Monday 4 December 2017

Brandon Jazz Festival Update!

Brandon Jazz Festival has been approved! There will be a short Parent Meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 13th at 6:30PM in the Band Room.

CashOnline will be open by this Friday to accept your first payment of $100.00, which is due by Dec. 22nd, end of the school day.

Brandon Jazz Festival is from the 14th to the 16th of March, 2018

Tuesday 28 November 2017

Merry Quizzmas

Coming soon to a band room near you it is time for Band midterms.... affectionately known as Quizzmas.  Quizzes will take place during class time the week of December 18.  For most of you that means there are about 6 classes before midterms begin.


Also a gentle reminder that sectional cut off is December 22nd.

Monday 13 November 2017

Former Westwood percussionist in the news

2010 Alumnus Zac Pulak is making a name for himself in the percussion world.  Have a read through this interesting article about his many adventures in the percussion world.

Thursday 2 November 2017

Instrument Rentals

Instrument Rentals are now online and you will be receiving an email shortly from school soft about the fee.  Please click on the "Rental" banner above for more information.

Friday 13 October 2017

Sr. Jazz Does it Again!


This past Wednesday Sr. Jazz was invited to be the entertainment for the annual Trustee's Fall Supper put on by our school division's Trustees.

The band had a leisurely sound check at the venue early on in the afternoon the band, along with special guests: Ezri, Soren and Nathaniel made their way to the clubs private dining room for a team dinner.

After dinner all bets were off as the band and guests got their game faces on for the main event.  Energy was high as everyone sensed that this was going to be a special evening.

Once the band was introduced by Trustee Sandy Lethbridge, they ripped into Glen Miller's infamous jazz standard - In the Mood and boy were they in the mood.  As the trumpets brought the tune to a close the applause tore through the venue singling the start of Erzi's set.

She shared two original tunes: The 5 W's and Skin and Bones that connected deeply to the eager audience.  Tears could even be noticed falling from one of the members in the front row.

The Band new it was time to lighten things up and boy did they bring it.  With Special guest Soren on guitar and Nathaniel channeling the energy and great karma of Bruno Mars, the band lept into their rendition of his infamous classic - Uptown Funk.  As if that wasn't enough, Ryan tore through a smoking Bari Sax solo that had the audience hooting and hollering for more.... and more is what they got in the form of our killing' lead tenor player - Emily who held court until the end of this high octane chart.  Nathaniel was on point and brought the audience to the feet in ovation as the last notes wee still lingering in the hall.

Congrats to Sr. Jazz and a HUGE thank you to their special guests.

Huge Thanks on the division Web site, too.

Tuesday 10 October 2017

Westwood Celebrates with the WSO

On Wednesday October 4th Westwood was very proud to host the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Mickelthwate.  Invitations were sent out to the family of schools and in addition to the entire student body of Westwood Collegiate, we were joined by energetic students from: Robert Browning, Lincoln and Sansome.  All told, the gym was packed with enthusiastic audience members who were truly excited to hear what the symphony had to offer.  When the dust had settled, the Symphony played for a little over an hour and wrapped up with highlights from Star Wars: the Force Awakens.

Thank you to everyone involved and to all of the staff and students from Westwood for being such great hosts.

Wednesday 4 October 2017

Audition Results

Advanced Jazz Starts tomorrow (Oct. 5) at Lunch - be there at the bell

Intermediate Jazz being Friday (Oct. 6th) be in the band room no later than 7:15AM

Jr. Jazz begins on Friday (Oct. 6th) at Lunch - be there at the bell


Tuesday 3 October 2017

Arts Advisory Group

Hello Everyone!

The Westwood Collegiate Arts Advisory Group is a parent group that supports the arts programs (band, choral, dance, drama, film studies, graphic tech, musical theatre, photography, and visual art) in our school. All Westwood parents are invited to attend a "meet and greet" the evening of Thursday, October 26th in the library at 7:00 pm where you can hear about how you can get involved in this important parent group and help plan for their big evening of the arts, "For the Love of the Arts" in April.. Everyone is welcome!


