Ballenas music ends year on high note

Students show they have the musical chops to provide a highly entertaining show

Ballenas Secondary School band teacher Rick Robson receives a musical blanket from his graduating students on Thursday.

Ballenas Secondary School band teacher Rick Robson receives a musical blanket from his graduating students on Thursday.

There was some amazing music performed at Ballenas Senior Secondary School (BSS) during a year-end concert by all members of the music department yesterday.

Under the direction of Rick Robson students presented an afternoon of outstanding music at the high school Thursday, June 7.

Robson, who has been teaching music for 30 years, said it has been a stellar year for his students and he is proud of all of them.

The stage band received gold at the West Coast Jazz Festival and now have a two year invitation to Musicfest Canada.

“The kids did really well and got invitations to Nationals,” he stated.

He gave a shout out to Emma Javid who was recognized as the top jazz vocalist at the festival.

Robson and his students went on a band trip to San Francisco this year and he said the memories from that trip will last them a life time.

“My philosophy is to give the kids festival experiences as well as different travel opportunities rather than going to Musicfest every year.  We go (to Musicfest) if it is in Vancouver.”

He said in his 30 years of teaching music he is always amazed at the new talent that arrives every year.

“Its wonderful … every year I get new stars.  I get kids coming up in Grade nine and it is so gratifying to see them come from beginners who have a little spark from our wonderful feeder program at Springwood Middle School.

“They come to me and we build on it until they are having so much fun that they don’t want to put it down at the end of Grade 12. Hopefully they will continue to make music a part of their life,” he said.

Robson agreed the percussion section this year is the best he has had so far.

“They have tremendous rhythm and they watch all the time.  They are wonderful kids.”

He said he has also been blessed to have so many trombone players which is unusual for such a small market.

“This isn’t the big city … to have four trombone players in a small town is remarkable.  I was working with some grade eight trombone players just last week and they are coming up and they are excited … so hopefully we will have even more,” he said.

The jazz combo, who performed Yardbird Suite and A Child Is Born, have only been performing together for one month and Robson said they are really coming along. They call themselves Raise Your Hands If You Love Horses and are available for hire. Contact Robson at for booking enquiries.