Monday 22 September 2014

Audition Schedule



Audition Order:

Symphonic Band

Intermediate and Jr. Jazz

Gr. 10 Concert Band

Gr. 9 Concert Band

Monday 15 September 2014

Technology Update

Westwood Collegiate
Technology Update
September 11, 2014 
Just a quick note home to let all parents know about all the great ways you can keep up-to-date on the exciting things going on in the band world.
Now, more than ever, you can virtually be involved with all we do and here’s 5 easy ways how you can “play-along” with us.
1. Get a twitter account and follow @bandatwestwood.
2. Get and Instagram account and follow @bandatwestwood
3. Get a Vine account and follow @bandatwestwood.
4. Log on to and sign up on the right hand side to “Follow by email.”  Simply type in your address and follow the prompts.
5. On the band website (listed in #4) click on the the “IMPORTANT DATES” link and follow the instructions to add our Google Calendar to your device and you will automatically be updated on all the band dates.
Any questions?  ask your children for help…. they truly are the leaders in technology.
And, if all else fails…….. you could always do things the old fashioned way and email me……


As most of you are aware by now, all of the school’s grades have been moved to an online site called: POWER SCHOOL.  The PowerSchool Portal provides parents access to real-time attendance information and, most importantly, student grades.

Use this link to login to the Power School Parent Portal.

The format and formulae for band grades can be found on the band website.  Just follow the link for “Program Information” and click on either Concert Band or Jazz Band beside Course Outlines.


As set by our school division, the rental fee of any instrument is $120.00 per year and can be made in two payments of $60.  As well, all percussionists pay a $60 fee for the year to cover new mallets and equipment.  

If you are switching instruments at the request of the director, Mr. Edwards will wave the rental fee for one year.

As the school year is a very busy time with a lot of families writing cheques for school and sports and extracurriculars, Mr. Edwards does not begin the payment process until October to give families a bit of a gap to recover from September. 

In addition, Westwood Collegiate has moved to an on line payment program to facilitate the ease of payment for all families.  This would include things like: all fees to Westwood, School Trips and Band Rentals.  Payment can be made by going to:

If you need any assistance setting up your account, you can find instructions here -

Daily School Announcements:  Westwood Collegiate News Online

At Westwood Collegiate, we've decided to go paperless with our newsletter. We are hoping to reduce paper use in another step in our ongoing commitment to sustainability. Also, by offering news in this format, we can now provide our community with real-time news as it happens, instead of waiting until the end of the month to send out information.

You can check out our daily announcements at :

As with the band website, you can sign up on the right hand side to “Follow by Email.”  Simply type in your address and follow the prompts to receive the daily announcements in your “in-box.”

Friday 5 September 2014

Coming soon to a band class near you

Concert Band Auditions

Every class goes through an audition process so Mr. Edwards can place you on the appropriate part and to hear a little of your playing ability.  These auditions take approximately 5 minutes and will be done one-on-one with Mr. Edwards in his office during class time at the beginning of the year. 

The beginning date of the auditions will be announced: in class, on twitter and on this site.

This will be the first two major assignments of the year and each part of the audition is worth 50 marks.

If you would like to see the marking Rubric click here - Audition Rubric 

The audition has two parts:  

1)  The first part of the audition is an √Čtude or little study.

A number from our method book (distributed to all students for free at the beginning of the year), 
 I Recommend, is played.  The selected number is played at the tempo or speed indicated by the the tempo marking.  This tempo or speed can be found using a metronome set to the indicated number.  

If you do not have a metronome, you might find this on line metronome handy - On line metronome  or download a free metronome app to your device like this one- Metronomo

Here are the audition selections for each ensemble:
Symphonic Band 

- Page 11 #39 Tempo marking:  Quarter  note = 112

Concert Band 10/11 

- Page 9 # 19  Tempo marking:  Quarter  note = 66

Gr. 9 Concert Band

- Page 8 # 11 Tempo Marking: Quarter note = 80

2)  The second part of the audition is the chromatic scale.

For your audition you will be asked to play and say a 2 octave chromatic scale.

Although it is explained below, you might also find this guide helpful - Chromatics Explained

To help clarify the scale - the one octave chromatic scale is easily understood as playing all the notes on a fingering chart beginning and ending on the same letter name.  A two octave scale would then be repeating this process twice except that the 2nd octave would be higher in pitch than the first.

Basically, you are going from just about as low as you can play to pretty well as high as you can play on your instrument.

You may begin on any note you wish that will allow you to play two octaves.

You will be asked to say the note name "out-loud" first and then play the note on your instrument.  You will continue this way until you reach the top of the 2nd octave.  Then you will follow the same pattern as you descend.

You will name the notes by their "sharp" name on the way up and by their "flat" name on the way down.

Gr.9's are permitted to use a fingering chart and Gr. 10 - 12 may not.

There are no part marks for the chromatic scale.  

It is a pass/fail assignment... either you can play it or you cannot.  

Thus, you will either get 50/50 or 0/50.

If you have any questions about your audition, please see Mr. Edwards ASAP and do not procrastinate.  

Thursday 4 September 2014

The rumours of my demise were highly overrated

Welcome back!

Did ya miss me?  Huh? Huh?

What can I say?  I have to be honest and say that I missed you all dearly and I am truthfully looking forward to the beginning of classes.

Let's see......   Start of the year stuff.


If you are experiencing a conflict with band and your timetable, come see me IMMEDIATELY and we can discuss possible solutions.

Please take your own personal instruments to the "Shew" Room (large ensemble room)  for the first few weeks until I get all of the rentals settled.

Speaking of rentals,  I will not need a cheque to rent your instrument this year - similar to last year.  All payments will be made on-line.  More info to follow.

Jazz Schedule:  There seems to be some confusion about Jazz Band.  Jr. Jazz meets on 2,4,6 at period 4 (lunch) and Intermediate Jazz meets on days 1,3, 5 during period 4 (lunch).

Sr. Jazz will start on the 11th at 7:30 a.m. sharp - plan to be there for 7:15 a.m.

As well, if you want to stay abreast of all the "goings-on" in the band program you should be following us on Twitter and Instagram - @bandatwestwood or click on the links to the left.  That way you will be one of the "cool" kids in the know.

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