Catharine Teichroew

Visual Arts Teacher
Department Head of Arts Education
Westwood Collegiate

Wednesday 20 September 2017

Audition Numbers

Audition Numbers and Tempi for Concert Band


Gr.9 Concert

Page 8  #11 ♩= 100
Page 9  #19 ♩ = 60
Page 9  #23 ♩= 70

Gr. 10 Concert

Page 8 #15 ♩= 80
Page 9  #23 ♩= 120
Page 10  #31 ♩= 100

Symphonic Band

Page 8 #15 ♩= 100
Page 9 #23 ♩= 130
Page 11 #35 ♩= 60 (take 2nd ending)
Page 12 #43 ♩= 70 (take 2nd ending)

Audition Information and Google Doc's

Jazz Band:

Our Auditions for Intermediate and Junior Jazz will be beginning shortly.  Intermediate Jazz will begin auditions starting on Monday the 25th and Jr. Jazz auctions will begin on Tuesday the 26th.

To aid in the process, please click on the links below for your audition date and order.


Jr. Jazz

Intermediate Jazz

FOR JAZZ BAND  - REMEMBER:  regardless of the ensemble you end up in, you will be getting and age appropriate credit.  Thus if you are in Intermediate Jazz and you are in Gr.9, you will get a Gr. 9 credit.  Vice versa, if you are in Gr 12 and you are in Jr. Jazz, you will get a Grade 12 credit.

Concert Band:

Auditions are about to begin.  Grade 10 Concert Band and Symphonic will begin on Thursday the 26th and Gr. 9 Concert Band will begin shortly after, however, we have not set a date yet.

To aid in the process, please click on the links below for your audition date and order.


Symphonic Band

Grade 10 Concert Band


Grade 9 Concert Band

Thursday 14 September 2017

And We're Off

What a fun and exciting start to our year. Everyone is getting going and our first assignments are out and bands are playing.  Here's a bit of info to get you started.

Grade 9's  - have completed assignment #1 - My Job your Job and it was due this past Wednesday and they are now completing their Web assignment for Friday.  Instruments have been distributed with the last making it into their hands by Friday and at the latest Monday.  They will also be receiving a Red Book for their lessons free of charge.  We are still looking for two trumpets to switch over to French Horn and possibly someone to take over the role of oboist.  That should be settled by Monday, as well.  Grade 9 students are responsible for pages 7-9 in the Red Book.  One of these exercises will be chosen shortly for them as an audition piece.  Auditions will take place 1-on-1 in Mr. E's office during class time.  After that wraps up will will head in to the 90's test.  For even more information click on the links above.

Grade 10's - They have been given a web assignment today that is due on Monday. Instruments have been distributed and we played through the Red Book almost in entirely today.  Grade10 students are responsible for pages 7-10 in the Red Book.  One of these exercises will be chosen shortly for them as an audition piece.  Auditions will take place 1-on-1 in Mr. E's office during class time.  After that wraps up will will head in to the 90's test.  For even more information click on the links above.

Symphonic Band - They have been given a web assignment today that is due on Monday. Instruments have been distributed and we played through the Red Book in its entirely today.  Symphonic  students are responsible for pages 7-12 in the Red Book.  One of these exercises will be chosen shortly for them as an audition piece.  Auditions will take place 1-on-1 in Mr. E's office during class time.  After that wraps up will will head in to the 90's test.  For even more information click on the links above.

Sr. Jazz - working hard in preparation for their upcoming gig.

Intermediate and Jr. Jazz - audition music has been distributed and is being rehearsed in class.  Once things are going smoothly, we will star the audition process.  Auditions will take place 1-on-1 in Mr. E's office during class time.  For there, Mr. E will create three wicked ensembles.  An intermediate jazz with one per part and then two dynamic Jr. Jazz Ensembles.  One meeting in the morning and one meeting at lunch. For more information on dates and times, see the post below.

Rentals - instruments are distributed immediately.  We worry about payment in October.

Questions?  Do not hesitate to email or call.

Mr. E

Tuesday 5 September 2017

Jazz at Westwood

I have had a few questions about Jazz for the upcoming 2017-18 school year.

Here is a bit of information to help clarify any questions you may have.

