Westwood Senior High wins prestigious award


PHOTO COURTESY STEVE DUBINSKY

The Westwood Senior High School music students won silver and gold at the MusicFest Canada competition held in Ottawa on May 11.

We have a lot to celebrate as all of our music students went to Ottawa May 11 to compete in MusicFest Canada, which is a national competition that involves over 10,000 students from across Canada. Our Grade 9 Concert Band competed in the B200 category and won a Silver Standing, and our Senior Concert Band (Grades 10 and 11), competed in the B300 category and won a Gold Standing.

This is quite an achievement for us as a large percentage of our students change instruments when they begin Grade 9 Music. Our students do this because each student develops a musical identity with experience. By the time students reach Grade 9, their musical identity is radically different from the one they had in Grade 6. They are often better-suited to a different instrument than the one they started on because their musical identity grows with experience and performance opportunities.

Students who have not played an instrument before Grade 9 can now begin playing as we start from the beginning and develop the skills in a linear sequence. By the time we play our Winter Concert in December, the students have caught up to where their abilities would be if they remained on their original instrument.

Events such as competitions and concerts are very important to our students' development as it gives them a chance to experience success based on the work they do, and the opportunity to foster lasting relationships with like-minded people.

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