Bravo to both our Grades 9 and 10, and our Grade 8 Band classes, who earned silver medals on February 12 and 13, 2020 at the Ontario Band Association’s Provincial Band Festival in Thornhill, Ont.
In addition to bragging rights, our Grade 8 Band has also earned an invitation to the MusicFest Canada Nationals in Calgary this May.
“[Senior and Middle Music Teacher] Agnes Ng and I are so proud of the work that the students have put in over several months, and in particular the last couple of weeks, as we have worked to put the final touches on the repertoire,” says Scott Harbin, Music Teacher and Band Coordinator, in regard to the more senior band’s performance.
This award was especially significant because our musicians’ repertoire this year was particularly challenging, diverse and interesting, says Harbin. “I was impressed with the focus and collective energy the students used to create a meaningful interpretation of each piece.”
Specifically, Grade 10 trumpeter Jacquie Groenewegen earned the Student Leadership Award for her consistent enthusiasm, musicianship and positivity.
Following the performance, the band had an exciting opportunity to work with Toronto-based conductor and clinician Colin Clarke. The 37 students who comprise the band were thrilled to work with this renowned and dynamic educator.
“He was very complimentary of the group,” says Harbin. “He focused his short clinic on finer details such as dynamic contrast, consistency in articulation and ideas about musical interpretation.”
The next day’s performance by the Grade 8 Band classes was just as compelling.
The [Grade 8 band] students played beautifully, tackling challenging music with a maturity beyond their years,” says Harbin.
Following the performance, the band had a short instructive clinic with Dennis Beck, another Toronto-based adjudicator. Beck spoke about the mature sound of the group, and Grade 8 clarinetist Anna Gage received the Student Leadership Award for her focus, discipline and initiative.
It was a tremendous show of enthusiasm and musicianship, not to mention a tolerance for early-morning departures, says Harbin.
“Huge congratulations to [Mr. Harbin] and his students,” said Junior School Head Amanda Kennedy. “What a tremendous opportunity for them!”