Rafe Arnott/metro vancouver
Sarah McLachlan was at the Commodore Ballroom yesterday to sing to Lower Mainland music students, but when she finished her set it was the crowd that serenaded her with an impromptu rendition of Happy Birthday.
The Grammy Award-winning songstress, who turned 40 on Jan. 28, was the highlight of a celebration hosted by a charity that provides music grants and scholarships to schools across Canada.
Bands from Richmond’s Daniel Woodward Elementary School and Vancouver’s Gladstone Secondary School performed with the instruments they received through MusiCan’s Band Aid instrument grant.
McLachlan then joined the students on stage to perform three of her songs, including Angel and Building A Mystery.
"I support music education in any form," said McLachlan. "It gives you a sense of pride and accomplishment."
She said when she was a teenager music was a source of comfort and confidence.
"I’d run off to the auditorium and hide behind the stage and play the piano," she said, adding that every kid should have the opportunity to find that same sense of joy.
Dan White, 17, plays the trumpet in New Westminster Secondary School’s music program, one of seven Lower Mainland schools to have received grants from MusiCan.
"It’s a great chance for (us) to express ourselves through mediums we wouldn’t normally be able to use," he said.