Band students from across province fuse their sounds into one concert

Darlene Shea
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On Jan. 26 at 2:30 p.m., Grade 9 music students from Prince, Queens, and Kings Counties will collaborate in the 25th Annual P.E.I. Intermediate Honours Band Concert at Colonel Gray High School in Charlottetown. The combined band will be performing under the direction of Colin Clarke, the music director of the Hamilton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and conductor of the Chamber orchestra at McMaster University.

The 25th Annual P.E.I. Intermediate Honours Band Concert will feature performances from Grade 9 Island band students like these M.E. Callaghan Junior High students: Joslen Gaudet, Seth Gaudet, Maddie Thibodeau, and Emma Jean Griffin. The concert will be staged at Colonel Gray High School in Charlottetown on Sunday, Jan. 26.

Approximately 100 Grade 9 music students across P.E.I. are chosen by their band directors to be a part of this event. Students come together for one weekend to rehearse and perform a challenging program of band music.

Speaking about the inspiration behind his repertoire choices, Clarke said, “I wanted a somewhat international flavour to the program, selecting music written or arranged by composers that are from, or were inspired by different world cultures. To that end, this program musically represents Celtic, Australian, Chinese, Finnish, African, Greek, Japanese and Canadian culture.

“Perhaps the most obvious to us, the “Maple Leaf Forever” is a setting of Alexander Muir’s well-known song, composed in the year of Canada’s Confederation,” added the director.

The P.E.I. Intermediate Honours Band concert will also feature the UPEI Wind Symphony, under the direction of Dr. Karem Simon. The centerpiece of their performance will be David Gillingham's “Marimba Concerto” performed by marimbist Branden Kelly, a fifth‑year UPEI music education major.

Kelly, reflecting on his own experience in Honours Band in 2007, said, “Over the course of those rehearsals, sectionals and performances I was able to create some very valuable friendships, many of which I still maintain today.

“If I had one piece of advice for these exceptional young musicians, it would be this: You are all here for a reason – because you love music, because you excel at music and because your teachers hold you in high regard. Playing in an ensemble with musicians like this who are dedicated to music is often times rare, which makes this a truly unique experience. Enjoy this experience, milk it for all it’s worth, and have fun," added Kelly.

Tickets for the concert are $5 and can be purchased at the door.

For more information, contact Peter Gallant ( or Frank Nabuurs (

Geographic location: Maple Leaf, Canada

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