Thompson music students making a return to provincial honour bands

After getting through a gruelling audition process, four local students are headed to Winnipeg in May to play with the Manitoba Band Association’s (MBA) junior and intermediate provincial honour bands.

Three of these musicians are veterans of the program, as Danica Ryan, Emma Fitzpatrick and Abi Deibert all travelled down south in the spring of 2018 to play in the junior honour band concert that’s meant for students up to Grade 8.

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A year later, the trio has now qualified for the program’s intermediate honour band (Grade 9-10) and said they are looking forward to playing with the best student musicians in Manitoba once again. 

“It was interesting because I had to challenge myself to play at a different level and play with people that are probably 10 times better than me,” said Fitzpatrick. 

Westwood student Cole Jacobs is the only rookie of the bunch and told the Thompson Citizen that he also wants to broaden his horizons by taking part in the upcoming junior band concert for the first time.

“I’m expecting to meet some new people, learn some interesting things, play tougher pieces, challenge myself having to really practice a lot to learn how to play them,” he said. 

In terms of advice, R.D. Parker Collegiate music teacher Stevie MacPherson said these four could even use this trip as a networking opportunity if they want to seriously pursue music in the future.

“Don’t be afraid to socialize. Don’t be afraid to make yourself known to the guest conductors as well, because they will remember you,” she said. “The music community in Manitoba is smaller than you think and you start seeing these people everywhere you go.”

MacPherson also told the Citizen how proud she is of the school district’s talent pool in general, since they’ve already sent two students to play in the MBA’s senior honour band back in November and will even have representation at the National Youth Band of Canada for the first time ever this spring.

The 2019 MBA junior and intermediate provincial honour bands will be performing at Garden City Collegiate in Winnipeg May 11 at 7:30 p.m. 

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