  • Sr. Jazz is auditioned in June and those positions have all been filled.  That class meets on Day 1, 3, 5 at 7:15AM.
  • The program we use to design the timetables does not recognize classes that happen before school, so it uses period 9 instead and makes it look like you have a class in the evening from 7:30-8:30PM.  You do not.
  • All jazz bands at Westwood are sorted by ability through a brief audition process in September.  Age or Grade does not matter.  
  • Until the auditions are done, the program that designs the time table just places students who want to be in Jazz in a class based on grade.  Thus, if you are in Grade 11 or 12 it looks like you are in Period 9 at  7:30-8:30PM.  You are not.
  • As it stands Intermediate Jazz will meet during period 4 (Lunch) on days 1,3,5.
  • Junior Jazz will be split into two separate bands after auditions and one will meet during period 4 (Lunch) on days 2,4,6 and the other will meet at 7:15AM on days (2,4,6)
  • A reminder to all incoming 9's - Jazz Band is a full credit with its own grading system and assignments separate to Concert Band.  
  • For the time being, you are expected to come to class as follows.
    • Sr. Jazz  - Day 1,3,5 at 7:15AM. - starting Thursday Sept. 7th.
    • Jr. Jazz  - period 4 (Lunch) on days 2,4,6 - Starting Friday Sept 8th.(ATTENDANCE ONLY) - THEN EXPECTATIONS/ MUSIC/ INSTRUMENTATION ETC. WILL BE DISCUSSED ON THE 12TH.
    • Intermediate Jazz - Day 1,3,5 - period 4 (Lunch) - starting Thursday Sept. 7th.

SO........  If you are in Sr. Jazz - Thursday the 7th - 7:15AM.

Anyone NOT in Sr. Jazz, but you are in Grade 10, 11, or 12 you will be considered Intermediate Jazz and you have class starting on the 7th at period 4 (Lunch) - starting Thursday Sept. 7th.

For the time being Jr. Jazz will only be made up of gr 9's and will meet during period 4 (Lunch) on days 2,4,6 Starting Friday Sept 8th.   (ATTENDANCE ONLY) - THEN EXPECTATIONS/ MUSIC/ INSTRUMENTATION ETC. WILL BE DISCUSSED ON THE 12TH.

Feel free to drop by and say hi if this is as clear as mud.  Mr. E.

Wednesday 7 June 2017

Congrats - Athletic Awards

Congratulations to all of our award winners at the Athletic banquet last night.  The great thing about Westwood is that we have a large number of athletes who are also involved in the band program.

Here are our Athletic Musicians:

JV Girls Volleyball Coach's award - Jessica K. (Trumpet)

Varsity Boys Volleyball - Coach's Award - Brady C. (Bassoon)

Girls Rugby Coach's Award - Brenna D. (F. Horn)

Baseball Coach's Award - Colin Y. (Bass Bone)

Boys Hockey Coach's Award - Ben S. (Trumpet)

JV Boys Volleyball MVP - Bryce M (Baritone)

Varsity Girls Volleyball MVP - Kelli B. (Trombone)

Varsity Girls Volleyball MVP - Mikayla W.  (Flute)

Varsity Boys Volleyball MVP  - Ryan L. (Trumpet)

Ultimate MVP - Nick E. (Timpani/ Percussion)

JV Ultimate MVP - Lexi M. (Tenor Sax/ Piano)

Curling MVP - Mason S. (Flute)

Curling MVP - Cassie S. (Clarinet)

JV Girls Basketball MVP - Lexi M.  (Tenor Sax/ Piano)

Girls Soccer MVP - Megan H. (Alto Sax)

Badminton MVP - Derek H. (Trumpet)

Badminton MVP - Jeremy L. (Mallets)

Girls Rugby MVP - Danika M. (Flute)

Boys Rugby MVP  - Christian T. (Alto)

Boys Soccer MVP - Devin D. (Bass Clarinet)

Lacrosse MVP - Kellen C. (Alto Sax)

JV Boys Athlete of the Year - Bryce M. (Baritone)

JV Girls Athlete of the Year - Lexy M. (Tenor Sax/ Piano)

Varsity Boys Athlete of the Year - Ben S. (Trumpet)

Warrior Award - Maya S. (Clarinet)

Warrior Award - Nick E.  - (Timpani/ Percussion)

Warrior Heart and Hustle Award - Bentley T (Trombone)

Monday 5 June 2017

Want to keep playing?

June 1, 2017

Dear Students,

I trust that you have had a wonderful year of growth, achievement, fun and music making. It was a pleasure meeting so many of you in workshops throughout the year and hearing many of your performances. Manitoba is certainly blessed with many outstanding school programs and talented students and teachers.

