Laurie band earns silver rating at music festival

The Laurie Middle School Concert Band recently returned from a successful Con Brio Festival at Sun Peaks Mountain Village with a silver rating after some inspired performances.

The combined Grades 7,8 and 9 band, led by music instructor David Pasivirta, attended and performed as part of the prestigious festival held every year in both Whistler and Sun Peaks, near Kamloops.

The band was awarded a silver rating, and the adjudicators both noted that the students communicated joy through their performance. Pasivirta said the students felt it was a success and and that the high pressure of performing was not stressful but rather a great experience that was more about fun.

The students also participated in a lip sync contest during a welcoming event, fielding two groups, that included Joelle Carlisle who did a solo rendition of ‘Lemon Boy’ by Cave Town. Her performance had the audience waving lit up cell phone flashlights and ended in a standing ovation for Joelle, who said afterwards that it gave her a boost of self confidence.

The students were very well prepared and Pasivirta said he is very much looking forward to taking the group to the next level, as many of the same students expressed interest in participating in a festival again next year.

While at the festival, Pasivirta spoke with Dr. Gerry King, the former head of Music Education at UVIC, who said he has known Cranbrook schools to take music education seriously for many years. Pasivirta also noted that combining high standards with the joy and creativity of music is what keeps students engaged and successful.

The students at the school are now trying to goad Pasivira into a risky bet — if the band receives gold at the next festival, he must shave his beard or his legs. He says is currently debating the pros and cons of both of those “terrible” options.

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