Concert Band Road Trip. Winnipeg High School stops in The Sault

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Mid afternoon on Tuesday, May 10th, 2016, three passenger buses were spotted along Bay Street with a large contingent of young people pouring into the (north-east) Station Mall parking lot in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.  Saultonline happened upon the scene, and found 150 youth from Winnipeg, Manitoba, several chaperones, and a music teacher getting ready to check in to local hotels directly across from the Station Mall.

20160510_141729The young people and supporting cast, are all students from Fort Richmond Collegiate (FRC), in Winnipeg, Manitoba, a grade 10 – 12 high school.  They stopped in The Sault for a much needed break from travelling, having left Winnipeg late on Monday night. The young people are part of the Fort Richmond Collegiate Concert Band.

The final destination is Ottawa, Ontario as participants in the national ‘MusicFest Canada’ competitions.

20160510_165627‘Entering into its 44th celebration year, MusicFest Canada “The Nationals” brings thousands of students and educators from across the country together, over a one-week period, to celebrate excellence in musical performance.’ http://ottawa.musicfest.ca/

Members of the Fort Richmond Collegiate Concert Band are in rehearsals five times per week. A rehearsal was even scheduled while they were in The Sault. After students got settled into their rooms, the whole group boarded the buses again, and headed to Korah Collegiate High School where they took over the auditorium for a four hour (or so) rehearsal. Practise makes perfect.

150 students with their respective instruments is a substantial group of musicians, and proved too large for the stage in Korah’s auditorium. Several band members were practising from the front rows, and floor area in front of the stage.

Cheryl Ferguson FRC Concert Band conductor and music teacher, told saultonline, “FRC has one of the largest band programmes in Canada, with over 350 students in the band programme. This will mark the 41st year that FRC Concert Band has travelled to ‘The Nationals’, MusicFest Canada.”

‘MusicFest is an “Invitation Only” event. Outstanding ensembles are invited by attending and being awarded an Invitation from one of the Affiliated Regional Festivals or through a Festival Chairman.’

“This is the second year we have stopped in The Sault for a rest.” shared Ferguson.

In years prior, FRC Concert Band has made it as far as Sudbury for an overnight stop on their way to MusicFest.

20160510_165925“Last year we were really impressed with the hospitality, and everyone has been really great with us. We’re back for a second time.”

The band plays a variety of musical styles in a number of different performing experiences, including concerts, festivals and contests.

Saultonline wishes every success for the FRC Concert Band at MusicFest 2016. You’re a wonderful group of young people with a dynamo music teacher & conductor, Cheryl Ferguson. And of course, chaperones, make  school trips possible. Thanks for making music. Manitoba Maple.

Music Fest Canada takes place from May 9-14, 2016.