I am writing to invite you to consider an opportunity to continue playing after high school. The University of Manitoba Concert Band is open to students from across campus and the greater Winnipeg community. The ensemble this past year consisted of 75 players from ages 17 – 37 and only 12 of them were music majors. Many of our instrumental music majors are in the orchestra or wind ensemble. The concert band members are incredibly dedicated, passionate and enthusiastic people who love making music together once a week. Concert Band is a wonderful way to continue playing, meet new people and get involved in U of M activities. The group rehearses on Tuesday evenings from 7:00 – 9:30 and performs in four concerts per year. There is a $60 registration fee for the year applicable to members not taking concert band for credit. Students enrolled in the course do not pay the annual fee. The ensemble plays music from level 4-6 and a diverse range of styles and composers.

New and exciting for the 2017-2018 season is the opening of the new U of M state of the art rehearsal facilities, boasting the finest in acoustics and structural engineering. We are very excited to move into this space in August and start making beautiful music.

Acceptance is determined by audition which is based on the Manitoba Senior Honour Band etudes which can be found on this link Official audition dates are in late August/early September but if students prefer to audition before summer holidays begin, this can be arranged. Please feel free to share this letter with friends at school or in the community. The concert band has no cap and we welcome players of all ages and backgrounds. Current high school students are also welcome and encouraged to audition!

I hope you will consider this opportunity available at the University of Manitoba Desautels Faculty of Music! If you would like to audition or would like more information, please email me at You can also visit our website to learn more about the faculty, course offerings and ensembles

I look forward to hearing from you and wish you much success with the end of the school year! Have a wonderful summer.

Best Wishes,

Prof. J. Dawson

Thursday 1 June 2017

Look Ma, We're in the paper.

Westwood jazz band jives 

at nationals

Group gets gold, drummer and bass player recognized

Monday 29 May 2017

Want to watch our concert?

For the past five years we have been live streaming our concerts to the world and we have received countless emails and texts encouraging us to keep sharing out music with you.

There are two way to watch: if you would like to watch the concert via our web site, you can come back Tuesday and Wednesday and the feed below will be live at 7:00PM Central. OR... you can watch by clicking on these links.  Concert Band: and Jazz Band:

These links are easy ways to share via: text, email, snapchat, kik, instagram, etc. our concerts

Thank you in advance to all who watch and take part in this dynamic (good music pun) event.

Final Concert Band Concert:

Final Jazz Band Concert:

Friday 26 May 2017

Band DVD's

As a reminder we will again be selling our world renowned band DVD at the upcoming concert on  Tuesday, which will feature lots of movies and tons of photos from each performing ensemble in the Band Program and including every concert (yep even Wednesday's jazz concert).  This way you do not have to stare at your loved one through a 4 inch screen and can enjoy the concert.  We have been compiling this information over the past year, and we cannot tell you how excited we are about this dynamic project.  This exciting keepsake can act as a supplement to your son’s or daughter’s yearbook (in fact it comes in a sticky backed case that can be attached to the back of your yearbook)  or act as a stand alone souvenir of the “too numerous to mention” accomplishments of the band program.  All orders must be pre-paid and no orders will be accepted after June 2nd. A parent committee will be at the concert on the 30th to take your order.  The DVDs will be available for pick-up some time during the week of the 19th of June in the Band room.  

Pick up a DVD and enjoy a glimpse inside: “band@westwood”          

If you wish, you can print the lower portion as an order form and bring it to the concertwith your cheque, but don't worry the parent committee will have lots of order forms for you at the door.


Each DVD sells for $20.00

Please submit this order form with your payment

DVD Title:  “band@westwood '2014”                       
            Student’s name ____________________________

          Student’s grade ____________________________

TOTAL NUMBER OF DVD’S ORDERD _____ X $20.00 = TOTAL COST  - $ _________ 


Tuesday 23 May 2017

Final Concert and Year End Information

With concerts and year end just around the corner, here's some information for you.  

Set up will take place on Monday, May 29 at 7:30 PM. 

Concert band dress rehearsal will be on Tuesday, May 30: 
symphonic band per 1, 
Grade 10 concert band per 2 
and grade 9 concert band per 3.  

