Wednesday’s on repeat for Mike Preston.
The Brentwood Bay-based music teacher plans to lock himself in his studio for 14 hours on Dec. 21 and listen to one song, chosen by voters, over and over again in a feat to raise at least $5,000 for charity.
“It’s kind of a repeat event from something we did two years ago when I trapped myself in my studio and listened to one song on repeat all day long,” Preston, co-owner of the Brentwood School of Music, told CHEK News.
“The last time around, it ended up being Wham!’s Last Christmas. That one was decided by the community, at large, and it’ll be a similar process this time around.”
Preston says they raised more than $2,000 in 2020 for the Mustard Seed, a Victoria-based food bank. This year, the fundraising goal has more than doubled, with all funds going toward the United World Food Programme.
“Everything’s going directly to that,” he said. “This time around, I was thinking more on a global scale. There’s more trouble around the world than usual.”
The school’s currently seeking donations via a GoFundMe page and anyone who contributes at least $20 will be able to vote on which song, from pop to rock, they want Preston to listen to by typing it into the page’s comment section.
It’s been narrowed down to six songs, including AC/DC’s TNT, Ozzy Osbourne’s Crazy Train, The White Stripes’ Seven Nation Army, Europe’s The Final Countdown, Rebecca Black’s Friday and Los del Rio’s Macarena.
While Preston wouldn’t reveal which tune he’d prefer to listen to, he’s just hoping those voters who know him well will cut him some slack.
“Let’s just say there are young musicians out there who know exactly which one would get me the most,” he said with a laugh. “But we’ll just have to see.”
The public’s also invited to come and watch next week — earplugs encouraged.
“People are welcome to pop by and take a look at my suffering and maybe make a donation. And it’ll be nice that it’s during the (winter) break because I have three kids of my own, and hopefully, they’ll keep me company for a bit,” said Preston.
The music teacher moved to Greater Victoria in 2005 and purchased the school alongside his wife, Sarah, in 2016. They haven’t looked back since.
“We’re thankful that we have such a busy, thriving school, and that’s, of course, because of all the teachers. We have lots of teachers who have stayed long term and lots of families that we’ve watched the kids grow up into adults in front of our eyes,” said Preston.
“The whole community of Brentwood, this school, is really just a staple. It really seems like everyone’s a musician, and the school itself has been around for about 50 years.”
Amid the school’s latest fundraiser, the community support sure isn’t falling flat, with a “little bit of gentle ribbing too,” according to Preston.
“I announced that I’d be doing it a couple of weeks ago and at the Christmas Fairs, certain parents are already shouting songs at me,” he added. “They’re like, ‘Baby Shark?'”
Preston says the GoFundMe will stay open throughout the holidays to raise as much money as possible. He hopes to do more fundraisers in the future — once he’s recovered from this one, of course.