Tuesday 20 December 2022

New Assignments and Happy Holidays

Just wanted to take a second to wish everyone a Happy Holiday and wish you all the best in the coming year.

I am so blessed and grateful to be surrounded every day by the best music students in the province.  

From my home to yours... HAPPY HOLIDAYS.

... and if you want to take a sneak peek at your next set of assignments they have been posted in your individual class menus above.

Tuesday 15 November 2022

Brandon Jazz Payment Information

 Hello everyone,  


Thank you again to everyone for coming out a few weeks back to discuss the possibilities of travel with the jazz program.


Now that everything has settled and that our tour to the Brandon Jazz festival in March has been approved by the board office, we will be collecting a $200 deposit using school cash online.


You should receive a notice about the payment in your school cash online account by the end of the week and we ask that you make your payment by the 27th of November.


Just a reminder that tour dates are March 15th to 17th.


Our estimated tour budget is coming in around $330 for the tour (this depends on the number of participants.)


The tour will include Coach to and from Brandon.  Hotel – Victoria Inn.  Hot breakfast each day as well as Dinner each night.  


This will be based on quad occupancy for students at the hotel.


We will be departing around 1:00 on the 15th from the school parking lot and returning to the parking lot around 10:00PM on Friday night.


If you are just hearing about this for the first time – you can find more information from our meeting here – Brandon Jazz


If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Monday 10 October 2022

Concert is on YouTube

We are super pleased to announce that last year's concert has now been fully edited and uploaded to our YourTube channel.  Just open up YouTube and search for @bandatwestwood or just watch the links below.  This project took over 100 hours to complete and we would like to give a huge shout-out to Mr. Christie and his wonderful team for all of their hard work and dedication to this magnificent Project.

Grade 9 Concert Band

Grade 10 Concert Band

Symphonic Band

Rouge Road Renegades

Warrior Jazz

Encore - Thriller

Wednesday 14 September 2022

Welcome Back

 Welcome to (or welcome back to)  Band at Westwood!


Apologies in advance for the long e-mail,


It's all been a bit of a blur, but we are off to a fantastic start to another amazing year in the Westwood band program.  I thought I would send a quick e-mail home to welcome you to the start of this year and to give you a few details about our plans and our program.


For those of you new to the program, you have heard correctly that we have no practice policy here at Westwood. I also strongly discourage students from bringing their instruments home. The band room is open every day from 7 in the morning till 4:00 PM, And all students are welcome to use this room at their leisure.  During that time they are encouraged to come here into the band room and get any of the help they need from me. If they'd like to look over some of their parts you are more than welcome to grab one of the six practice rooms and hammer away at anything that's bothering them.  That said, there are going to be those times when they would like to take it home and I am totally OK with that.




Something new for the year in concert band is that all students will be working with different versions of the same method book. I have purchased copies for everybody and I'm excited to work with our students through all three books in this series. There is an app that goes with the series so I strongly encourage them to download this app onto their devices.   Concert Band is the flagship of our program and we look to make students absolutely shine during their performances and competitions.  Further to this idea, we ask that all students play on the best reeds they possibly can.  As these reeds can be very expensive,  I sell them at a significant loss here in the band room for $2 a reed.  That said, I will happily give students a read if they do not have $2.  As well, for those of you new to our program, our concerts are a lot of fun and also very formal.  Preparations leading up to this event are very specific… all of the concert attendance requirements, program information and our uniform policy can be found on the band website.  


I am also very pleased to announce the return of the Manitoba band association family of festivals. This music festival was formally known to many people as the optimist international band festival.  all three of our concert bands will compete at this prestigious event in February.


Also, you can keep up to date with the band program by joining us on Instagram - @bandatwestwood  or on the band website – www.bandatwestwood.com  Here you will find everything you need to know about our program.




I've had a chance to meet with all of my classes a couple times now and it looks like we're going to be in fantastic shape moving forward into the year.  The only classes that have not had a chance to meet yet are jazz band classes.  The Rouge road Renegades begins tomorrow morning at 7:20 AM and meets on even days. This dynamic jazz band is filled with all of our beginning and intermediate members.  This is the perfect spot to learn what jazz band is all about and I'm very excited that we have so many people slated to come to practice tomorrow.   I have extended an open invitation to all of the members of the concert band to get involved in this exciting opportunity, even if they have yet to register for the course.  Once we get our roster settled I will let the office know and they will be placed into the appropriate class.  and, just in case you're curious, jazz band is a separate course with full credit toward graduation…. and university entrance (I might also add).


Our other jazz ensemble, warrior jazz, meets on odd days at 7:20 AM. This ensemble is made-up of our advanced intermediate and advanced students.  Jazz at Westwood is not divided by grade , but by ability; consequently, we have a representation of almost all grades in both bands that meets the needs of our diverse population.


Both these jazz ensembles will be competing at the Manitoba Band Association Jazz Festival in the beginning of March – see dates below.


