There are a number of chances for our young musicians to showcase their talent throughout the year. In addition to school-held concerts, students can participate in both large and small-scale events, locally, provincially, and beyond. These diverse stages provide our young musicians with the opportunity to grow their talent in challenging and rewarding environments.
At St. George’s, students are given the opportunity to perform both in school concerts and at festival. During the second term, each ensemble participates in a regional festival and is awarded a rating based on their performance. In the past, groups have also performed at national and international level festivals and have returned with 'Gold' awards and 'Superior' ratings.
Here are some recordings from the Senior Concert Band’s performance at Bandfest in Victoria, BC:
Each spring, Senior School students are encouraged to audition for the British Columbia Honour Band and the National Youth Band. Successful applicants have the opportunity to work with other talented young musicians from across the province and the country while performing a challenging repertoire with outstanding conductors.
Tours are a unique experience where students are able to travel as a group and perform in a once in a lifetime adventure. Performing as part of a travelling ensemble gives students a glimpse into the lives of professional musicians, and touring abroad allows students to gain first-hand experience of the historical roots of some of the music they are learning.
All Grade 10, 11, and 12 Concert Band students have the opportunity to tour each year. We have a three-year cycle in which we alternate between travelling within Western Canada, the Northern United States, and longer trips to Europe. In the past, we have performed in places such as Paris, Salzburg, Prague, and Venice.
Reflecting on the most recent 16–day European Tour, Dr. Markel wrote the following:
"The ensemble performed four concerts, worked with a guest conductor from Jeunesses Musicales in Weikersheim, Germany; attended performances by the Prague Symphony Orchestra and the Hungarian National Ballet Company; toured cities, castles, and cathedrals throughout central Europe; visited a Concentration Camp Memorial in Austria; enjoyed the relaxation of thermal baths in Budapest; and immersed themselves in the culture of Europe. While the prospect of touring Europe with 80 teenage boys certainly brings challenges, it is wonderful to see how this experience impacts each boy. It is a truly valuable and unique experience to be able to travel with one’s classmates and colleagues—to connect outside of the classroom is priceless."