Gleeful singing in Faro

It might be a long way from Hollywood, but Faro has a glee club. That may seem surprising for a town of 400 people nestled in the Yukon wilderness, but students there aren't content to leave all the singing to the TV stars.

It might be a long way from Hollywood, but Faro has a glee club.

That may seem surprising for a town of 400 people nestled in the Yukon wilderness, but students there aren’t content to leave all the singing to the TV stars.

The club consists of 10 kids, nearly one quarter of the school’s 45 students. While they’ve only been singing together for a few months, they have their first concert planned for this evening at the Del Van Gorder public school.

The club got started in October when Brian Bekk, the club’s musical director, had one of his occasional fits of musical energy.

“I like music. This is a small town with not many opportunities to do anything. We had a new principal come to the school who was energetic and wanting to do things, so we went down and offered to start a choir,” Bekk said.

The first couple of practices were rough, he said, but it wasn’t long before the kids started to get the hang of it.

“The first day, it was really quite brutal. There were maybe three or four kids who could hold a note. But we’ve been working with them and we’ve got a whole group that can actually sound like a chorus. When I get them to sing a note, they actually all blend and it sounds great,” Bekk said.

Bursts of inspiration aren’t unusual for Bekk. He has a long romance with music, starting as a teenager in Ontario and lasting right up until today.

“I love everything music. In high school I was president of the music association in a very large high school. When the music association travelled, it took three Greyhound buses to move us,” he said.

After high school, Bekk toured with a band for a year, had an a cappella group in Calgary for a few years and eventually wound up in Faro with his wife Cindy and their six children.

Bekk laughs when asked if his club takes inspiration from the hit TV musical Glee.

“The name ‘glee club’ paints a picture of Glee on TV and we just don’t have the million dollars an episode that they do. The dancing and singing might be a little more epic on TV than you’re going to find at our concert,” he said.

Bekk also has three kids in the club, and Cindy often sings with them as well.

“We make up a big hunk of it at the moment. Elijah (the Bekks’ 14-year-old son) has just been accepted into the Yukon Sourdough Superstar contest as well,” he said.

Elijah’s younger brother Zachary, 11, is also in the club, along with their older sister Dana, 16.

Zachary said getting to sing with his siblings is fun, but it isn’t anything new. The whole family is musical, and family sing-alongs aren’t uncommon at home.

“I’ve sung with them before a lot. It’s just a fun thing to do. We sing together a lot at home,” Zachary said.

It also won’t be Zachary’s first time on stage. He’s performed at Arts in the Park in Whitehorse.

The club had been pushing hard to be ready for a Christmas concert in December, but like all good dramas, things didn’t exactly go according to plan.

In a last-minute plot twist, the club had to cancel their Christmas concert, after almost everyone at the school came down with a winter flu. The day we were supposed to perform, there were only 12 kids and two teachers in the school. Everyone was sick, but the club rallied, kept practising and will hold the show today as a winter concert instead.

They’ll be performing three songs: Hakuna Matata from Disney’s The Lion King, Rockin’ around the Christmas Tree and one original piece written by Bekk himself.

“It’s a keeper of a melody with throw-away words wrapped around it. You’ll probably hear that melody used again pretty soon,” Bekk said.

Once Friday’s show is over, Bekk will open the club up to new members and start making plans for the next show.

With three teenage boys, Bekk is thinking of working on some Motown classics, something they can sing as a quartet. He’s also got plans for more jazz numbers and possibly more musical theatre as the group and the program grows.

“We’ve been working hard at getting a good choral sound. We’ve been really successful and the kids are doing well,” he said.

Contact Jesse Winter at

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Willow Brewster, a paramedic helping in the COVID-19 drive-thru testing centre, holds a swab used for the COVID-19 test moments before conducting a test with it on Nov. 24. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
An inside look at the COVID-19 drive-thru testing centre

As the active COVID-19 case count grew last week, so too did… Continue reading

Conservation officers search for a black bear in the Riverdale area in Whitehorse on Sept. 17. The Department of Environment intends to purchase 20 semi-automatic AR-10 rifles, despite the inclusion of the weapons in a recently released ban introduced by the federal government, for peace officers, such as conservation officers. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Environment Minister defends purchase of AR-10 rifles for conservation officers

The federal list of banned firearms includes an exception for peace officers

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: The K-shaped economic recovery and what Yukoners can do about it

It looks like COVID-19 will play the role of Grinch this holiday… Continue reading

Jodie Gibson has been named the 2020 Prospector of the Year by the Yukon Prospectors Association. (Submitted)
Jodie Gibson named 2020 Prospector of the Year

Annual award handed out by the Yukon Prospector’s Association

A number 55 is lit in honour of Travis Adams, who died earlier this year, at the Winter Wonderland Walk at Meadow Lakes Golf Club in Whitehorse on Nov. 24. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
A new take on holiday traditions

Winter Wonderland Walk, virtual Stories with Santa all part of 2020 festive events in Whitehorse

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Colin McDowell, the director of land management for the Yukon government, pulls lottery tickets at random during a Whistle Bend property lottery in Whitehorse on Sept. 9, 2019. A large amount of lots are becoming available via lottery in Whistle Bend as the neighbourhood enters phase five of development. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Lottery for more than 250 new Whistle Bend lots planned for January 2021

Eight commercial lots are being tendered in additional to residential plots

The Government of Yukon Main Administration Building in Whitehorse on Aug. 21. The Canada Border Services Agency announced Nov. 26 that they have laid charges against six people, including one Government of Yukon employee, connected to immigration fraud that involved forged Yukon government documents. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Charges laid in immigration fraud scheme, warrant out for former Yukon government employee

Permanent residency applications were submitted with fake Yukon government documents

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Karen Wenkebach has been appointed as a judge for the Yukon Supreme Court. (Yukon News file)
New justice appointed

Karen Wenckebach has been appointed as a judge for the Supreme Court… Continue reading

Catherine Constable, the city’s manager of legislative services, speaks at a council and senior management (CASM) meeting about CASM policy in Whitehorse on June 13, 2019. Constable highlighted research showing many municipalities require a lengthy notice period before a delegate can be added to the agenda of a council meeting. Under the current Whitehorse procedures bylaw, residents wanting to register as delegates are asked to do so by 11 a.m. on the Friday ahead of the council meeting. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Changes continue to be contemplated for procedures bylaw

Registration deadline may be altered for delegates

Cody Pederson of the CA Storm walks around LJ’s Sabres player Clay Plume during the ‘A’ division final of the 2019 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament. The 2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament, scheduled for March 25 to 28 in Whitehorse next year, was officially cancelled on Nov. 24 in a press release from organizers. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News file)
2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament cancelled

The 2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament, scheduled for March 25 to 28… Continue reading

Lev Dolgachov/123rf
The Yukon’s Information and Privacy Commissioner stressed the need to safeguard personal information while shopping this holiday season in a press release on Nov. 24.
Information and Privacy Commissioner issues reminder about shopping

The Yukon’s Information and Privacy Commissioner Diane McLeod-McKay stressed the need to… Continue reading

Most Read