Tuesday 24 March 2015

Brandon Jazz Wrap-Up

Well that sure came and went fast.  With 82 kids, two busses and enough energy, enthusiasm and excitement to power a city, we made our way to the Brandon Jazz festival this past week.  What a truly enjoyable adventure for everyone involved.  All of our ensembles (3 Vocal Jazz and 3 Jazz Bands) enjoyed some extremely positive feedback from the adjudicators.  The festival is set up that, with the exception of the adjudicators, the students perform in front of an audience of their peers..... and who better?  I cannot even begin to describe the feeling that we have as we come on stage to some serious raucous applause and whistles.  There is just this feeling that you simply cannot fail as there is so much support for what you are doing.

Besides some truly memorable performances, we were also privileged to listen to a jaw-dropping performance by the Brandon University Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Michael Cain.  His inspiration set list had the audience on their feet twice during their set.  Most memorably when Michael took the helm at the piano and played 'Round Midnight as a haunting duet with one of the members from the BU Band on vocals.  Simply brilliant.

In addition, the members were treated to some pretty memorable moments at Remmington's Steakhouse and at Thunderbird Bowl.

Thanks again to Ms. Russell for organizing this fantastic event and to the students for their exemplary behaviour.  You make us proud time and time again.  Not only by your obvious love of music making, but there is nothing more complementary that having bus drivers, restaurant managers, front dest hotel staff and random people coming up to you and tell you over and over again how great your kids are.... you truly are one of a kind.

Wednesday 11 March 2015


1.  CONGRATULATIONS to all of the students for their fantastic performances at this year's Optimist Band festival.  The adjudicators were very impressed with our ensembles.  For the past 15 years in a row all of our ensembles have been awarded invitations to compete at Nationals and this year was no exception.  Way to go bands!  What an impressive achievement.

Robert Taylor shared this "Great musical selections! There are a lot of strengths in this ensemble, from your numbers, to your technical work to your energy and enthusiasm."

Jonathan Dagenais shared this: "Great tone quality and musicality! Great players and very good musicianship."

Thank you all, parents and students, for making this years festival a memorable one!

2.  Sr. Jazz managed to make their way through the Optimist Jazz festival with an outstanding performance that had the adjudicators scratching their heads in awe at the level of music and musicianship compared to their age. Once of our adjudicator's, Scott Prebys, told the band that he was left with goosebumps as we played.  Congratulations to all of the students and parents for making this past Saturday a very special event.  Sr. Jazz will now go on to represent Manitoba at the Nationals Jazz competition in May.

3.  All concert band classes have received new music and are deep into run-throughs.  Sectional cut-off and Self-Assessment #3 is due on the 17th of April.  This date is coming fast and be wary of spring Break in there taking some time from you.  As always, the sectional book is right in front of my office.

4.  Brandon Jazz.  Final Payment is now past due.  Please remit immediately if you have not done so already.  As well, Ms. Russell and I are working on all the final details for the tour.  The final itinerary and festival information will be posted on the website shortly.  Please do not print the information for students, as they will all receive a paper copy when they board the bus.  Please remember that students will need to bring some spending money for 2 lunches and 1 dinner.  Students are to bring all of their suitcases to the band or choral room on Wednesday morning. Sr. Jazz members are reminded to bring their pin.  We are staying at the Victoria Inn - (204) 725-1532.  website: https://brandon.vicinn.com

5.  For the Love of the Arts (FLOTA) is coming soon in April on the 13th. Tickets are $15 for a single ticket or $110 for a table of 8.  Tickets are available in our library.  For those of you unfamiliar with this event, it features high-lute performances and displays from all aspect of the magnificent arts programs at Westwood.  Band-wise, it will feature performances by the Gr. 10 Concert Band and Sr.Jazz.  Grade 10 Concert band members are to be in the band room at 6:00PM and can leave immediately following their performance if they wish.  Sr. Jazz is to meet in the band room at 8:00PM SHARP.

6.  The night following FLOTA, we will be hosting our annual Family Concert featuring music from our "Family of Schools."  This includes presentations by: Phoenix, Robert Browning, Sansome, Lincoln and of course Westwood.  Gr. 10 Concert Band and Sr. Jazz will be performing.

7.  And for those of you keen to be in the know....  Final Band Concert May 28th in the Gym and Final Jazz Concert - June 2nd in the theatre.

Wednesday 4 March 2015

Brandon Jazz Forms

As we get closer and closer to departure, it is important that we tidy up a few last details.

1)  Final payment, $79.00,  is due on Thursday (March 5).  If you have not done so, please proceeded to school cash online and take care of this item.  For some of you, you will also have to make the missing 2nd payment as, well.  Thank you in advance for taking care of this.

You can log in here:  schoolcashonline.com

2)  If you have any dietary concerns (i.e. Celiac, Vegetarian or Vegan)  please let me know ASAP.  I have been asking in class, but I do not want anyone to slip through the cracks.

3)  As I scan through the piles of forms submitted by students for this fantastic event (and there was 4 per participating student), I have noticed there are a few missing.  Please click on the link below and check to see if that applies to you and submit any missing forms ASAP.

Please note:  Students will not be permitted on the bus without these completed forms and no-refund will be given if a student is denied travel due to in-completed forms.

Brandon Jazz Missing Forms  (right click and open in new window)

The forms can be found on our Brandon 2015 link at the top of this page.

If you have any other questions or concern, please do not hesitate to contact myself or Ms. Russell.

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