School District 60 Beginning Band students will no longer be bused to a rehearsal space in an SD60 school, they are going somewhere much more exciting. School District 60 Band program coordinator, Sandra Gunn, has announce that starting September 2015, all beginner band day classes will be held at the North Peace Cultural Centre, right on stage, inside the theater. This is a tremendous learning environment for our students, placed right in the heart of Fort St. John’s arts community. The acoustics inside the theater are tremendous, and students will have a unique opportunity to learn about performance inside and out. Not only will the grade 6 band students have the invaluable opportunity to meet their fine arts learning outcomes by learning an instrument from professional music educators, David Price and Sabrina Brooks, they will be on a first name basis with the staff of the North Peace Cultural Centre. The Cultural Centre is a community building, and it is important that our youth build a connection to this touchstone of the arts now, as they too are budding members of our arts community.
School District No. 60’s beginning band is offered in grade 6, and students can then continue on with band in their middle school and high school years. Band students learn how to read, play, and respond to music. A music education can provide students with inspiration, spark creativity, develop leadership, expand horizons, and create friendships. Band is a course that consists of 2 day classes and 1 night class per week.
Your decision now to register is important as it helps us determine program locations for day band. We schedule these classes at host schools according to enrollment numbers. We need 25 students per day band class, so depending on how many students from your child’s school sign up, your child may or may not be bussed to a host school for band class. The band teacher travels to the host school to teach. In the past, classes have been held at Central, Duncan Cran, Baldonnel, and Charlie Lake. The day band classes are completely in school time and count towards your child’s Fine Arts credit for the year. It simply becomes a class like any other.
Night Band is 1 hour, once per week: Mondays 5:30pm-6:30pm in the Bert Bowes Band Room. For this rehearsal, all the feeder schools meet together for a fun and exciting mass band rehearsal.
Most students obtain instruments by renting through Sight and Sound Music Rentals. Every September, they drive a huge truck of instruments to Fort St. John just for our Beginner Band students. Most parents pay monthly on a rent-to-own plan (after enough months elapse, you own the instrument!). More information can be found at SightNSound.ca in the “Band Instruments” section. The SD60 Band Program owns a limited amount of instruments that we rent out for those who would like other options.
There is no fee to join the Band Program. Aside from the cost of their instrument, a student will require a music book each year ($10) and depending on the instrument, items to maintain the instrument such as reeds and oils ($2-$10 as needed). Fundraising opportunities are put on throughout the year by the Band Parent Association which are designed to keep costs to an absolute minimum. The uniform is a navy blue shirt which can be one the student owns or an SD60 Band Shirt which is $10.
A Waiver of Consent is required, indicating that you understand the requirements of the SD60 Beginner Band Program. You can either complete the attached form and hand it into the office at your child’s school or sign up online http://www.prn.bc.ca/band.