KW Glee’s version of O Canada rings out in classrooms across Canada

A version of O Canada that was created two years ago by young singers from Waterloo region in Ontario is still being played at schools across the country.

The young voices behind K-W Glee are known for their upbeat performances. The group recorded the national anthem for July 1 in 2020 at the request of Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic, artistic director Amanda Kind wrote in an email to CBC. 

“We were humbled by the ask,” she said. “We never imagined that so many people would enjoy our version of the national anthem. It’s amazing to see the numbers climb on YouTube … it’s incredible to know that people are listening to our group from every corner of the country. The kids are thrilled.”

Since the anthem’s release in 2020, the group has received requests from schools across the country to play their version of the song.

Recorded in isolation

Isabelle Aboagye, lead singer for the K-W Glee version of the anthem, said she still gets messages when people hear her at their school. 

“A lot of my friends will send me pics and messages: ‘Hey, were you singing O Canada during my announcements at school today?’ And I’m like — yeah, that’s me. It’s pretty cool,” she told The Morning Edition’s host Craig Norris.

“I honestly had no idea that so many people would enjoy our version of O Canada. And I really like to think that people that see kids that look like them, singing O Canada, they just get as happy as we do, because it was such a big thing for us.” 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, each vocalist had to record the song on their own, and then it was all melded together into one video.

“It was a very different experience,” recalled Aboagye. “We had to get used to recording it, and not being together and relying on each other when we sing.”

The group’s video on YouTube has more than 180,000 views. The anthem is also available through Apple Music and Spotify.

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