semester. This is their final exam for this full credit music course." Proceeds from the sold-out galas are put toward new music equipment for the program.

It was hard to tell who was more surprised by Said the Whale's visit: the band or the students.

"I've always wanted to hear 'Camilo' with a ukulele and 16 guitars", proclaimed Said the Whale guitarist Ben Worcester. "This is the best I've heard it sound, it's so awesome!" 

I've always wanted to hear 'Camilo' with a ukulele and 16 guitars.- Ben Worcester, Said the Whale

Said the Whale then thrilled the students by joining them for a run-through of the song. Check out the thoroughly rocking results above.

(Note: the above video is not Terry Fox Secondary's official submission to the contest this year. This is.)