Thursday 30 October 2014

Westwood Collegiate Arts Advisory Group

You are invited to attend the short meetings of the Arts Advisory Group. This parent group supports the various arts programs offered at Westwood. Come and see how you can get involved.

WCAAG Meetings
Tuesday, November 18
Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

7:00 PM in the Library
Westwood Collegiate

Westwood Collegiate
Arts Advisory Group

Monday 27 October 2014

Coming to an end of the first quarter

Happy Halloween everyone!

Here is some FYI band notes....

It is hard to believe, but the first quarter of Band is coming to a close.  That means that we have some dates to be aware of.

Oct. 31st - Sectional cut-off.  Sectionals must be recorded in the sectional book by 3:30 this Friday.

Nov. 3rd - Self-Assessment #1 is Due.  Please visit our self-assesment page in the banner menu above for information on how to complete a successful self assessment.  My advice is to start with the check-list.

Nov. 3rd will be the last day for re-tests if you would like to change your mark on the first report card.

In the classroom, I have incorporated a unit on Music Philosophy this year.  Touch base with your music student if you would like to learn more.

All Jazz bands have finished their playing tests this week and the Symphonic Band and Gr. 10 Concert Band have passed the 90's test.  In all of that blur of assessment, I'm certain there are some marks that students may wish to polish up.  I am free after school until 4:00PM just about every day.

9 Concert Band in completing their one day unit on self-assessment today and then they will begin their run on the 90's test covering the material on pages 7-9 of their I Recommend method book.

We have some fees due as well,

Due on NOVEMBER 7th - Nationals Payment #1 and Brandon Jazz Payment #1.

Instrument Rentals/ Percussion fees - payment due November 17th. - see the Online rental link above for more information.

Speaking of Brandon Jazz.....

All of the information from the meeting last thursday is now on our website.  Just click the link above and follow the instructions for payment and forms to be filled out and returned.

Thursday 23 October 2014


Thank you again to all the members of the RCAF Jetliners for their fantastic performance at Westwood this afternoon.  From the subtlety of Neil Hefty's "Cute" to the rip your face off intensity of Gordon Goodwin's "Jazz Police,"  the students were treated to a phenomenal performance.

Jetliner's you are welcome here anytime.

Wednesday 22 October 2014

Nationals Information

If you are looking for information about Nationals, or you are looking for information from last night's meeting, click on the link at the top of this page.  Any questions, contact Mr. Edwards at your earliest convince.

Friday 17 October 2014

It's time for Rental Fees

As I mentioned at the beginning of the year, I do not ask for rental monies right away, to help offset the financial pressure that September often brings to families.

Now that we are well into October, I start to collect rental fees.

At Westwood, we pay all of our fees on-line and you can follow the easy steps to do so on the link at the top of this page entitled  - ON LINE RENTAL INFO.

If you are wondering if you owe a rental fee, I have also included a spreadsheet on that page as well which includes the amount and type... just follow the link on that page.

All fees are due by November 17th or one month from today.

If you have any questions or would like to arrange a unique payment plan, please do not hesitate to contact me at your earliest convenience.

Mr. Edwards

Tuesday 14 October 2014

Brandon Jazz Festival Meeting

Hey everyone,

We are all really excited to announce that we are going to be taking all three of our Jazz ensembles and both our Vocal jazz groups to the Brandon Jazz Festival this year.  This should be a really exciting tour full of performances, group watching, clinics and all out music making and appreciation.  The dates for this event are March 18 - 20, 2015.  Our tentative itinerary has us leaving at 1:00 on the 18th (Wed.) and returning on the 20th (Fri.) at 9:00 p.m.

To get things off the ground, we will be having a parent and student meeting in the theatre at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday the 23rd.  This meeting will be under an hour and give you a sample itinerary and a breakdown of the costs.

Looking forward to seeing you all there.

Greg Edwards - Jazz Band and Alice Russel - Vocal Jazz

Amazing Performance

On Thursday October 23rd, Westwood Collegiate will host the world renown Air Command Band in our theatre at 1:00 for a one hour thrill ride of musical excellence. All members of our community are welcome. 

