W.L. Seaton Secondary band rookies and veterans are ready to take the stage at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre for their annual Christmas concert Wednesday, Dec. 14 at 7 p.m.
The newest members of the Seaton band family are the Grade 8 students, who have only played together since September. Some have never had any previous formal music training.
“We have a great group of Grade 8 students. They are motivated and enthusiastic about their music,” said band director Geoff Dolman. “They have already spent a weekend at a music retreat in November and are working so hard in class. Their sound is really starting to come together.”
“I think that band has been pretty good so far, although home practice can be a bit difficult to fit in sometimes,” added Grade 8 student Ty Louis, who plays clarinet. “As for playing in the concert at the Performing arts Centre, I’m a little bit nervous, but other than that I believe it’ll fun and interesting experience. Mr. Dolman is a great band leader and thanks to his help I think it’ll be a very good performance indeed.”
At the opposite end of their high school band careers are members of Seaton’s Senior Jazz Band. Many of these students have honed their musical skills over five years and have the awards to prove it.
They were top players at this year’s prestigious Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival and also had strong performances at the B.C. Interior Jazz Festival, earning a berth at Musicfest Canada, a showcase of all of the top high school jazz bands in the country.
“This band is a special one,” said Dolman. “I would have to say it is one of the best I’ve ever had the privilege to work with. And believe me, over the years, there have been many great musicians coming out of our program.”
A number of Seaton music students have gone on to post secondary education and careers in music.
“Playing in the Seaton music program has changed my life,” said Grade 12 student Jacob Soucy, who plays trumpet. “My time in Geoff Dolman’s classes have inspired me to learn about music so much that I have begun pursuing a career as a musician. I am so grateful for the opportunities that I have had in the last five years. The trips, the concerts, the connections with other musicians have been incredible.”
Wednesday’s concert will feature Grade 8, 9 and 10 concert bands, Seaton’s Junior and Senior Jazz Bands, the Holibop Quintet and a duo with Soucy and Craig Matterson. There will also be a silent auction with numerous items and a 50/50 draw.
Entry is general admission.