Christine Baxter, one-half of the musical duo Sweet Santa Fe, has just added another title to her portfolio.
Baxter has been named the new executive producer for the Comox Valley Youth Music Centre (CYMC).
“It’s a chance to give back (to the community) in a different way,” said Baxter, who first joined the CYMC as a board member in 2021. “It’s about getting kids involved, and starting from the bottom, all the way up. You can’t expect people to want to play the clarinet at 15 if they don’t learn when they’re five. So it’s important that we (help) back from the beginning.”
The CYMC celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2017. Its aim is to provide “excellent music education in classical, jazz and musical theatre.” Its rich history includes some incredible productions of such classics as Jesus Christ Superstar, West Side Story, and Fiddler on the Roof, to name but three.
Baxter said she is looking forward to working with artistic director Lori Mazey.
“Lori has been doing it for such a long time so the kids are really drawn to her, because she is so good at what she does,” said Baxter. “And she draws a lot of talent too. A lot of her students, once they get older, they come back and help her as stagehands and stuff like that.”
The CYMC has had a couple of challenging years due to COVID restrictions, but Baxter is confident that 2022 will see the return of a full production.
“We are going forward with a live production, and yes, we have chosen the production and everything,” she said, but would not reveal any other details.
Baxter has her own history with youth production. She was involved with a televised Christian variety show as a youngster growing up in Alberta.
“We were all young kids and we did skits, and singing and Bible stories, … so I grew up understanding the discipline of art, which you need. You don’t have art without discipline.”
Other personnel changes
The CYMC announced a few other personnel changes to start the new year.
Tara Jakubiec is taking on the role of webmaster and registrar, returning to the organization where she once worked as a summer employee.
Jakubiec is a North Island College alumna (communications design diploma) and will complete her bachelor of graphics design at Vancouver Island University in the spring.
Sarah Chase has also joined the CYMC team as the new bookkeeper. She is excited to be part of an organization that has a long history of supporting young musicians and performers. Chase has previously worked as office administrator and bookkeeper for an independent school.
AGM in February
The annual general meeting of the Comox Valley Youth Music Centre will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 23 at 6:30 p.m. via Zoom. CYMC is now actively seeking new directors to serve on the board as well as members-at-large and volunteers. To become involved be sure to attend the AGM. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to request the Zoom link for the AGM.