Final Concert Band Concert May 30th in the Gym at 7:00PM

Jazz band dress rehearsal be on May 31st. 

Senior jazz 7AM, 
intermediate jazz per2 
and Junior jazz at lunch.

Final Jazz Band Concert May 31st in the Theatre at 7:00PM

Sectional cut off has been adjusted to May 29th for both Jazz and Concert.

Final Self-Assessment is due June 5

All music must be erased and returned no later than Friday June 7.

All instruments must be returned by June 7th as well with the exception of Grad Band members.


Each year Mr. Edwards hand selects a group of musicians to play at the convocation ceremony. Students will be contacted by Mr. Edwards by June 2nd.

Sr. Jazz Auditions:

Sr. Jazz audition music was distributed on May first to anyone interested in trying out for Sr. Jazz.  Auditions will take place starting the week of June 5th.  A sign up sheet will be posted with available slots.

Westwood Sr. Jazz at Nationals

With little ceremony the group of 25 students and 2 chaperones headed off to Toronto on an average every day evening with anticipation in their hearts and dreams of GOLD floating in their heads.  By 1:35AM we had reached our destination in Niagara Falls and were ready for our pillows.

Morning dawned with a clear blue sky and stellar temperatures as we made our way to the Scotia Bank Convention Centre.  After listening to a few ensembles and getting a feel for the room and the equipment, we made a quick dash for lunch and then it was our turn to represent Winnipeg and our alma mater - Westwood.  Karma was on our side from the get go and sure enough our festival guide turned out to be from Winnipeg, and wouldn't you know it our warm-up room was 204 and lastly... the sound guy was a Westwood alumnus form 1975!.... WOW! You just know its going to go well.

There also was the gold glitter... don't forget the glitter.... if you do not know about this, ask a member of the band.  Thanks Erin.  You made our day even more special.

And I'm not going to sugar coat it..... they nailed it.

As the last notes rang through the performance room you could tell that something special had just occurred.  The next thing we know we are whisked down a hall and sitting in front of our adjudicator, the fantastic trumpeter and educator Jason Logge.  In an ironic twist, he was our adjudicator in 2015 and he remembered all of our pieces from that performance, as well.  Jason is an excellent tactician and clinician and had the students in the palm of his hand from the beginning to end.  He was impressed and the fact that we are consistently bringing this type of ensemble to this festival was not overlooked.  It was his pleasure, he said, to recognize Carter LaFleche on bass, with the honour award; recognizing Carter as the top player of the performance.  Everyone in the band agreed with this decision and there was much rejoicing.

After a quick stop a the photo booth, I led the group down the street to a beautiful vista of Niagara Falls and it was here that they discovered their fate.  The fabulous Ms. Russell took some photos and managed to capture the exact moment that the band found out that they were GOLD champions (again).   Great group of kids and a stunning performance.

Not to be outdone, the Vocal Jazz  got Down and Dirty and gave it their all at their performance Thursday morning. I was privileged to be in the warm-up room and be a part of their process... these truly are Warriors..... not to mention big Queen fans.

After that is all a bit of a whirlwind and then, as if that was not enough, my cell phone rings and it's Neil York-Slader chair of the Instrumental Jazz division letting me know that it would be worth our while to re-arrange our day and attend the Festival Awards Ceremony.  Dumbfoundedly I agreed and the next thing we know, we're sitting an the auditorium and they announce that Shawn LaFrance, Senior Marketing Manager for Pearl Drums Canada is about to award the Outstanding Canadian Drummer award for 2017 to our very own Aidan Clarke.  This award recognized Aidan as that top drummer at Nationals.  And... as a perk, the award not only comes with a cool title for his resume, it also comes with a complimentary drum set from Pearl Drums.  VERY COOL!  On a side note, you may remember that Aidan also won the top drummer at Brandon Jazz Festival the year in March.  Anyhow.... we cheered and none of us expected this amazing achievement to be bestowed on one of our own.

From there..... we go into the heart of Niagara and saw the falls up close, from afar and from above.  So close, in fact, that you literally felt like someone was holding a hose over your head..... the ponchos did nothing.

What a trip. What kids.  What ambassadors for music. You should all be proud of them and shout their accomplishments form the rooftops.... I could not ask for better students if I tried.

