On April 28, 2016, WGSS’s music department went away for a few days to the Cantando Festival at Whistler. Everyone was really excited as it isn’t every day you get to go far away for a school trip.
If you don’t know what the Cantando music festival is, here’s a brief summary. The Cantando music festival is just like any other music festival here. A bunch of musical competitors, school bands and choirs, perform a variety of selected repertoire they had practiced for the festival in front of adjudicators and maybe a public audience as well. Those judges then assess how the performers did and rank them to either a bronze, silver, or gold standard.
It isn’t all performances and adjudication, however. People can also watch guest bands and players. These performances are usually the jaw-dropping performances of the Cantando festival, an example of true music. It’s not all classical music as well. Sometimes you might find some pop, traditional, orchestral, etc.
“I think that my favorite part about going to a festival like the one we just went to is that you get a chance to see fabulous bands and choirs from all over the place” Hannah Kim, Grade 9
This year’s Cantando festival was actually one of the biggest there has been yet, with schools coming from all over Canada and some from the US too. There were also many guest groups and players at the festival as well, ranging from a choir all the way from South Africa to a band right at UBC. Learning experiences were also available to students at the Cantando festival as well, as there were many workshops for the various instruments people play in bands.
The students in WGSS’s music department also had time to relax and kick back in the Summit Lodge Hotel at Whistler. A lot of people loved the luxury of the hotel rooms and some even went swimming in the hotel’s pool.
“I think that music is something words cannot express” Bryce Bongat, Grade 10
It was pretty sad when the students had to leave Whistler on May 1. But when they got back to school, they found out that WGSS had won some awards for WGSS’s choirs’ and bands’ performances. The Intermediate Concert Band, Senior Concert Band and Concert Choir won Silver Awards while the Chamber Choir won a Gold Award.
This isn’t the end for performances, however. Along with the upcoming music concerts for our school, next week will be a time of even MORE adjudication as WGSS’s concert bands, jazz bands, and vocal jazz ensemble are going to Kwantlen Polytechnic University to perform at the Kiwanis Festival.
These events are all thanks to our music department teachers, Mr. Fawkes and Mr. Angell. They are the reason these events are made possible. This trip to Whistler is something that the students will never forget.