Optimist Band Festival 2014

Recently, Westgate Bands were well represented in the Optimist International Band Festival. It was a successful showing, and we were proud to celebrate a few firsts!

The Grade 8 Band performed admirably for the first time at the Optimist Festival this year. In past, they have been involved with the Level One Festival in mid-April, but this year, due to our upcoming music tour, performed at the Optimist! Despite missing the better part of 10 days of rehearsal prior to their performance, the group was well focused and played far above the level previously experienced. Bravo!

The Grade 9 Band also suffered from the loss of rehearsals pre-Festival and still managed to sound solid with their performance of Linden Lea and Abracadabra. The adjudicators were impressed, and had many positive ideas to help improve our future performances.

Both the Junior and Senior Jazz Bands made fine work of their repertoire, and each enjoyed an outstanding clinic with serious hands-on rehearsal, post performance!

With great pride, the Senior Band had an exceptional performance of their two pieces; October, and Puszta. For the first time since my arrival we achieved a unanimous Scoring of 5/5 in each category from each adjudicator! This is outstanding, and nothing I have ever seen before! To add to the excitement, the Westgate Band Program was selected by the adjudicators and Festival organizers as the recipient of the George Douglas Award. This award recognizes a program “in recognition of exemplary performance, mature on and off stage presence, responsiveness to the clinic, commitment to the festival through longevity of participation, and development of an outstanding band program.” A huge bravo to all the students involved, and special kudos to The Senior Band for their truly outstanding performance! Westgate will receive a trophy for the award, and will now stand beside other outstanding school music programs in the history of this award.

submitted by Mr. Ross Brownlee