Wednesday 10 December 2014

Optimist Dates and Times

One of the extremely exciting performance opportunities we have at Westwood is to compete in the largest school band festival in Canada held right here in Winnipeg, at our very own Convention Centre, called the Winnipeg Optimist International Band Festival.

Each year, all of our ensembles participate in this dynamic event.

This year's dates and times:

Tuesday February 24th
Grade 10 Concert Band @8:00PM in room #2

Wednesday February 25th
Grade 9 Concert Band @2:50PM in room #2

Friday February, 27th
Symphonic Band @ 6:20PM in room #2

Saturday, March 7th

Optimist Notes:

  • Grade 9 Concert Band will be taking a bus to the convention centre.  They will be leaving at 1:00 and returning at 4:30PM
  • Grade 10, Symphonic Band and Sr. Jazz members are responsible for their own transportation to an from the festival.  It is the hope that all members of the band bring parents and friends to form our audience, as we all know the bands will play better when there is an audience.
  • As this is a huge team event, the expectation is that all members attend.  Mr. Edwards must be notified of any conflicts as soon as possible.
  • The above times are our performance times.  Students are to be in the lobby of the convention centre at the bottom of the main escalators no later that 1 hour before their performance time to prepare for warm-up.
  • Symphonic Band has again volunteered to help with the tearing down of the festival.  Students (and parents) will help with the stacking of chairs and placing percussion section items back in  boxes.  Please bring a change of clothes.  Students will be done no later than 9:30PM.  This time can count towards volunteer hours.

Tuesday 9 December 2014

Free Guitar Picks

Yesterday I managed to find the coolest Christmas present to the band program.  I found a guitar pick maker designed by the people at www.pick

How our reclamation program works.

You know how you always end up with hotel room keys and empty Tim's cards and just end up throwing them away..... well trash them no more.  Instead, think about sending them to Westwood with your son or daughter and we will reclaim them by turning them into guitar picks, which will be made available for FREE to anyone in the school.... sort of a permanent present to our student population.

From there who knows what we will accomplish? .... heck, this might even motivate a new renaissance of recycling and guitar music.

Merry Quizzmas

Merry Quizzmas marking Rubric is now available.

Follow this link:  Merry Quizzmas

Playing tests beginning during class time Monday the 15th.

Monday 8 December 2014

Last Two Weeks of School Before Break

It a sprint to the finish as we prepare for the end of the year…. seems funny to write that, but in all actuality, we only have 2 weeks left or 5 classes.

Here's the plan:

1.  We wish Ms. Russell, Mr. Toms and all of the cast and crew of our school musical, AIDA, the greatest of success as they begin the run on their show on Monday.  You can still get some tickets, but most nights are sold out.  Contact the school library for ticket details.

2.  All jacket orders have gone in and we are doing out best to get them here by Christmas; however, due to the delay in the samples driving, it is most likely that the order will arrive sometime during our break; your patience and understanding is greatly appreciated.

3.  As one of my colleagues used to tell his students, MERRY QUIZZMAS!  Yes, my gift to you, playing tests are coming to a band near you and will begin this week and wrap up next week.  After looking through numerous pieces, the band have all selected their music for concert and the playing tests will be exclusively on this music.  Jr. Jazz:  Romancing the Chili Pepper, Caldonia and Better Get it in Your Soul.  Inter Jazz:  Stuck in a Groove, Charleston Shuffle and Chili Today,Hot Tamale.  Sr. Jazz: One More and Chain Reaction.  9 CB:  Cumberland Cross and Hyperdrive.  10CB:  Danzon and Tricycle.  Symphonic Band:  Prelude, Siciliano and Rondo as well as Mambo.

4.  Last Sr. Jazz breakfast this year will be on the 18th - hosted by Mr. Edwards.

5.  Just a reminder that our winter concert is coming up on February 3rd at 7:00 in the gym.  One of the fantastic traditions of our concert has, unfortunately come to an end.  :( Sadly, after 15 years of some very memorable moments,  you will no longer be able to bring your own chair to our concerts.  Due to fire code restrictions, we will now be providing chairs for everyone in attendance. :(

6.  Speaking of concerts, now is a good time to remind everyone of our uniform.  We believe that you have to look good to play well.  In addition, we like our uniform as it allows for the opportunity for it to be worn outside of the concert setting.
Men:  Dark suit or Sports Jacket and Dark pants, tie, matching dark socks and dress shoes.

Ladies: Dress [leaning towards the summer dress style and not the formal ball gown type], matching dress shoes.  As a reminder,  a dress is a one-piece outfit and not a skirt and a top.

Please be forewarned that we take our uniform VERY SERIOUSLY at Westwood, and any student that shows up to a concert without the above mentioned uniform will not be permitted to play until they are dressed appropriately.  In addition, if the student fails to change into the proper uniform, they will receive an “Incomplete” standing for their performance. We take the uniform very seriously and consequently students who show up to concerts without the proper uniform will be sent home to change or not be permitted to perform.

Do not hesitate to contact Mr. Edwards if you have any questions.

7. Rock the Halls will be happening on the 19th. If you are a member of a band and would like to participate contact the office and find out what's involved. This is a great opportunity to share your talents with the school.

8. Lastly, just a reminder that you want to complete your sectionals before winter break to was your pain in January. Cut off date for sectional #2 and Self-Assessment #2 is January 19th.

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