Friday 31 January 2014

Welcome Dr. McCallum

We are very pleased to welcome Dr. McCallum back to Westwood to work with all of our ensembles in preparation for Optimist festival and for the Brandon Jazz Festival.

Dr. McCallum is a wonderful music educator who teaches at Brandon University.  She presently directs the symphonic band, teache graduate and undergraduate conducting and instrumental music education courses.   Besides being a well respected educator, D. McCullum is the president of the Canadian Band Director's Association.   To learn more about Dr. McCullum, you can read her full bio here.  Dr. McCullum 

Each Jazz ensemble will get one hour with her to give some tips and trick to help with our new music and each Concert Band will get a double period with her to help with some polish for the Optimist Festival in the middle of Feb.

Students have been excused from their classes immediately following concert band.

As exam week has wrapped up and your brains are mush, here is the schedule for the first week back:

Feb 5th - Wednesday

7:30 – 8:30 – Sr. Jazz Rehearsal
8:30 – 12:00 – Break/ Lunch
12:00 – 1:00 – Jr. Jazz
1:11 – 3:30 – Gr. 10/11 Concert Band (periods 5/6)

Feb 6th  - Thursday

8:30 – 10:52 – Symphonic Band (periods 1/2)
11:00 – 12:00 Lunch
12:00 – 1:00 – Intermediate Jazz

1:11 – 3:30 – 9 Concert Band (periods 5/6)

Wednesday 29 January 2014

Important Notice Re: Final Payment for Brandon


By now, if you are participating in the Brandon Jazz Festival tour in March, you should have made two payments of $100.00 totalling $200.00.  If you have not made both of these payments, please remit as soon as possible.

Previously we had set the final payment date for Brandon Jazz for the 4th of Feb.

Unfortunately, Mr. Edwards is away ill right now and we have not yet calculated the final payment cost.  We will be doing this upon his return and will let you know when the option to make this payment is avavlable on-line.  

As it stands right now, there is no on-line payment option open for the final payment.

Again, we will announce in class and post here as soon as the online payment option is available.

Thank you for your patience and understanding. 

Tuesday 21 January 2014

Great Concert

Congratulations to everyone involved in last nights concert.  You truly never cease to amaze.  From the Beauty of Siorai September to the Majesty of the Earth Dance to the quirky-ness of Pandemonium, the Concert Bands were in fine form.  Not to forget the fantastic solos from the Jazz Bands and the toe-tappin' beats that each one of the Jazz Ensembles brought.  What a great night.  We are all very proud of you.

Thank you all again for a wonderful evening of music.

Next Up for the concert bands is Optimist Festival and next up for the Jazz Bands is the Brandon Jazz Festival.

Monday 20 January 2014

Tonight's Silver Collection to support Misson to Mexico

The Mission to Mexico 2014 team, including four Westwood students is raising funds to support school literacy programs in the poorest communities in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. 

Please consider supporting this project with a donation to the silver collection at the Westwood band concert on Monday, January 21st. Please check out our website at for more info! 

Thank you 

Thursday 16 January 2014

Band Concert This Monday

It's that time of year again as the Band Program gets ready to share all of its great music with us.  If you are looking for a night jam-packed with: music, laughs and entertainment, look no further.  On January 20th at 7:00 p.m. in the gym all of our bands will take to the stage to shine.  You will hear three concert bands and three jazz ensembles perform a wide variety of toe-tappin' inspirational panoramic music that will leave you breathless.  As always, our concerts are free and we invite you to bring your own chair as a way to make yourself super comfy.  And for those of you that hate line up's you can put you chair down as early as 3:30 p.m. on the day of the concert and claim you little slice of a fantastic evening. 

Tuesday 14 January 2014


Hey everyone.  I voluntold Michael he was our narrator so that we could have someone read the poem for the class.  That said, I would like to open the narration up to anyone in the class.  You all have the words; just stop by my office and give me your best dramatic interpretation.

