Students from across Vancouver Island will gather for the annual Band and Choir Festival. Photo submitted

Music students showcase skills at local festival

Musically talented students from across Vancouver Island will gather in the Comox Valley for three days for the 26th annual Band and Choir Festival.

Hosted by School District 71 Fine Arts, the choral and instrumental skills of music students will be showcased in two local venues – the Comox Pentecostal Church, Nov. 20, and the Sid Williams Theatre, Nov. 21 and 22.

The goal of the Comox Valley Concert Band and Choir Festival is to provide students and music educators with a supportive and educational experience in a non-competitive setting under the evaluation of some of Canada’s leading musical adjudicators.

Three adjudicators will participate in the festival to deliver quality coaching and mentorship. Carrie Tennant, artistic director and founder of the Vancouver Youth Choir, will adjudicate the Concert Choir on Monday while the Concert Band portion of the festival will be adjudicated by Michael Brandon and Dr. Wendy McCallum, president of the Canadian Band Association, on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Jennifer Riley, SD71 Fine Arts lead teacher and festival organizer for the past eight years has witnessed the transformation and growth that students experience when performing in front of peers in an encouraging environment.

Among schools performing this year are local high schools G.P. Vanier, Mark R. Isfeld and Highland, as well as Gaglardi Academy.

School District 71 encourages the community to support the arts – our school choirs and bands -and come watch these musically-inclined students in action. Doors are open to the public at both venues, free of charge and spectators are welcome to come and go throughout the day during performances and adjudication. Donations are welcome and encouraged.

Full concert details and a performance schedule is available on the SD71 website at sd71.bc.ca/Programs/finearts.

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