Junior School Swings with Strings

Junior School has had a very musical month. The Grade 5 and Grade 4 Strings ensembles played their first concerts of the year, and the Senior School Swing Band visited the students to teach them a bit about the Big Band era. John Reid and the Senior School Swing Band, an extra-curricular ensemble that plays swing music, ballads and light jazz, entertained students from kindergarten to Grade 5.

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The 35 students played several pieces for their eager audience, taking a break between songs to demonstrate the different sounds of the various instruments for the students. Mr. Reid explained each instrument and its function, while the individual players showed what the saxophones, trombones, trumpets and drums sound like alone.

“The Junior School children enjoyed learning about each instrument,” says Director of Junior School Mrs. Nancy Richards. The students also loved the interactive portion of the morning, where they used their hands as instruments to create music. To get the children into the spirit of the season, the band ended their performance with a lively rendition of “Dashing Through the Snow.”

Not to be outdone by their Senior counterparts, the Junior School musicians performed exceptionally well themselves. The Grade 4 and Grade 5 ensembles debuted this month to a full house. “The Grade 4 and 5 Strings special performances were outstanding,” says Mrs. Richards. “Parents, grandparents and teachers marvelled at the quality of the playing.”

Concert Review
by Mary Smith, strings teacher

The Grade 5 strings ensemble played for an appreciative audience of parents, grandparents and friends on Tuesday the 18th of November. In their concert, the students presented a selection of pieces that have been studied since September: some in unison and others that included harmony voices. It was rewarding for the students to play as a string orchestra of 40 members in the large assembly hall and the sounds that they created were, musically speaking, very satisfying.

A highlight of the concert was the performance of an ode to Ms. Pearce (director of the After School Care programme). She is a friend and mentor for many children at the Junior School. The students deserve congratulations for the co-operation, determination, self-discipline and perseverance that they used in preparing in the concert material and performing with fine spirit. They will present choral and instrumental music at a seniors’ home (Somerset House) on December 8th with community outreach in mind.

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