May 2, 2018

Eighteen consecutive summers at KISSM and Kamloops

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Just a few of the fond memories I have:

· The tireless work by Cliff Noakes and Wilf Froese to keep KISSM afloat in the late 1990s and early 2000s. They continued to work quietly in the background for most of the next two decades.

· KISSM Faculty tricks Concerts—See picture of Mozart's "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" in harmony on trumpet & flugelhorn.

· The KISSM Caberet fundraisers at the university in 1997 & 98 with the KISSM Faculty Big Band.

· Watching my two daughters grow up through a decade at KISSM playing violin/oboe and cello/bassoon, and finally having me as their teacher in the Senior Concert Band , New-To-You-Band, and Jazz Band.

· The years that the Thompson River flooded Riverside Park in the late spring. The south-north journey through the Lac du Bois Grasslands and Helen introducing me to the Tranquille River Ecological Reserve and a rare, exact full-moonrise & sunset while sitting high above Kamloops Lake in 2007.

· Wilf and Lorraine Froese’s hospitality and olives at every meal.

· Jordan Baker’s rise at KISSM from student, to camp helper, to board member, to SD #73 band teacher.

· The “field trips” during class to perform downtown and the KISSM evening outdoor concerts at McDonald Park, and the Riverside Park old and new Bandshells.

· The KISSM student-teacher water-duels.

· The KISSM final concerts.

· The hot & sunny weather and the torrential rain storms. Even an afternoon hail-storm at the university during KISSM in 1997—those stones hurt.

· The long bike rides to teach at KISSM. Coasting from the top of Aberdeen to the university and peddling hard back up each day in the late 1990s. The bike rides from downtown to Brocklehurst Sec. or Valleyview Sec. then back in the afternoon in the early 2000s. Then the long bike rides from Oak Hills to Sa-Hali Sec., KCS or SKSS downtown and back each day in the late 2000s and early 2010s.

· The many KISSM years I house-sat at Cees and Alison in’t Veld’s in Oak Hills.

· Helping with the KISSM 30th anniversary gala.

· Kim and her husband putting the KISSM books in order starting in 2009—and still keeping KISSM as strong as ever.

· Directing and teaching, once again, the KISSM grads that were part of the 2016-2017 SD #73 Honour Concert Band. Thank you to Don Bennett for that opportunity.


…and after all those years…I still come back to that t-shirt from 1997 for those feelings.

To quote Maya Angelou: I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

May 2, 2018


…and Kim hanging all my KISSM t-shirts from the center stage traveler across the full length of the stage at Sagebrush Theatre during my final performance conducting the Sr. Concert Band. Auld Lang Syne was our final piece.

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  • Christo Vutev
    Sep 24

    I went to KISSM as a campter for 8 years, and have come through with an improved ability to trust others. It was great to work hard with other campers to prepare for performances, so much so that no single moment stands out. The bonds made from having gone through a lot with people tend to be much stronger than casual friendships.
  • colinofee
    Jun 18, 2018

    From 2007 to 2014 I attended KISSM as a student, participating in string ensembles, bands, Jazz bands, and drumline. My experience as a student was fantastic! Over the years I made many lifelong friends, greatly improve my musicianship, and most importantly, had a whole lot of fun. In 2015, I was hired as assistant faculty and I have been returning ever since. Having the opportunity as faculty to watch students improve their skills, meet new friends, and have unbelievable amounts of fun has been incredibly rewarding. There's something magical about KISSM that consistently attracts me and many others to return each coming year. Maybe it's the beautiful music we create, maybe it's the lifelong friends we meet or even the strong, positive, community feeling that KISSM fosters. Whatever it is that keeps us coming back, it's for sure found at KISSM.
  • Emma Tow
    Jun 17, 2018

    I attended KISSM for 5 years as a camper and am returning this July for my third year as a mentor on staff. From the beginning KISSM was always exciting to me because I was able to explore all of my different musical interests; piano, violin and musical theatre. I grew so much as an artist because of the expertise and passion of the instructors at KISSM and the opportunities to be involved in the community these connections lead to. But it was the other campers who really influenced my life, and now my fellow mentors who continue to do so. At KISSM I was able to meet so many like minded people who inspired me with their talent, creativity and joy. Collaborating with them on piano duets, in strings ensembles or in musical theatre productions always inspired me. KISSM became the highlight of my year because of the wonderful friendships I had made there. And this is still why I can't wait to come back each summer! Thank you KISSM!

The Kamloops Music Collective (KMC) is a
non-profit organization that provides young musicians opportunities to learn, play and

perform music through a variety of programs,

and under the mentorship  of teachers and performers in the community.


Tel: (236) 425-4221 

Physical Address: 423 St. Paul St 

Mailing Address:

PO Box 983
Kamloops BC V2C 6H1


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