Striking up the Band- By Janet Isaac-Martens (KEC Band Teacher)
This February, two of our RETSD Band Directors, Ben Campbell, Murdoch MacKay Collegiate, and Janet Isaac-Martens, Kildonan East Collegiate, took a combined Band from Grades 10-12 to the Manitoba Band Optimist Festival held at the RBC Convention Centre. The directors came together for a Professional Development opportunity in September and after discussing their programming for the year, felt that they could create a more exciting opportunity for the students in both programs by combining them to play at the festival as one Band. After choosing repertoire, months of working back and forth using new technology through the TELP initiative, and combining for two group rehearsals, the students were ready for the experience. Students performed their selections for a panel of adjudicators, and then had a workshop with Jonathan Dagenais (Wind Band conductor, composer, and clinician). Students learned more about tone and balance in the Wind Band setting. Afterward, students watched bands from three other schools before enjoying a group lunch together. Both Mr. Campbell and Mrs. Isaac-Martens are very proud of how well the students performed together and would like to commend them on the dedication to their craft and on their willingness to come together and play so successfully!