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St. Lawrence SS, Seaway DHS and North Dundas DHS Harmonize on Band Workshops & Concert
St. Lawrence SS, Seaway DHS and North Dundas DHS Harmonize on Band Workshops & Concert
Posted on 04/16/2024

April 16, 2024 (Cornwall, Iroquois, Winchester) – Due to the absence of the local music festival in Cornwall this year, several Upper Canada District School Board school bands are missing out on a significant and anticipated performance opportunity. Knowing the important role performing plays in a band program, teachers Erin Ritchie from St. Lawrence Secondary School, Colleen Leslie from Seaway District High School and Joel Exner from North Dundas District High School, came together to find a solution.

After months of planning, the trio have organized a band workshop and community performance to be held May 1 at the Dev Hotel and Conference Centre in Cornwall.

Approximately 120 students from the three schools who are in the for-credit band programs will have the opportunity to take part in a series of instrument-focused workshops, play for an adjudicator and host a community performance. 

“Playing for an audience and receiving professional feedback from an outside person is a big part of being in a band. So, when we learned that the Kinsmen Music Festival would not be happening this year, we thought it was important to find another way for these students to get this experience, without having to travel too far,” explained Ritchie.  

Students will arrive at the conference center around 11 a.m. and take part in leadership activities, mingle with band mates and meet musicians from other schools in the morning. After lunch, each band will have an opportunity to perform for a community adjudicator who will give them feedback on their performance, and then musicians will move into instrument-based workshops.

“These workshops are being led by professional musicians. Some are retired and present teachers with the UCDSB and others are community members. It’s important that students have the opportunity to work with others in the community and learn from them. I know that my music teacher had such an influence on my life,” explains Ritchie.  

The bands will convene in the afternoon to practice and then again after dinner for the community concert. All members of the public are invited to attend. The concert will take place from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. There is no admission fee, but donations will be collected. All funds raised will go to the asylum seekers housed at Dev Centre and to the House of Lazarus in Mountain.  

“We are very excited for this event. It will be the first of this kind of many of the students and, from what we’ve heard from the students, they are just as excited to have this opportunity,” explained Leslie. “And we are so fortunate to have a number of community groups and businesses supporting us in making this event happen.”

Details of the concert are as follows:

Wednesday, May 1, 2024

6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Dev Hotel and Conference Centre

1950 Montreal Rd, Cornwall

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