Students shine brightly in Starbright


Some students at St. Phillip’s Catholic School in Petrolia have the chance of a lifetime.

The Grade 3, 4, and 5 students will take to the stage at Victoria Playhouse with the professional singers in Starbright Christmas. The classes, under the guidance of Itinerant Music Teacher Dan Sonier, have spent a couple weeks practicing three songs which they’ll perform in the shows which start Nov. 27 at 2pm.

Sonier worked with the VPP’s artistic directors David Hogan and David Rogers in Sarnia. They recently reconnected he offered to help out with any of their shows. “If you need some kids, then absolutely we can figure something out,” he told them.

That’s lead to the appearance in Starbright and a great deal of anticipation at the school. “They were super excited,” says Sonier of the students. “Obviously I’ve been talking it up with the students…and the teachers are talking about how they will be sharing the stage with world class performers.”

“We’ve set the bar high and have high expectation for them and the students always rise to that expectation.”

Sonier has brought in a retired teacher to listen to the group and give pointers. David Hogan was in class Tuesday helping the young musicians along. “All of those little experiences leading up to the event will make them stronger performers,” says Sonier.

Not all the children will participate in all five performances but Sonier hopes it will be enough to help the children catch the performing bug.

“It is these experiences you never forget,” he says. “As soon as they hear the caliber of the singing and see the lights, they’re going to be blown away…and every time they’ll be at a theater, they’ll think of this experience….I hope it brings their families back to the theater and helps them to get involved in the arts.”

Performances at the VPP are Nov. 27 at 2 pm, Nov. 28 at 2 pm, Nov. 29 at 8 pm, Nov. 30 at 2 pm and 8 pm and Dec. 1 at 2pm.