The Royal Canadian Air Force Band is a group of thirty-five fulltime professional musicians who routinely perform throughout Canada. Comprised of a number of diverse groups and ensembles, the Band's role is to provide musical support to the Canadian Forces, all levels of government, and to a variety of public functions. TheRoyal Canadian Air Force Band also proudly represents Canada and the Canadian Forces around the globe. Military and public parades, ceremonial occasions, international tattoos, public and school concerts, official dinners, dances and receptions are all typical engagements for theRoyal Canadian Air Force Band and its varied ensembles.
In 2009 the Band embarked on an extensive and exciting musical restructuring that greatly enhanced its repertoire and relevance to better appeal to audiences of all ages. The versatility of the new Royal Canadian Air Force Band is readily evident through the number and variety of its groups and ensembles: Jet Stream, a Pipes and Drums Corps, Command Brass, Dixieland Band, Jazz Combos, a Celtic Band, Jazz Big Band and of course, Parade Band.
For over sixty years, this professional Air Force Band has been highly visible throughout the Canadian Forces. Instilling national pride in Canadian audiences across the country, it is also a key contributor to "esprit de corps" in our military. The Royal Canadian Air Force Band proudly represents Canada at international events around the globe, bringing with it the highest degree of diplomacy and statesmanship.
The Royal Canadian Air Force Band is based out of 17 Wing, Winnipeg and is presently under the command of Captain John Fullerton, CD. To find out more about the Royal Canadian Air Force Band and its wide-ranging ensembles or to request these services, please contact the Royal Canadian Air Force Band.
Visit the band's website here - Royal Canadian Air Force Band

Sr. Jazz National's Meeting

For all parents and students involved in the Sr. Jazz tour to Nationals in May, there will be a meeting with the travel agent on October 21st at 7:00 PM in the theatre.  The meeting should take approximately 45 minutes.  Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Tuesday 7 October 2014

Why music? Why play an instrument?

I am often asked why be in band?  Why play an instrument in the first place?  If playing "f" on a clarinet is not the most important thing in the world.... what is it that band teaches?

I came across this article on the St. John's music website and I thought it answered these questions in a very straight forward way.

Playing a musical instrument has so many benefits and can bring joy to you and to everyone around you.
1. Helps with mental health issues
2. Increases the capacity of your memory
3. Refines your time management and organizational skills
4. Boosts your team skills
5. Teaches you perseverance
6. Enhances your coordination
7. Betters your mathematical ability
8. Improves your reading and comprehension skills
9. Increases your responsibility
10. Exposes you to cultural history
11. Sharpens your concentration
12. Fosters your self expression and relieves stress
13. Creates a sense of achievement
14. Promotes your social skills
15. Boosts your listening skills
16. Teaches you discipline
17. Enhances your respiratory system
18. Elevates your performance skills and reduces stage fright
19. Builds confidence
20. Promotes happiness in your life and those around you

Read the rest of the article on the St. John's Music Website

Monday 6 October 2014

Where we at?

Okay.... so much is going on in the band room that there is not a second from 8:00AM to 4:00PM that there is not someone working on their music.  We have a host of things join on so let's have a look:

Symphonic Band - Auditions for part placement are now complete and marked RUBRIKS have been placed in  portfolios.  Re-testing can commence at any time.  Round one of the infamous 90's test happened today..... close, but
no cigar -as they say.  Round two will take place on Wednesday.  If you are away the day of a 90's test, you still have to complete the assignment, as it does constitute a mark in your grade book.  See Mr. E to book an appointment to complete.

10 Concert Band - Auditions for part placement are now complete and marked RUBRIKS have been placed in  portfolios.  Re-testing can commence at any time.  Round one of the infamous 90's test will take place on Tuesday Oct 6th.  If you are away the day of a 90's test, you still have to complete the assignment, as it does constitute a mark in your grade book.  See Mr. E to book an appointment to complete.

9 Concert Band - Auditions for part placement have begun.  Remember that these auditions are a big part of your mark in the grade-book.  Please come prepared and remember to check out the blogpost on Chromatics.  Auditions will continue as per the google doc no the blog.

Sr. Jazz - well on their way with more music than they know what to do with and more is on its way.  Please remember to hand in your blue sheets ASAP.  After Tuesday, if we do not have your blue sheet, we will have to count you out of our master plan.  Any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Mr. E at your earliest convenience.  The best thing you can do is to make sure you have the mp3's of the tunes to help you with the big picture.

Inter Jazz and Jr. Jazz-  - Auditions for part placement are now complete and marked RUBRIKS have been placed in portfolios.  Re-testing can commence at any time.  Parts have been assigned and music has been handed out.  The best thing you can do right now  is to make sure you have the mp3's of the tunes to help you with the big picture.

FYI - All jazz bands traditionally participate in the Brandon Jazz Festival from the 18 - 20 of March.  We will be meeting shortly to discuss and sending info home.  Just as a ball-park, last year's cost was $283.

Thursday 2 October 2014

For Immediate Use - Gr.9's

This is re-posted from September 5th

 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 - How to not fail your chromatic scale test

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.  

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