PSP SUNDANCE PHOTO
The Souris Valley band with members from both Souris and Hartney schools earned a gold ranking at the national MusicFest Canada competition in Ottawa earlier this month.
The Souris Valley band received an impressive gold ranking at the MusicFest Canada competition in Ottawa earlier this month.
Forty-two students from both Souris and Hartney schools travelled to Ottawa to compete in the 40th annual contest at the National Arts Centre.
Grade 10 student Hannah Cooke said it was an exciting experience.
"I didn’t know how many other bands would be there and what they sounded like, so I was a little nervous doing it, but it was exciting to do as well," Cooke said.
Cooke performed a clarinet solo in one of the selections and was presented with an honour award.
The band originally qualified for the national competition at provincials in 2011 and had the option to attend MusicFest Canada this year.
Band teacher Paul Cwir was very proud of how well his students performed.
"I don’t hesitate to brag to their parents about how well-behaved and what an honour it is to bring those kids," he said. "It was very much exciting for everyone."
The band members range from grades 8-12 and were required to play three different selections.
After the performance, they had a sight-reading workshop, where they had about five minutes to look over a song and then play it for a grade.
"They absolutely nailed it," Cwir said. "It’s got to be one of my most treasured teaching moments. Starting that song with the band, getting through it and not having to stop once … and they got full marks for that."
With students from both Souris and Hartney, it’s sometimes difficult to organize rehearsals, but Cwir said they did some extra preparation before they left for Ottawa.
"I think that was another feather in the cap, how we really didn’t combine a lot to get ready and yet they’re still able to pull it off," Cwir said.
Out of 26 bands that performed in their category, six won gold, 14 won silver and six won bronze.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition May 26, 2012