Concert bands bring home hardware

schoolband
Westwood Sr. Senior Concert Band members won a gold medal last week after participating in the MusicFest Canada National Competition. (Photo courtesy of Westwood Sr. High School.)

Two concert bands from Westwood Sr. High School in Hudson brought home some impressive hardware last week after participating in the MusicFest Canada National Competition that was held over six days in Ottawa. The school’s Grade 9 band won a silver medal, while the Senior Concert Band, comprised of grades 10 and 11 students, won gold. Both bands competed on May 11 at Algonquin College. Steven Dubinsky, Westwood Sr’s longtime band director, praised his students for not only earning medals, but for doing so under challenging conditions. “We allow our students to change instruments if they want to at the beginning of the year, which can be rewarding but also tough,” he explained. Of the 65 competing Westwood Sr. students, a total of 35 from both bands opted to change. “They had been playing the new instruments for about 8-months but were competing at a second year level, so this is a tremendous achievement,” Dubinsky noted. He said competing at the national level gives the students an important sense of achievement. “The experience of working toward something…many (youths) haven’t experienced this level of success before and they can learn that big goals are attainable,” he explained. Westwood Sr’s two bands will perform their final concert of the year on May 26. A total of 10,000 students from across Canada participated in the annual national competition last week.

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