../Morning Post
Posted September 27 , 2010

More than 125 high school band students to attend Laurier workshop

WATERLOO – More than 125 band students selected from southwestern Ontario high schools will attend Wilfrid Laurier University Sept. 28 - 29 to take part in the Central Ontario Band Workshop. This year’s workshop will be led by Laurier assistant professor Jessica Kun, conductor and artistic director of the Richmond Hill Philharmonic Orchestra.

During the two-day workshop, students will attend master classes led by Laurier’s wind and percussion faculty and students from Laurier’s Faculty of Music as well as workshops hosted by high school music teachers from the surrounding areas.

“Ensemble music making creates an instant community,” said Lee Willingham, associate professor in Laurier’s Faculty of Music. “These select students from many different high school music programs get a sense of their personal artistic potential through this annual event. The collective result is always a treat. Enthusiasm. Passion. Commitment. Exciting music making! We guarantee it!”

In addition to the classes, students will also participate in intensive ensemble rehearsals under Kun’s direction as they prepare for a public performance at the end of the workshop. Kun has conducted string and full orchestras, symphonic and jazz bands, chamber ensembles, contemporary music ensembles and opera. She has written articles for Canadian Music Education journals and curriculum documents for the Ontario Ministry of Education. Her current research includes the development of an interactive mediated system for conducting and conducting pedagogy using motion capture technology.

According to organizers, the Central Ontario Band Workshop is important because it not only inspires young musicians, but it also brings the musical community from the Waterloo region together. Students gain from the workshop experience, and by bringing new rehearsal techniques learned at the workshop back to their high school music classes.

The public performance takes place Wednesday, Sept. 29, at 7 p.m. in Laurier’s Theatre Auditorium. The concert is free and open to the public.

The Central Ontario Band Workshop began in 1980. Laurier Continuing Studies and the Laurier Faculty of Music host the event. Participating district school boards include: Waterloo Region, Waterloo Catholic, Upper Grand, Avon-Maitland, Huron-Perth Catholic and Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic.

For more information, please visit www.wlu.ca/page.php?grp_id=160&p=16817.

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