Now, this is a concert with deep meaning!

Five students from St Nicholas School are rehearsing with vigour these days. Why? They want to build a well.

Haleigh Sokil, Derek Hope, Dillon Owens, Thomas Bamford and Sara Preston are all students in a band called Deep Subject. They are raising their voices, plucking their guitar strings and bouncing to the beat of drums by Thomas’ father Scott as they rehearse for their world debut.

Friday. May 5. 2006. 7:30-9:30 pm. The auditorium at St Nicholas will rock as Deep Subject rolls through 25 songs in an effort to raise consciousness and money to build a well.

It is, indeed, a deep subject. It starts with Sara Preston being inspired by Sarah McLachlan’s fundraising video, World on Fire. Singing simply with her acoustic guitar, Sarah launched the song and donated to World Vision the money she WOULD have spent on a fancier recording.

Sara Preston was so infected by the song she picked up a guitar for the first time in her life and learned the notes. Then she mastered the lyrics. In between, she got turned on to relief work in developing countries and the role of World Vision.

She took her enthusiasm to her school mates and together they have mounted a rock show. They are raising money to buy a well… well, one-sixth of a well. At a cost of $15,000 in total, this deep water well pumps 3000 gallons of water a day and provides enough water for domestic use, drinking water and irrigation. World Vision has put out the opportunity through its ‘gift’ catalogue and Sara seized the opportunity to make a difference.

Deep Subject is hoping to fill the St Nicholas gymnasium to overflowing… 300 people at $5 per concert ticket will raise $1500 towards the $2500 goal. The remaining $1000 is hopefully going to be raised by silent auction bids, by concession sales, and by people who just want to kick in a little more.

While the group is busy making sure they have perfect pitch, lots of other people are helping out. Sara is hoping community businesses will also catch the wave and help by offering products for the auction, food and beverages for the concert intermission, or services like printing tickets.

Sara says her school principal has been a real support once she got across the goal of the concert. St Nicholas teachers have cooperated by letting her promote to every class. The school is helping by selling tickets from the front office and Sarah and Haleigh are selling tickets as well.

They’ve approached neighbouring high schools and senior classes at elementary schools and while Sara is excited about the prospect of a sold out concert, she’s really dreaming about a second show the next night.

Volunteers from grade 7 and 8 are acting as ticket takers, refreshment sellers… lots of enthusiasm to make sure the evening is a success.

With almost 600 students in the school, Sarah is counting on brisk ticket sales… starting Monday.

Silent auction items are starting to arrive… a massage, a series of career counselling sessions, gift certificates to services at Avalon Wellness Centre. A complete list will be published closer to concert day and participants can bid on the silent auction items before the concert. If you’re interested in donating an auction item, Sara would be thrilled.

With a goal of buying one-sixth of this deep water well, Sara is excited about the prospect of self sufficiency for an African community. Last year, she raised funds at school to buy gifts from the World Vision gift catalogue, too.

“There are so many things you can buy for a needy country… warm clothing, farm animals, blankets, medical supplies for a clinic, water, a share in a well.”

Last year it was farm animals. This year it’s a well.

The rock band, Deep Subject, has an average age of 14 (unless you count drummer Scott, the father). A remarkable undertaking from young people whose grasp does not exceed their vision! What an amazing seed of assistance is growing in this south end school!

Thanks, Sara. And thanks, Haleigh, Derek, Dillon, Thomas and Scott!


To order tickets, or make a donation, contact
Sara Preston at
Make cheques payable to World Vision

To buy tickets in person,
Front Office St Nicholas School
100 Lougheed Dr, Barrie, ON

To find out about World Vision’s gift catalogue,