Monday 13 January 2014


We are looking for a team of students and parents to make sure that the last of the equipment makes it to the band room after the concert.  Once that is done, this team would help with making sure the floor gets rolled up.  This concert will have a lot of technology, so there will be cables that have to be properly wrapped, as well.

Please send Mr. Edwards a brief email if you are able to assist.


Rehearsal Schedule Change

Rehearsal Schedule Change - Jan 20th

Inorder to accommodate the least amount of class interruptions, we will go with the following schedule on the 20th.  Please be prompt, as it is my intention, of those of you missing class, to finish up in time so you can head back and pick up anything you missed.

Jan 20th, 2014

7:30 a.m. - Sr. Jazz
Period 1 - Intermediate Jazz
Period 2 -
Period 3 - Symphonic Band
Period 4 (Lunch)
12:03 - 12:33 - Gr. 9 Concert Band
12:34 - 1:11 -  Jr. Jazz
Period 5 - 1011 Concert Band

Thursday 9 January 2014

Homework Assignment - All Bands

By class time next week students are to have listened to their pieces, with music in hand, three times. You are to follow along with the recording and use you finger to keep track of where you are in your music.  I am not asking you to play it..... just actively listen and follow along.

While you are listening, try to hear how your part fits with the whole ensemble.  Use a pencil to identify moments when your section is the focus of the music and should be heard clearly.  Listen for moments where the music moves you and see if you can identify why.  With any luck this will give you all the global perspective we all need.  The famous Canadian hockey player Wayne Gretzky called it, "seeing the WHOLE ice."

That's it.  Super simple and it will pay huge dividends.

Have a great weekend.

Tuesday 7 January 2014

Brandon Jazz

Hello to all you Brandon Jazzers and Brandon Jazzer Parents.  Our tour is well under way and we are very excited at the number of participants.

Just before break we had the 2nd payment of $100 due.  As we are piloting a new payment system, there are bound to be some hiccups.  Turns out that the computer removed the 2nd payment option on us.  Bad computer.  We have just figured out the problem and all seems to be working fine.

Soooooo... if you have not already done so, could you please make the 2nd payment for the tour.

Thank you very much and stay warm.

Monday 6 January 2014

Rehearsal Schedule - Jan 20th

Inorder to accommodate the least amount of class interruptions, we will go with the following schedule on the 20th.  Please be prompt, as it is my intention, of those of you missing class, to finish up in time so you can head back and pick up anything you missed.

Jan 20th, 2014

7:30 a.m. - Sr. Jazz
Period 1 - Intermediate Jazz
Period 2 - Gr. 9 Concert Band
Period 3 - Symphonic Band
Period 4 - Jr. Jazz
Period 5 - 1011 Concert Band

Welcome Back

WOW is it cold. I hope you are all keeping warm and that you are having a wonderful start to 2014.

The bands all revved up and ready to roll out our love of music at our concert coming up on the 20th.

Here's some information to get everyone up to speed on the concert:

1)  Band concert is on the 20th at 7:00 p.m. in our gym.

2)  Students are to be here by 6:00 p.m.

3)  Uniform is a must to perform - for more information on uniform click here

4)  Students must be present at the rehearsal before a concert in order to perform with us on the 20th. This dress-rehearsal will take place on the 20th in the gym.

5)  All students are required to stay for the WHOLE concert (and that includes clean-up - many hands make light work).

6)  Nope.... we are not joking... bring your own chair and put it where ever you like.  Doors open at   3:30 p.m. on the 20th.  If you do not wish to bring a chair there is loads of great seating in the balcony.

7)  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Mark cut-off -

For all band students the mark cut-off is the 15th of Jan.  By this date:  all sectionals must be competed (4) , Self-Assessment #2 is due and it is the last day to complete and missed assignments or re-test any playing tests.  For more information on sectionals click here and scroll to the section entitled "Creative Expression."  For self-assessment ufo, click on the tab at the top of this screen.  Last, if you wish to check on missing assignments or assignments you wish to re-test check on Power School.

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