The Mount Baker Vocal Jazz ensemble is pictured in rehearsal. The Spring Concert

The Mount Baker Vocal Jazz ensemble is pictured in rehearsal. The Spring Concert

Mount Baker Spring Concert back on

Wednesday concert an advancer of Cantando Festival

Barry Coulter

A concert once postponed is back on — a preview show of an exciting journey by the Mount Baker Secondary School Music Department.

The Mount Baker Spring Concert originally scheduled to take place at the Key City Theatre in early March was postponed due to structural concerns with the theatre’s stage area. Those concerns have since been allayed, and the show will go on, Wednesday, April 13, at 7:30 p.m.

“We’re back,” said Mount Baker Music Director Evan Bueckert. “The concert includes all of our students in the music program as a spring concert would, but it features our tour ensembles who will be performing in Whistler at the end of the month, with the best high school musicians in the world gathered together. “

Cantando Festivals, held in Edmonton, Sun Peaks, B.C. and Whistler (the biggest one) are non-competitive festivals designed for North American school wind ensembles, concert bands, jazz bands, and choirs utilizing some basic tenets necessary to promote quality music education.

“4,000 students en masse invading Whistler Village, taking up the entire place,” Bueckert said. “Adjudicators are coming; we get to spend four days performing, getting critiqued and going to great concerts.”

Mount Baker was invited to attend this year’s Cantando.

“We’re very proud to be asked to come,” Bueckert said. “This is our third appearance. We’ve been to this festival twice before, as beginners, and now we’re invited back as guest performers — it’s a cool honour.”

Proceeds from the Wednesday concert to help the Baker musicians get to Whistler, for April 28 through May 1.

As for the local concert on Wednesday, April 13, concert-goers can expect a little higher level of performance, Bueckert said, as they prepare for festival adjudication.

“That means more advanced, more challenging and more complex repertoire that pushes the students to reach higher than they have normally. Everything’s going to be at its best.

“I’m very proud of them — the rehearsals are just mind-blowing. There’s so much energy and so much pride.”

The Cranbrook concert will feature tour performance groups and the festival pieces they’ll show the judges in just a few weeks.

“We’re looking forward to showing the hometown crowd what we’re going to do. We’ve got every kind of thing going — everything from the Beatles to Mozart.”