According to scientific research, studying music is not only fun, but is a powerful tool for attaining children’s full intellectual, social and creative potential.
It speeds the development of speech and reading skills; trains children to focus their attention for sustained periods of time; and helps children to gain a sense of empathy for others, the Royal Conservatory says in its overview of current neuroscience research paper The Benefits of Music Education.
Perhaps this research is one of the underlying factors in why the Lake City Secondary School band program is exploding this year.
Band teacher Laura Eilers says there are 100 students in Grade 7 band, 30 in Grade 8 band, 27 in Grade 9 band, and 38 students in the senior band program. There are also 21 students in the Jazz Band and 40 students in the LCSS Tour Band.
“The Tour Band and the Grade 8/9 band will be traveling to Whistler in April to compete in the Whistler Con Brio Band festival,” Eilers says. “There are 53 students from LCSS playing in two ensembles.”
She says plans are also in the works for the Tour Band to travel to New York City and Boston for nine days during spring break 2017.
“Together with the rest of the LCSS fine arts team, we will be putting on another “Cariboo Meats Culture” in the spring, as a fundraiser for the arts,” Eilers says.
Dena Baumann teaches the Grade 7 band program and Eilers teaches the grades 8, 9 and senior band programs which are part of the regular school program and directs the Jazz and Tour bands which hold rehearsals before and after school hours.
The Lake City Secondary band students from beginners to advanced level performed in a Christmas concert with the Cariboo Gold Dance Band Thursday, Dec. 10 at the Williams Lake Campus.
Individual performances were given by each of the band groups before they all came together as one mass band for a sing-a-long round of Christmas carolling.
In introducing the songs Eilers talked about the development of the band program and new elements returning to the program such as piano, drum, percussion and guitar.
Lara Silkstone, James Still, Jack Zavitz, Maria DiMarco, Tavish Wherley, Nicole Curbello, and Haley Ramier, all performed solos in various pieces. Raegan Schofield joined on piano for Noel, Noel.
Eilers also performed a solo on saxophone when she joined Cariboo Gold directed by Murray Hoffman for their selection of Christmas songs.