Laurie Middle School band performs during a festival at the South Okanagan band festival in Penticton this past week. Photo courtesy David Pasivirta.

Laurie Middle School band returns from Okanagan music festival

Students performed for adjudicators, participated in workshops to learn new skills

Laurie Middle School concert band students returned from a successful trip to the South Okanagan band festival in Penticton this past week.

The students performed to an audience of adjudicators, colleagues and members of the public at the Penticton events centre.

The conductor of the University of Calgary Wind Ensemble, Gareth Jones, was the adjuicator who worked with the Laurie bands. He also plays trumpet with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra.

Mr. Jones worked with theclarinets to improve airflow and tuning, and was able to instruct and inspire both the students and their teacher, Mr. David Pasivirta, to work harder to tell the story by shaping the phrase more emphatically.

Mr. Jones wrote that the students played with excellent intonation and tuning, and was able to get the students to work together in a more effective way.

The group also had the opportunity to hear other bands made up of younger and older students.

The trip wasn’t only about hard work though, they had a chance to swim in the hotel pool and eat great meals as well.

On the last night of the trip, students were surprised by John, the bus driver for the event, who purchased tickets for the entire group to watch the Penticton Vees hockey team win their first playoff series in overtime. Evan Davis showed off his dance moves to the crowd of locals while the group was welcomed to the arena over the loudspeaker.

One of the best moments came after the trip was over, when three students asked if they could try different instruments, having been inspired on the trip to extend their learning into different areas, said Mr. Pasivirta.

“The inspiration from other students is the best and most valuable part of any band trip,” he said. “Congratulations Laurie Band students!”

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