May 24, 2018 – The results are in and St. Thomas Aquinas High School could not be happier. The Symphonic Winds and Percussion Ensemble achieved a Silver Award in the Concert Band Division at the 46th Annual MusicFest Canada Nationals held in Toronto, May 13 – 18th. At the exclusive, "invitation only" event, the STAHS band competed with 35 of the best bands from all over Canada.
"By achieving a silver award we demonstrated that we are capable of exceedingly high standards in musical performance and are considered to be within the top bands in all of Canada in our category," says Eric Harty, Music Teacher. "During the trip to Toronto, our band had a chance to grow and connect as a group which translated through to our performance. It was said a number of times that we played with a sound that is extremely mature and refined considering the age of the group. I couldn't t be happier with how our students represented St. Thomas Aquinas High School both on and off the stage."
The band also achieved a Certificate of Excellence in the Clinic portion. Grade 10 saxophone player, Haley Yakiwchuk explains what this means. "The Certificate of Excellence in the Clinical portion is awarded to a band that is open to feedback and willing to try suggestions and new ideas. I enjoyed this component of the event. The adjudicator was helpful and gave us a few new ideas that we are going to work on as a band."
At MusicFest 2018, the band performed three songs that were evaluated by adjudicators. The students also had the opportunity to participate in workshops and sessions.
"Trips like this not only help to educate our students by giving them the opportunity to listen to bands from all over Canada, but also allows them to work with some of the best educators from all over North America which enhances their own ability as individuals and as a group, says Harty."
Grade 10 flutist, Kirsten Favreau was recognized for her commitment and hard work. She received an Honour Award at MusicFest 2018. "The Honour Award is awarded to a student who has shown enthusiasm for the band and works extra hard supporting the band," she explains. "It was an honour to be able to perform at MusicFest 2018. It was an exciting and wonderful trip for us, and I'm proud that I was able to share this experience and achievement with everyone."
The St. Thomas Aquinas High School Symphonic Winds and Percussion Band qualified for MusicFest 2018 by competing in the Optimist Band Festival in Winnipeg in February.
The Symphonic Winds and Percussion Ensemble will perform the three songs they performed at MusicFest 2018 at the Spring Concert on Thursday, May 24th at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.