Blog

Winter Events

It’s that time – everyone looks forward to December concerts. This year we’re trying something new. We’ve moved our concert to January. We’re hoping to avoid conflicts for students with siblings in elementary schools. Our Winter  Concert is planned for January 12th. We hope you can make it!

Westwood Music’s annual market is also coming up December 2nd. Our music groups will be playing a variety of songs including some seasonal selections. Again, we hope you can make it. The market is open between 10 and 3pm.

Image result for gourmet perogies sausageAt the winter market and leading up to it we are selling Pyrogies and Sausages from Prairie Gourmet. The selection is broad and unique. We do have to sell a  minimum number of boxes (200) so please take a look and purchase from either an individual Westwood musician or at our table at the market.  Here’s a sneak preview:
http://gourmetperogies.com/products.html 

 

 

Welcome back!

Welcome back for 2017-2018. A new year brings new students even as we lose our recent graduates to adulthood. I’m very proud of Noah, Conner, and Owen. Good luck with all the adulting you’re about to do!

So far this year, we have 74 enrollments in the four music classes we offer. There is fluctuation, and this also does not reflect the actual number of students in the program as many will do a combination of Band, Jazz, Rock & Pop, and/or Choir.

Speaking of Rock & Pop – it is official, we are now offering a 5 credit course in how to put together your own band. This could be a duo, singer-songwriter, one-person show, whatever!  And of course we didn’t forget the techs. Sound and audio techs are also welcome to take this course.

Band 10-20-30 is Block 4, Day 1 all year long
Jazz is Monday after school from 3-5pm in the theatre
Rock & Pop is Tuesday after school from 3-5pm in Studio Y
Choir (Glee) is Wednesday after school from 3-5pm in Studio Y

Our first performance of the year will be our annual “Honks and Squeeks” concert and AGM. It has been moved to October 17 at 7pm in the Theatre. It is early in the year for a formal performance but we tuck in an AGM meeting for our funding booster parent group so it is important for all to attend!  There are positions to fill but we have a lot of fun in the Board meetings. And, you’ll get to spend time each month with me!

Also to look forward to is our December 2nd market. We’ll need all students for that day as well. We set the tables out on Friday. On Saturday we help vendors in with their stuff, man a canteen, and provide entertainment. When its all over, we do an intense clean so that people wouldn’t even know we were here!

If you have any questions or concerns, please email me. My schedule is very full and complicated and I work in several classrooms. Email is the best way to connect.

Thanks,
Joanna Torguson, Music Director

Music Fun Day Finale

What a busy and fun day! It seemed to be a hit with both small and tall people. Although no one knew what the games would be like ahead of time it all worked out and there were enthusiastic participants. And, lots of tickets given out for the prize draw.  Lunch was yummy – thank you, Mr. Nichols. Finally, the Buddy Concert turned out great as well.  Thank you to everyone who helped plan and carry out tasks on the day and those who came to enjoy!

Oh, and I finally got a group photo for this year – a selfie from the concert!

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Year-End

We are quickly approaching  the end of the year and I am so proud of what we have accomplished. Students are so much more confident and a lot more capable as musicians. I am able to give them more difficult repertoire than we began with. It shouldn’t be surprising as that is the goal. Still, it makes me happy to see it actually happen.

YFullSizeRenderesterday we were privileged to tour some of our elementary schools to give short mini-concerts alongside Ecole McTavish. We had a blast playing for the kids and getting to know our Jr. High up-and-coming Westwood students better. We were able to show the variety of instruments we  play including 3 sizes of saxophone. Favorite moments included comparing the height of a small child to the bari-sax, rocking along to McTavish’s choir, and kids spontaneously singing along to Uptown Funk.

Our little tour yesterday was a warm-up for what I hope will be an annual event – Music Fun Day and Buddy Concert.  We are inviting elementary music students to come out for some music games and activities. Following lunch, we will have rehearsal for our late afternoon Buddy Concert. This will be music that everyone has learned and practised on their own and is rehearsed just hours before it is performed!  As well, it will serve as Westwood’s year-end concert where we “pin” our graduating musicians.

It has been a privilege working with these talented musicians. They’ve worked hard and I hope our final concert is huge and well attended. They deserve to show off and have a little fun!

Vancouver!

I love taking groups to Vancouver. It is such a pretty place with amazing scenery – and so much to do!

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Highlights of the trip included

  • conquering our fear of flying (at least a little bit)
  • playing a concert for Chalmers Lodge and meeting Ada (who, before paved roads moved to Fort McMurray from Japan)
  • hitting the beach at Kitsilano
  • meeting buskers and being tourists at Granville Island
  • seeing the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra play the entire Harry Potter Film!
  • having a workshop at University of British Columbia and playing in the rose garden
  • Checking out Aberdeen Mall and Daiso on our way to Steveston and Georgia Cannery
  • playing a concert for False Creek Elementary school
  • spending time in Stanley Park and the aquarium
  • enjoying Cinderella the Musical at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre

Travel is such an important part of music education and these kids got to experience a lot! They know how to pack to bring instruments, to take care of their own instruments, how to work together to set up, perform, and take down quickly. They’ve bonded into a tight family. They’ve seen musicians at work in a variety of placed – including street corners. Much of this simply would not have been possible if we had stayed home.

I’m already looking ahead to 2017-2018. So far Sun Peaks Cantando Festival and Niagara have come to mind. Internationally politics are still a bit volatile so staying in Canada is our best choice.  If you have somewhere you think we should go, please let me know!

Mrs. Torguson

Weekend Roadtrip

Every year the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra performs a concert along with movie animation. This year they performed excerpts from Pixar movies. It was a great trip that we had looked forward to since October. The students chose to take a Sparksman bus to save money and we were lucky enough to get an Executive Shuttle which was far more comfortable than we anticipated being. After a day at the mall we had dinner together at the Spaghetti Factory then were whisked away to the concert. Our seats were great – we had an excellent view of the conductor and all the instruments.

At intermission some of us went to see the instruments and got to speak with one of the percussionists. He told us they only had 2 days to rehearse this concert! After the concert we got to meet Michael Massey, the keyboard player – and our teacher’s piano teacher. It was a short trip but we learned a lot – the metronome and timing markings on the conductor’s display, some new instruments, that harps have pedals, and how cool a bass trombone is. We will definitely be looking at doing this again.

Happy New Year!

We have accomplished so much in a very short period of time. I can’t wait to get back to school and see everyone again. We have just two short weeks to rehearse before exams begin. And, when the new semester starts, Band 20-30 will move to Fridays from 3-5pm. It was a challenge to find a new time due to the musical taking place this spring. After exploring several options, this seemed to be the best situation for most.

Our music library is coming along nicely and our instruments are starting to come back. The new chimes we ordered are on back-order but will make a lovely addition to our percussion section when they arrive.

Student Advisory Panel members should check the calendar on the instrument storage room for meeting dates. We’ll usually be meeting on the first Monday of each month.

Edmonton Pixar Concert
Band 20-30 will be heading to Edmonton over the Family Day weekend in February. Your one and only payment of $175 is due January 16 (if I recall correctly). Official and detailed permission forms will be available soon.

Vancouver Trip
All groups are eligible to go on this performance tour of Vancouver, BC. In addition to taking in a special musical performance and touring the amazing Orpheum Theatre, we’ll be offering two performances of our own! Of course, there will be more highlights as well such as the aquarium, Granville Island, and more. The trips $1250 cost was broken to 4 roughly equal payments. Fundraising can be used to offset costs and should be utilized if needed! If there is financial difficulty, please contact the director privately. The goal is to take everyone on the trip!

Joanna Torguson, Music Director