Thank you everyone who supported the SD60 Band on February 23. The total raised at the event itself was $7739.20, and a $1000 corporate donation from Cougar Landscaping and Construction rose that total to $8739.20.
Cougar Landscaping and Construction is challenging all other snow removal companies to meet or beat their $1,000 donation.
The band is working to raise the $70,000 needed to take them to MusicFest Canada Nationals in Niagara Falls in May (https://musicfest.ca/festival/). Music Fest Canada is a national invitation-only competition and the last time the high school from Fort St. John was invited was 20 years ago in 1999. Students are currently practicing hard with the goal of bringing home a GOLD.
What is the SD60 Band Program? Band is primarily an in school course, taught twice per week in the school day to smaller classes of 30. Classes are held M/Th or Tue/F during school hours. During the students’ required fine arts time, they are bused to the new Margaret Ma Murray or Anne Roberts Young Elementary Schools for the opportunity to learn an instrument from a professional music educator. Each of these new schools have a professionally designed room especially for music. There is also a night band component to this course.
What is the commitment?
Once per week on Tuesdays from 5:15-6:30pm, all 120 students gather together at the Anne Roberts, Bert Bowes, or Ma Murray band room to play as a full band. Some weeks not all instruments are required, and a complete schedule will be sent home during the summer. Students are also required to attend two kickoff events: “Squeak and Squawk” and the “Taylor Retreat” where older band students and community members give them private and small group instruction to get them the best possible start. Students are also expected to practice for 20 minutes, 3 times per week outside of class time. Once classes start in the fall, band is expected to be a year-long commitment.
It has been said that every storm ends in a rainbow, and the SD60 Band program has found theirs this pandemic. A record number of SD60 Band students planning to continue on in music post-secondary this year! The program, lead by co-ordinator Sandra Gunn, currently has 9 students planning music as their post-secondary career choice, and three grade 12s recently submitted their university auditions this week.
Mr. & Mrs. Brooks have been mentoring Karis Paracuelles, Rylee Francis and Brian Hoffman each Sunday on their audition pieces and Mr. Price has been working with them at North Peace Secondary School to make sure they have the necessary theory background. Local pianist Dana Peterson and Russell Eggleston from Sound in Town made sure their applications were as professional as possible and the students made use of the music room at Ma Murray school to record their audition.
Follow this link to listen to the audition recordings these students sent in to a variety of Canadian universities this week!
If you are looking for ways to support the SD60 Band Program and students like these, please contact the program co-ordinator Sandra Gunn. They are currently doing a fundraiser with Walker’s Greenhouses to raise money for trips to Whistler (High School) and Camp Cameron (Middle School).
The SD60 Band Program begins in grade 6. If you would like to register your grade 5 child for the 2022-2023 SD60 Band Program, registration is now open, and you can contact the beginner teachers Sabrina Brooks or David Price.