The Williams Lake Secondary School/Colunmeetza Secondary School combined Tour Band is heading to Richmond this week to participate at National Musicfest Canada.
“This is a very exciting opportunity for the band, as the festival is an ‘invite-only’ event,” says director Dena Baumann.
While on tour to a band festival in Edmonton last month, the group stopped and participated at Fanfare Band Festival in Prince George, where they earned a gold rating and an invitation to go on and perform at the nationals.
Baumann says this was a huge opportunity for the band, and at the beginning of the year the group could not have predicted they would have qualified for nationals.
“The band is a very diverse group of students with a wide range of abilities, but they have worked so hard and proved that a small-town band program really can compete with larger fine arts communities,” Baumann says. “I’m really proud of the students and their commitment to excellence.”
The community has also rallied to help the band raise the funds in a very short time to make it possible for the group to travel there.
The WLSS PAC, West Fraser Trucker’s Association, as well as the Lioness Club have all contributed to the travel costs and the students are really looking forward to hearing other groups from across Canada perform, as well as the professional ensembles that they will hear in the evening concerts.
This is the second time that Dena Baumann has taken the Tour Band to Nationals.
The previous WLSS band director, Bryce Woolcombe, also travelled twice with the Tour Band, to Calgary and Ottawa, to participate at Nationals.
You can hear the Tour Band, Jazz Band, as well as members of the WLSS guitar and music composition and technology classes, and check out the work of students in the WLSS art program, next Thursday, May 26 at 7 p.m. at WLSS Commons.
It will all be part of the WLSS Fine Arts showcase fundraiser for scholarships and fine arts programs at WLSS.
Titled Transitions, the night will be jam packed with performances from many different students, in different styles, and the art showcase will also feature a few students creating art throughout the night.
Admission is $5 person at the door.
People can also check out the band program at the end of the year concert on Thursday, June 9 at 7 p.m. in the WLSS Commons.