At this hectic time in the school year, it’s great to have an opportunity for an enjoyable evening of music. On Wednesday night, band students from the Senior and Middle Schools performed for a large audience of parents, teachers and fellow students.
With a Vancouver Canucks playoff game running at the same time as the concert, Mr. Reid and Mr. Farish conspired to get some real-time score updates during the breaks between pieces, and even had students play a snippet of the hockey night theme song.
The Middle School Honour Band began the night by playing two of the four pieces that inspired the concert theme of “simple gifts” as well as the upbeat number “Portrait of a Clown” and the softer, thoughtful “Korean Folk Rhapsody.”
The Grade 10 Concert Band kicked off their set with the dramatic “Titanic.” For “The Orwan Tree,” a few unusual instruments made an appearance, and “Celtic Gathering” delivered its promised flair, having special guest Meris Hopkins dance along to the song.
The Grade 6/7 Concert Band also incorporated some unusual instruments – a gong and a cowbell – for “Sakura.” Their other two pieces, “Firestorm and Nottingham Castle” were brash and bold.
The Grade 9 Concert Band started off with the jubilant “Avenger” and ended with the swinging number “Soul Bossa Nova.” The Grade 8 musicians played three pieces, beginning with “Pirates of the Caribbean,” featuring an anvil as an instrument. “Celtic Air and Dance showcased thundering percussion and teacher Ian Farish played alongside his students while Josh Kynoch conducted.
The Senior Concert Band also had a guest conductor in the form of Grade 12 student Brandon Chow, who led them beaufifully through the booming “Toccata Festiva.” Shifting direction, the Senior musicians then played the third Simple Gifts piece, the gentle and sweet “Here Take This Lovely Flower.” Chris Fenje performed a fabulous trumpet solo in the frantic “Tico Tico,” which also featured some tambourine and maracas. The band ended their set with an emotional piece from the movie How to Train Your Dragon.
For the massed bands finale, the entire group of students played “Simple Gifts,” an impressive and intricate endeavor, which featured a Grade 6 trumpet soloist and four singers from the Middle School in addition to the many musicians who filled every inch of the stage. As the concert closed, there was a final hockey score update, and students and audience members delighted in the final score announcement: 7-3 for the Vancouver Canucks!