Three students from Kindersley, and four students from Marengo, were treated to an excellent musical experience over the weekend at the 21st annual U of S High School Select Wind Orchestra.
From Kindersley was Alexus Bellisle, Justice LaClare, and Ava Watchel, and from Marengo was Sierra Ensor, Sierra Smolinski, Alyssa Maffenbeier, and Mikayla Kiss. The musicians in attendance were nominated by music teachers across the province, invited to attend a one weekend retreat concert.
WestCentralOnline reached out to band teacher Michael Reece to share more on the amazing opportunity to begin February.
"It was an intensive weekend of challenging symphonic music with over 110 students in attendance. They participated in workshops and rehearsals over the weekend culminating in a packed concert to feature their efforts. The music was truly phenomenal driven by passion and talent. A recording will be made available in the upcoming weeks."
Reece also shared that Kindersley had a special dedication in memory of Steve Mealey at the concert.
"Back in March of 2023, Band Parent Associations and community members in our area commissioned a piece title "Middle of Somewhere" for Jazz Band featuring clarinet in memory of Steve Mealey. It has now been arranged for concert band with clarinet solo which was featured at this concert." shared Reece. "Saskatchewan and U of S composer Paul Suchan did an incredible job at capturing the spirit of Steve in this piece - even taking transcriptions from Steve's past performance and incorporating them naturally in the gospel style piece."
One of the more fun parts of the weekend came when the students were challenged.
The students also thoroughly enjoyed the challenge in a Japanese arrangement of Pirates of the Caribbean which was authentic to the movie soundtrack- including the key of 3 sharps!" said Reece, sharing that 3 sharps is something almost unheard of in our high school repertoire.
The weekend featured many other challenges that pushed students to the new levels, creating, "an experience that will be a staple in their musical journey."