Caledonia Secondary School’s band brought home awards from the Worldstrides OnStage Festival in Seattle, WA. on April 27.
Overall, Caledonia’s band was rated as the top program of the festival, with their concert band section receiving a gold standing and their jazz band taking silver.
“It was big deal for them, they were quite proud of their trophies,” says Geoffrey Parr, the school’s music teacher. “[There were a few students] who had never held a trophy before.”
The adjudicators also awarded Caledonia student Tiyanee Stevens the Maestro Award, which was given for her jazz band solo on the trombone.
At the festival, their group was one of the few Canadian schools that performed as the majority were from across the U.S.A. For many students, this trip was their first time visiting Seattle and Parr says it was a great way to let them see how music can take them to different places.
“They need to see and be around other kids that are doing the same thing, to realize that it’s not just us,” he says. “I think it’s important for them to open up the cultural and artistic world to them… sometimes to appreciate what’s going on in town, you have to go out and do stuff like this.”
Recently, Parr announced he will be retiring this year but says he wants the students to continue playing in the band even after he’s gone and to understand the importance of expression with music.
“I think it gives them something they can do for the rest of their lives… singing in a choir or playing in a band is actually good for you with all the harmonics and vibrations that are going through your body. It brings the serotonin levels up,” says Parr, “When they walk away from it, they’ll realize they don’t have it anymore and hopefully return.”