Thanks for that. What a life..... I love my job.

Wednesday 19 April 2017

Westwood Bands are Front Page News!

Westwood Senior Jazz Band Headed to Nationals!

Do you remember high school band class?  My own 1980s band memories include being trapped in a tiny, stale classroom with a teacher who spoke in monotones, smelled like mothballs and tried to teach me how to make the trombone make a sound – any sound! The experience that Westwood Collegiate’s band students are having these days is vastly different, to say the least. For the majority of them, band is their favourite class!  After watching any of their performances and speaking to band director Greg Edwards, it’s easy to see why.  These kids - these teenagers, so quick to get a bad rap in so many circumstances - are simply amazing musicians.  Not only that, they are proud of their abilities and their achievements and they’re having a great time making music. “I won’t remember the little things”, says a former Westwood student.  “But I will remember that I loved something so much that I would do anything to make sure that I could be a part of it, that all of my hard work was worth it and that it went towards making something amazing”. 
It’s been a banner year for the Westwood Band Program. Under the direction of Edwards, all seven bands from Westwood – three concert bands and four jazz ensembles – were invited to represent Manitoba at the Nationals and all three concert bands, together with Senior Jazz, earned superior trophies at this year’s Optimist Festival. As a result, the Senior Jazz Band - many of its members Headingley kids who started out at Phoenix school - is headed to Niagara Falls in May to compete at a national level.  In fact, Westwood’s bands have been invited to compete at Nationals for seventeen consecutive years, making Westwood the only school in the division to hold this distinction. At the 2017 Brandon Jazz Festival all of Westwood’s Jazz Bands, as well as all of their vocal jazz groups, under the direction of Alice Russell, received standing ovations - a feat unheard of according to adjudicators. Individual congratulations go out to Aidan Clarke, who was named outstanding rhythm section player for the 2017 Brandon Jazz Festival, a prestigious honour which is accompanied by a $150 scholarship to the University of Manitoba jazz camp this summer.
Perhaps what it comes down to, in addition to some obviously talented students, is expectations.  Mr. Edwards is simply not okay with average and his students deliver nothing less than excellence. 
As anyone affiliated with the Westwood Band program will tell you, it’s not just about the music.  Being part of a band requires teamwork, dedication, mutual respect and hard work, values which are fundamental to life in general.  “I didn’t realize the life benefits of Westwood’s band program till the very end”, says a former student. “Band and music were, at first, an escape from other boring classes…but after a time I began to use the lessons from band to connect to my life…through all the struggles of high school, band has been the only place where I felt understood, where I could express how I felt through music in a group and know that everyone else is feeling it too”. 

Mr. Edwards has taught at Westwood for 17 years and is quick to announce that he has “the best job in the world”.  What separates the band program at Westwood from others of its kind is Edwards’ obvious and absolute love and respect for his students.  Edwards emphasizes hard work, mutual respect, humility and joy in his classroom.  “I always tell my students:  everyone around you is an expert”, he says. “Every situation is its own opportunity to rise.  It’s never too early for greatness. Why wait”? 
Ultimately, Westwood Band students know that their teacher believes in them and sincerely cares about their wellbeing.  He also expects them to be great and that expectation is what leads them to strive for such distinction.  In band class, there are no participation trophies. In fact, as any band student will tell you, the infamous “nineties test” at the beginning of each year, in which students require a minimum group score of 90% before being given sheet music, is challenging and stressful. For Mr. Edwards, 50% is not good enough and students succeed every year because they believe that they are capable and they want to make him proud. And that pride is evident the minute he speaks about his students. “I get so much energy- so much joy - from these kids”, says Edwards.  “And I don’t take that for granted.  Not ever”. 
For more information on the band program or to watch their final concert band and jazz band performances, May 30 and 31, via live webcam, visit  You can also attend the concerts in person at Westwood Collegiate. For daily updates on the band program and to follow Senior Jazz’s progress at nationals, follow their Instagram account, @bandatwestwood and their Twitter account, @bandatwestwood. 

We wish Senior Jazz the very best of luck at Nationals in May and offer our heartfelt congratulations to all of the band and vocal jazz ensembles for an amazing year of music! 

Article by Allison Au for the Headingley Times 54th edition April 2017 (page 3)
Photos by Dani Nowosad (former Westwood Student)

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