It was the first time in the school’s history that a band qualified for the nationals – and Hope Secondary’s young talent did not disappoint.
The school’s concert band earned itself a bronze rating during the MusicFest Canada national competition.
The event was held in mid-May in Richmond.
The band, which is made up from students in Grades 9-12, won the right to compete after winning gold at a regional event in Chilliwack.
“They performed very well, they should all be proud of themselves,” said school vice-principal Rosalie Floyd.
Floyd’s daughter, Jacqueline, plays flute in the concert band and was also the recipient of an Honours Award. One member of each competing band is selected for the honour.
Qualifying for the national event is a two-year honour. That means the band is eligible to take part in the 2012 competition as well, in Ottawa.
Floyd said the band usually goes on a tour once every two years, but it hasn’t been decided yet they will travel to Ottawa or not.
Bob Tarr, Hope Secondary’s music teacher and band director said he couldn’t be happier for the group.
“They held their own … we have some good musicians in this group,” said Tarr, who has been working with the concert band for the past four years.
He believes the experience was just as important as the group’s bronze award.
“They got to see a lot of other bands and attend the evening concerts.”
Because the band consists of students in several different grades, Tarr knows that he will lose some members to graduation. But he still thinks they could return to the nationals and improve.
“We go through this every year (losing members) but we have plenty of talent … I’d like to go back next year.”