Concert band grows tuneful

NVSS concert band students are working on their chops and polishing their instruments in preparation for their trip to Edmonton in March.

NVSS concert band students are working on their chops and polishing their instruments in preparation for their trip to Edmonton in March.

The  Nechako Valley Secondary students are pretty stoked about it, to hear them talk.

“I’m excited,” Grade 7 student, Fenna said.

She just started playing in the band this year, but she is really into the music program.

“It’s good,” she said with cheerful tones, “I’m learning how to play an instrument.”

Musician, Lisa is looking forward to the trip. She said lots of them play music outside school for fun.

“Most of us play another instrument; I play the violin and piano as well,” Lisa noted.

The school’s band teacher said she thinks the band program has a happy thing for students, and giving them a positive focus coming to school.

“The students are doing really well … many turn to music for fun and and so I feel lucky for that,” said NVSS band teacher Jody Pereira.

This is Pereira’s second year teaching band here, and she likes how things are coming along.

“They have even been meeting after school for extra rehearsals,” the concert band leader said.

She reflects how important music programs are in schools, in that not everyone excels at the same things, and not everyone is keen on sports.

“But there’s a lot of students who have artistic talents and this is one place for them to come and enjoy what they can do,” Pereira noted.

The trip to Edmonton is a first for this band, comprised of Grade 7 and 8 students.

“We’re also going to a festival in Prince George in April,” Pereira added.

The school’s band program is coming along, though it is still being rebuilt after it had been on hiatus for a few semesters.

But since Pereira arrived, things are starting up again. They have 25 students who attend one block of music classes in the school per week.

“We will likely have 35 students next year,” Pereira said, noting it can be hard to predict, as not everyone coming from the elementary schools will join band.

“If you didn’t take band in elementary school, you’re not that likely to pick it for an elective,” she explained.

Enthusiasm for the program is growing, however and Pereira can see this in the way students keep heading over to the arts wing.

“We have a lovely facility,” she said with enthusiasm.

The NVSS band room is a two-year-old addition to the school, that features acoustic designs, practice rooms and instrument storage.

“(Music students) like to come and spend time in the band room, playing music together and socializing,” Pereira said.

She explained that the band is raising money for their tours and for music equipment.

“(Wednesday) February 29 we’re playing at the Pink T-shirt Day coffee house 7-9, and that will be a fun time,” Pereira noted.

Pink Unplugged will take place in the NVSS small auditorium, where along with the school’s band’s performance, an eclectic mix of performers will take the stage to share and enjoy music. Admission is by donation.

The NVSS concert band also has a Facebook page where students and fans can keep up on the band’s events and hear their stories.