School bands share the spotlight

Reese Stobbart rocks a trombone solo while performing with Peter Skene Ogden Secondary School’s jazz band. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Reese Stobbart rocks a trombone solo while performing with Peter Skene Ogden Secondary School’s jazz band. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Peter SKene Ogden Secondary School band teacher Jasmine Kreschuk addresses the audience at PSO’s year-end concert last week. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Peter SKene Ogden Secondary School band teacher Jasmine Kreschuk addresses the audience at PSO’s year-end concert last week. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Liam Guimond plays the trumpet with Peter Skene Ogden Secondary School’s jazz band last week. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Liam Guimond plays the trumpet with Peter Skene Ogden Secondary School’s jazz band last week. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Ty Butler plays the saxophone at Peter Skene Ogden Secondary School’s year end concert. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Ty Butler plays the saxophone at Peter Skene Ogden Secondary School’s year end concert. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Jack Copley plays the drums while performing in Peter Skene Ogden Secondary School’s year end concert. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Jack Copley plays the drums while performing in Peter Skene Ogden Secondary School’s year end concert. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Joelle Kuyek plays the piano as she performs at the year end concert at Peter Skene Ogden Secondary School. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Joelle Kuyek plays the piano as she performs at the year end concert at Peter Skene Ogden Secondary School. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Members of Peter Skene Ogden Secondary School’s tour band applaud after a song performed by the jazz band. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Members of Peter Skene Ogden Secondary School’s tour band applaud after a song performed by the jazz band. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Mackenzie Willams (left) Zoey Edwards, Elizabeth Copley and Kailynn Cote play the flute together. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Mackenzie Willams (left) Zoey Edwards, Elizabeth Copley and Kailynn Cote play the flute together. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Members of the combined elementary school band perform at Peter Skene Ogden Secondary School’s year end concert. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Members of the combined elementary school band perform at Peter Skene Ogden Secondary School’s year end concert. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Members of the combined elementary school band perform at Peter Skene Ogden Secondary School’s year end concert. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Members of the combined elementary school band perform at Peter Skene Ogden Secondary School’s year end concert. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Grace Yang and Georgia Gent provide the combined elementary school band with some percussion at the Peter Skene Ogden Secondary School year end concert. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Grace Yang and Georgia Gent provide the combined elementary school band with some percussion at the Peter Skene Ogden Secondary School year end concert. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Alex Kreschuk crashes some cymbals together at Peter Skene Ogden Secondary School. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Alex Kreschuk crashes some cymbals together at Peter Skene Ogden Secondary School. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
The clarinet section of the combined elementary school band. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)The clarinet section of the combined elementary school band. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Katharina Wetzig plays the clarinet as part of Peter Skene Ogden Secondary School’s tour band. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Katharina Wetzig plays the clarinet as part of Peter Skene Ogden Secondary School’s tour band. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Members of Peter Skene Ogden Secondary School’s tour band perform together at PSO’s year end concert last week. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Members of Peter Skene Ogden Secondary School’s tour band perform together at PSO’s year end concert last week. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

High school and elementary band students shared the spotlight Tuesday at Peter Skene Ogden Secondary School’s year-end concert.

The concert, which drew 150 people from the community, featured PSO’s jazz and tour bands and the elementary school combined band.

“Band is such a rehearsal and performance-based class and it’s so nice to have a performance that we’re working towards,” said band teacher Jasmine Kreschuk. “It’s also really nice for the community to hear and see what these kids are working so hard on throughout the course of the year.”

Kreschuk said her students were proud to showcase their accomplishments, and the concert was especially meaningful to the high school graduates. Alto-sax player and 2022 grad Sarah Carter said that she’s fallen in love with performing as part of a band since moving to 100 Mile House four years ago from Surrey.

“This is a really small town so I didn’t know what to expect but honestly I think we have one of the best band programs around,” Carter said. “We have a very dedicated group of people. We really rely on each other within the music and outside of it.”

Carter said it was great to end her school year performing with her band family and setting an example for the elementary musicians who studied band at the high school this year.

The Grade 6-7 band program was relocated to the high school to provide consistency and enhance the musical instruction the students received, Kreschuk said in a letter last year.

READ MORE: ‘Music is healing’: music teacher finds niche in 108 Mile Ranch

About 45 students from 100 Mile House, Horse Lake and Mile 108 elementary schools were bussed to PSO each week to take the hour-long after-school lesson from Kreschuk.

Kreschuk had previously taught elementary school band during school hours.

“I thought it was really nice for the elementary students to become familiar with PSO as they’re going to be transitioning here soon. They got a chance to meet some of the high school band students which really helps build a sense of community in the band program,” Kreschuk said.

Krescuk said the only downside was she only had a limited amount of time to work with the younger students each week. She said she’d like to see the program grow next year with more parents and students coming on board.

“I think we need to support our arts and our music programs. It’s important for development and because it’s offered, I really encourage families to take part in it.”

Grade 10 band student Liam Guimond, who plays the trumpet, liked having the younger musicians join the concert.

“We always want to show the elementary school kids what high school band is like so they continue with it in the future,” he said. “Starting at elementary school it’s just the basics you’re learning so it’s not the most interesting but once you get into high school you can play more complex songs that sound so much better and are more fun to play.”

At the high school level, 45 students participated in the tour band this year and 60 in Grades 8-12 band classes. Kreschuk said she hopes next year to take students on a band trip although the destination is still to be determined.

“I just feel band is such a wonderful opportunity for kids. It’s great they’re able to be part of a community within the school where everyone is supportive and encouraging of each other,” Kreschuk said. “I thought this year was a great success.”



patrick.davies@100milefreepress.net

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