SOUL Seeking Finalist Feature: Harrison M. and MacKinley B.

Shawnigan students have been working hard all year on their SOUL Seeking inquiry projects. Following two days of science fair-style presentations, 16 finalists were announced, with the top three projects chosen after final presentations were made to a panel of judges. Over the next few weeks, we will feature each of these outstanding finalists. Congratulations to all students on another wonderful year of SOUL Seeking!
Sometimes two minds are better than one, and when Grade 10 student Harrison M. joined forces with Grade 12 MacKinley B. to see what it takes to record a music album from start to finish, they didn’t anticipate the outcome it would have. Combining Harrison’s love of the technical side of music production with some original songs that MacKinley had written during the pandemic, the two put their heads together to see how they could take the lyrics and chords they had and turn them into an album. The end goal was to create something that they could submit to Berklee College of Music, where MacKinley had her sights set on studying. 

The two began their project by determining what they would like the songs to sound like upon completion and then set out to put all of the elements together to achieve this. They started with drums, and after recording Grade 10 Jenson W., their drum foundation was set. With inspiration from their favourite musicians, they combined different layers and sound bites – such as the sound of a pencil writing on paper – adding their creative touch. After all of the troubleshooting required when issues arose, they learned how much work it takes to accomplish what they set out to do. They ended up recording three songs with the goal of releasing an album once they have finished the fourth song, which they will have done by the end of the school year. These three songs resulted in MacKinley’s acceptance into Berklee, which gave them more motivation to complete the album. They perfected the songs, got the album art and photos done by Grade 12 student Janie Z., and created something they are both proud of. Their project was chosen as one of the top three, winning an honorarium of $500. Congratulations, Harrison and MacKinley!
We acknowledge with respect the Coast Salish Peoples on whose traditional lands and waterways we live, learn and play. We are grateful for the opportunity to share in this beautiful region, and we aspire to healthy and respectful relationships with those who have lived on and cared for these lands for millennia.