Monday, 9 December 2019

Optimist Band and Jazz Festival

Optimist dates and performance times were released today.


More details on the drop down menu for Optimist 2020.

Optimist Concert Band - RBC Convention Centre

Tuesday Feb 18, 2020
1:50 PM - 9 Concert Band
8:40PM  - 10 Concert Band

Thursday Feb 20, 2020
6:20 - Symphonic Band

Optimist Jazz - Franco Manitoban Cultural Centre

Thursday Feb 27, 2020
3:20 - B.I.G. Band
7:30 - L.T.J.O.

Friday Feb 28, 2020
7:30  - Sr. Jazz

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Brandon Jazz 2020

A letter about our annual tour to the Brandon Jazz Festival in March was sent home mid November. The first payment is now due and we are asking that it be paid before the 13th of December so we can confirm our participating numbers.

Please make sure that you have read the letter (also posted on our website here) and feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Mr. Edwards

Monday, 21 October 2019

Westwood Collegiate Arts Advisory Group

This parent group WCAAG supports the arts programs and staff at Westwood Collegiate. Westwood parents who are interested in the arts, or have children enrolled in an arts program(s) meet once a month to plan for the annual “For the Love of the Arts” arts evening, as well as lend support to staff for events such as the musical when selling tickets and running a canteen. 
For the Love of the Arts (FLOTA) is an evening that celebrates the arts programs and students. This school year FLOTA will be held on Monday, April 27, 2020. Set up for the evening will take place on Sunday, April 26, 2020 and it takes the efforts of parents and students to set up the gym for the big event. The night of the event, parents are needed in many capacities from taking tickets to preparing refreshments. Planning begins at the monthly meetings with email sign ups shared prior to the setup and event. The funds from the evening are used by the arts department at Westwood to buy items such as costumes, upgrade equipment, or purchase instruments.
What are the arts programs at Westwood? The arts department is made up of band, choral, dance, drama, graphic tech, musical theatre, photography, and visual art. 
You’re help is instrumental in making the various arts events throughout the school year successful and well attended. We would love to see you at the monthly meetings, or volunteering to help with FLOTA or other arts events would be greatly appreciated!
For more information you can contact Ms. Catharine Rivard at

Thursday, 19 September 2019

Audition selections and dates

As we make our way into the start of the audition season, links to the students audition dates and pieces will be posted here.  Please see Mr. Edwards if you have any questions.

Concert Bands:

REMINDER - in addition to your two octave chromatic scale, I will pick one of the numbers below for you to play when you walk into my office.

To find the order of auditions, click on the ensemble name to see your date and time.

Audition Numbers and tempi (big fancy word for the speed at which you will be expected to play):

Symphonic Band - October  7 - 18

7 - quarter note = 86
15 - quarter note = 70
23 - quarter note = 100
43 - quarter note = 80

Gr. 10 Concert Band - October 7 - 18

3 - quarter note = 60
15 - quarter note = 55
27 = quarter noter = 76

Gr. 9 Concert Band - October 15-23

3 - quarter note = 50
7 - quarter note equals 40
19 - quarter note = 45


@ TEMPO = 10
+/- 5 = 9
+/- 10 = 8
+/- 15 = 7
+/- 20 = 6
+/- 25 = 5
+/- 30 = 4

Jazz Bands:

LTJO  - September 23-27th

May's Way

Westwood B.I.G. Band - October 8-15

In the Doghouse

Tuesday, 3 September 2019

Well It's About Time

Welcome back everyone!   I am really excited about all of the possibilities for the year.   I sincerely hope you had a fantastic summer and I am looking forward to hearing about all of your stories and adventures.

I am working on the website next week, and I will have everything up to date by next Friday.

As always,  you can keep up to date here with all the comings and goings of the band program.  But it is worthwhile to remind you that you will get information also on the band twitter and instagram account (@bandatwestwood) that is not posted here - such as schedules for the band and information about auditions or just some funny laughs.

See you soon!  Mr. E.

Thursday, 27 June 2019

Music Makes You Smarter - Seriously Smarter

High school students who take music courses score significantly better on math, science and English exams than their non-musical peers, according to a new study published in the Journal of Educational Psychology.

School administrators needing to trim budgets often look first to music courses, because the general belief is that students who devote time to music rather than math, science and English, will underperform in those disciplines.

“Our research proved this belief wrong and found the more the students engage with music, the better they do in those subjects,” said UBC education professor and the study’s principal investigator, Peter Gouzouasis. “The students who learned to play a musical instrument in elementary and continued playing in high school not only score significantly higher, but were about one academic year ahead of their non-music peers with regard to their English, mathematics and science skills, as measured by their exam grades, regardless of their socioeconomic background, ethnicity, prior learning in mathematics and English, and gender.”

Gouzouasis and his team examined data from all students in public schools in British Columbia who finished Grade 12 between 2012­ and 2015. The data sample, made up of more than 112,000 students, included those who completed at least one standardized exam for math, science and English, and for whom the researchers had appropriate demographic information—including gender, ethnicity, neighbourhood socioeconomic status, and prior learning in numeracy and literacy skills. Students who studied at least one instrumental music course in the regular curriculum counted as students taking music. Qualifying music courses are courses that require previous instrumental music experience and include concert band, conservatory piano, orchestra, jazz band, concert choir and vocal jazz.

The researchers found the predictive relationships between music education and academic achievement were more pronounced for those who took instrumental music rather than vocal music. The findings suggest skills learned in instrumental music transfer very broadly to the students’ learning in school.

“Learning to play a musical instrument and playing in an ensemble is very demanding,” said the study’s co-investigator Martin Guhn, an assistant professor in UBC’s school of population and public health. “A student has to learn to read music notation, develop eye-hand-mind coordination, develop keen listening skills, develop team skills for playing in an ensemble and develop discipline to practice. All those learning experiences, and more, play a role in enhancing the learner’s cognitive capacities, executive functions, motivation to learn in school, and self-efficacy.”

The researchers hope that their findings are brought to the attention of students, parents, teachers and administrative decision-makers in education, as many school districts over the years have emphasized numeracy and literacy at the cost of other areas of learning, particularly music.

“Often, resources for music education—including the hiring of trained, specialized music educators, and band and stringed instruments—are cut or not available in elementary and secondary schools so that they could focus on math, science and English,” said Gouzouasis. “The irony is that music education—multiple years of high-quality instrumental learning and playing in a band or orchestra or singing in a choir at an advanced level—can be the very thing that improves all-around academic achievement and an ideal way to have students learn more holistically in schools.”

Thursday, 20 June 2019

Band Flash Drives

Band Flash Drives will be available for pick up during the first full week back in September.

Have a great summer!