School bands win at MusicFest

Triumph the result of a lot of hard work

Ben Dwyer

Ben Dwyer

Local students excelled at MusicFest Canada last week, North America’s largest music festival.

Students from three schools in School District 69 (Qualicum) attended the invitation-only event, earning their way there through a gold level performance at a regional festival.

“All three schools performed extremely well at this event,” said Dave Stewart, music teacher at Oceanside Middle School and Kwalikum Secondary School by e-mail.

With roots going back to 1972, the national festival is held in a different city each year and was in Richmond May 16 to 20 this year.

It brings together over 10,000 of the country’s best music students under 25 to help develop their musical talents and “share their musical achievements and creativity,” according to the website.

Local students traveled to Richmond this year from Ballenas Secondary School, under the direction of Rick Robson, Kwalikum Secondary, directed by Dan Craven and Dave Stewart, and Springwood Middle School with Donna Rathke.

The Ballenas Concert Band, Junior Jazz Band and Senior Jazz Band were each awarded a silver standing.

The Springwood Grade 7/8 Concert Band earned gold.

Kwalikum Secondary’s Senior Jazz Band and Senior Jazz Combo both earned gold for their performances and the Grade 10 Jazz Combo received silver.

Two Kwalikum students also passed auditions to earn coveted seats in Canada’s most elite student Honour Bands. Ben Dwyer, on alto saxophone, earned a spot on the Yamaha All Star Jazz Band and Joylea Carson Austin, on baritone sax, with the National Concert Band.

Both students had great experiences performing with other high calibre students from across Canada, Stewart said.

Ben Dwyer and Liz Roy also received significant scholarships from Humber College for their outstanding performances, a high honour only achieved by a couple dozen out of the 10,000 participants.

“All our students enjoyed the experiences from MusicFest, really appreciated the excellent clinics, workshops and concerts of world class calibre,” Stewart summarized.


Just Posted

Map of the site of a proposed 60-unit building project in French Creek. (RDN map)
Legal counsel wants board to award development permit for French Creek project

Issue is on agenda for RDN board meeting on June 22

The Arrowsmith Search and Rescue Society has outgrown its home at the Coombs-Hilliers Fire Department and will soon move to its new operations hall at the Qualicum Beach Airport. (PQB News file photo)
The Qualicum Beach Farmers Market is one of the organizations approved for a grant-in-aid by the Town of Qualicum Beach. (PQB News file photo)
COVID-19: Town of Qualicum Beach awards $80K in relief funds to community groups

Pandemic has put a financial strain on many organizations

The remains of the Mid-Island Co-op in Whiskey Creek along the Alberni Highway on Friday, June 18, after a blaze the day before devastated the gas station. (Michael Briones photo)
VIDEO: Whiskey Creek gas station destroyed by fire after camper van explosion

Nine fire departments responded to the incident, no injuries reported

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Most Read