If you haven't heard already, I will be sending some information home with your son or daughter tomorrow or Friday about the possibility of one or both bands attending the Brandon Jazz Festival in March and/ or competing at nationals in Niagara Falls in May. Look for that letter coming home either Thursday or Friday this week, as there will be a meeting at 6:30 PM in the band room on Monday the 19th to discuss the possibility of both these exciting events.




Unfortunately, we simply ran out of time last year to upload all of the concert and its amazing music making. We are hard to work again on the videos and they should be uploaded to YouTube by the end of the month.  I have already personally seen the footage and it is simply spectacular. I know you're going to be blown away yet again when you have a chance to revisit it shortly.


IMPORTANT DATES:  (Mark your calendars)


Sept. 19th - Meeting in the band room for jazz parents and students at 6:30 PM.


Feb. 8th -  Winter Band Concert – 6:30PM in the gym.  All three concert bands and both jazz bands will perform this night.


Feb. 21 – 24 – Manitoba Band Association Family Festival - specific dates and times will be discussed as we get closer to competition time.


March 3 and 4 – Manitoba Band Association Jazz Festival - specific dates and times will be discussed as we get closer to competition time.


March 15 – 17 – Proposed Jazz Band tour to compete at the Brandon Jazz Festival.


April 17 – For the Love of the Arts - this art celebration will feature something from all of the arts department at Westwood including one concert band and one jazz band. Which group wins this prestigious honour will be determined later on in the year.


April 18 - this is the proposed date for the family concert that will involve music making from students in our family of schools from kindergarten all the way to grade 12.  Stay posted for more information on this exciting night.


May 17-20 – Proposed Jazz Band tour to compete at Nationals in Niagara Falls.


May 30 – Final Band Concert 6:30PM in the gym


May 31 – Final Jazz Band Concert at 6:30PM in the Theatre.


Did I miss something?  Need more info?  .. you can always contact me at the info below.


Looking forward to another great year of music Making!

Wednesday 1 June 2022

Westwood Bands in the News

It has been a very exciting week in the band room as we prepare for our final concert.  In the midst of all that excitement, Mr. Edwards was named this year's recipient of the Tommy Banks Outstanding Director Award at the Nationals in Toronto.

Here is the link to Mr. Edwards' acceptance speech at the virtual gala event held last week. - Tommy Banks/ NACO Acceptance Speech.

Here is some of the press from this week.

Click on the links below to read the full article.

Click this link to read the full article from the Free Press -   Jazz Teacher Applauded on National Stage

Click this link to read the full article - U of M alum gets national award

Wednesday 27 April 2022


Recently, there has been a whirlwind of excitement in the band program as three of our members have been named to represent Westwood Collegiate at the Provincial and at the National level. 


Intermediate Honour Band:


Rachel Tarrant is a Gr. 10 flautist who plays in both the Gr. 10 concert band and the Symphonic band at Westwood Collegiate.  She is actively involved in all things music and is also a fine Tenor and Bari sax player.  Besides her band prowess, she loves musical theatre and loves to sing as she is a member of the Sr. Divisional Choir.  Next, you can catch Rachel on stage as she is playing Ursula in the upcoming production of Little Mermaid at Westwood from May 18 – 20.  


Tim Franklin is a  Gr. 10 student at Westwood Collegiate who is a percussion specialist.  Although his passion is drum set, he has worked very hard on his mallet playing and has now fallen in love with all things mallets.  To round out his percussion awesomeness, Tim is also a fine timpani player.  His kind and approachable manner allow all the members of his section to feel that they can come to him for help, regardless of their instrument. As a result, it is no big surprise that Tim was named as section leader.



Sr.  Honour Band:


Rachel Tarrant is also a member of this ensemble.


Nathan Varghese is an exceptional gr. 12 trumpet player who is truly at home in the band room at Westwood Collegiate.  He is involved in numerous ensembles.  At Westwood is the section leader for the trumpet section and is also the lead trumpet in jazz band.  Outside of school, Nathan can be found often performing on Sundays at church.   Nathan is a kind and generous student whose passions helped him and the rest of the members of the Westwood Historical Society produce a documentary about Holocaust survivors here in Winnipeg that will be debuting later this year.  


National Youth Band of Canada


Nathan Varghese worked very hard this year preparing his audition for the National Youth band of Canada, and we were all very happy when Nathan was selected as a member of this prestigious ensemble. Nathan is looking forward to flying out to Toronto and spending a week working with renowned conductor Dr. Darrin Oehlerking and meeting up with students from all across the country to perform at a sold-out concert at York University later this spring.

Tuesday 25 January 2022

Welcome to our Band Program





  • Read what past and present student have to say about us - STUDENT VOICE
  • Need some one on one time with Mr.E?  Shoot me and email at greg.edwards@sjasd.ca and we can book a TEAMS or ZOOM meeting and get your questions answered in person.... and maybe even a tour of our beautiful facilities.

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