Spring String Season

Friday, May 03, 2019 - By: Sarah R, Mackenzie ‘20

As we hurtle towards the end of the year, everyone at Brentwood is busy. AP exams are looming, provincial sport championship qualification is underway, and for music students, there are no exceptions. April saw us in the midst of music festival season, and the Brentwood String Ensemble participated in our final festival of the year last Friday, just as the school was swept headfirst into the chaos and fun of Regatta weekend! 

Earlier in the season, at the Vancouver Island Band and Orchestra Festival in Port Alberni, the ensemble earned an excellent rating, which qualified us for the national MusicFest Canada next year in Calgary. Although we had limited time to apply adjudicator feedback between that festival and this, we aimed to improve upon areas of weakness, and generally play with more confidence and a balanced tone across the ensemble. 

The Greater Victoria Performing Arts Festival is a renowned music event where various groups perform, and then receive a workshop from a talented adjudicator. On Friday, the String Ensemble departed from Brentwood in the morning, and arrived at Claremont Secondary School just in time to warm up, tune, and head to the stage for our performance. As expected, the unfamiliar acoustics of the building took some adjusting to, but we adapted quickly. 

Our three song set began with a classical concerto by Vivaldi, followed by a unique interpretation of “Amazing Grace”. After the slower piece, we finished with a Middle-Eastern inspired work titled “Arabian Dreams”. After receiving a brief adjudication from a professor of music at the University of Victoria, we returned to Brentwood to focus our energy and attention on Regatta.  

Strings captain Maria R, Mack ‘19, remarked that “The string ensemble festival season has been very successful. Our performance at the Greater Victoria Performing Arts Festival was especially great because we all worked together and played with confidence.” The Ensemble will be performing next at the annual Concert for a Summer’s Eve, on June 6th and 7th. 

Thank you to director and conductor Mr Clausen for his hard work in preparing the Strings Ensemble for a successful festival season! 

Sarah R, Mackenzie ‘20 

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