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Senior Band 2018École Port Elgin Saugeen Central School’s Senior Band was awarded gold at Georgian Bay MusicFest in Collingwood February, 28 sending them to the Nationals in Toronto in May.

by Kendra Klages

Through weeks of hard practice, early mornings, and lots of busy nutrition breaks, the students of three ensembles at École Port Elgin Saugeen Central School (ÉPESCS), prepared for one extremely important day. A day that none of them expected to be so rewarding, and one they will not forget.

On Wednesday, February 28, ÉPESCS sent three talented ensembles to the Georgian Bay MusicFest in Collingwood. These ensembles included the Intermediate Band, the Senior Band, and the Jazz Ensemble. The Intermediate Band was one of the youngest groups to ever compete at MusicFest with the youngest student being 9 years old. The Senior Band has been attending MusicFest for quite some time, and were National Champions in 2015. The Jazz Ensemble, a bit newer to the festival, made their second appearance this year.

At MusicFest in Collingwood, there were 16 concert bands all competing in the same B100 level as the ÉPESCS concert bands. In this level there were two golds, five silvers, eight bronze, and one merit standings awarded. Thirteen of these standings were awarded to elementary school bands, and three were awarded to high school bands. The Jazz Ensemble competed at the A701 level with four other bands. There was one gold, and three silvers awarded in their Jazz category. ÉPESCS was the only band to be awarded a gold standing.

This year, ÉPESCS made MusicFest history within the Bluewater District School Board (BWDSB) – Elementary Panel, by bringing home two golds and a bronze, therefore giving the Senior Band and Jazz Ensemble invitations to Nationals in Toronto. The two ensembles will be competing at Nationals from May 14 to 16. Although the Intermediate Band received a bronze, it was a huge achievement for the students. They wear that bronze as proudly as a gold. The ÉPESCS Jazz Ensemble was the first in BWDSB history to win a gold standing at the elementary level, and to go on to compete at Nationals. This is also the first time that the BWDSB will be sending two school bands to Nationals from one elementary school.

The students in all three bands worked extremely hard, and they are very excited to see what is to come at Nationals. The music program at ÉPESCS not only teaches the students how to play their instrument well, and how to work as one; but also valuable life skills.

“The students are judged every second from the minute they walk in the door at MusicFest, so excellent discipline is very important. It is not all about how they play their instruments,” said their conductor and teacher, Matt Patterson. The students would not have achieved their standings without the teamwork and discipline that the program develops so well.

The students of ÉPESCS ensembles would like to thank the community of Saugeen Shores for all of their moral and financial support. Without their support, the music program would not survive.

Kendra Klages is a Saugeen District Secondary School student doing a co-op placement with Matt Patterson’s class at ÉPESCS.

Jazz Ensemble 2018École Port Elgin Saugeen Central School’s (ÉPESCS) Jazz Ensemble was awarded gold at Georgian Bay Musicfest in Collingwood February 28, sending them to Nationals in Toronto May 14 to 16.

Intermediate Band 2018The Intermediate Band from ÉPESCS received a bronze at Georgian Bay MusicFest in Collingwood February 28, one of the youngest groups to ever compete.


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