Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Douglas College Concert Band ups student's music skills

By Julie Wright

For the past year, I have been playing as a community member with the Douglas College Concert Band and I've been having a great time. I think this is a fantastic opportunity for young people like me and I want to get the word out.

I didn't think that Douglas would take a high school student as a community member, but when my band teacher at NWSS, Ms. Proznick, recommended that I do it, I really wanted to give it a try.

As a community member, I attend the rehearsals each Wednesday evening, and play all the concerts. I play clarinet, bass clarinet, tenor sax and violin. That sounds like a lot of instruments, but the first three are very closely related so it's fairly easy to go between them.

I thought it would be a good chance to play clarinet in a more advanced band because, like most high school bands, the students who are not really into music get distracted easily. That is really annoying! Plus any college band would be playing at a higher level.

One thing I noticed when I first began attending rehearsals was that rehearsals were much more efficient - everyone works hard and plays hard. I improved because the music was more challenging and that forced me to practise more. Outside of the band rehearsals, I also began to listen to a wider ranger of music as the college band repertoire exposed me to more styles than what I normally play at high school.

I've definitely learned more about my instrument and become more confident. I made some new friends as well and I am really looking forward to coming back to the DC band again next year.

Julie Wright is a Grade 11 student at New Westminster Senior Secondary. DC Concert Band and Jazz Band can be taken for credit by non-music students at Douglas, or you may join as a community member. Advanced high school students may join as community members on the recommendation of their band director and approval of their parents. Email John Van Deursen or call 604 562 7553 for more information.