Strings in Comox

Wednesday, December 13, 2017 - By: Sarah R, Mackenzie ‘20; Photo by Jim Ganley

It is a noteworthy achievement when any ensemble comes together to perform in a music festival. Even more remarkable is when a group performs after only playing together for just over two months, as the Brentwood strings ensemble did on Wednesday, November 22nd. 

This year, the string ensemble is comprised of an exciting 15 students, ranging from grades nine to twelve. With less than two months of rehearsals, when breaks are factored in, this ensemble set out to do their best at the 26th annual Comox Valley Concert Band Festival, in, as the name suggests, Comox. 

Sacrificing their Wednesday sleep in, the members of the string ensemble boarded the bus on the crisp, cool morning, and rode approximately 2.5 hours to the destination. After unpacking instruments, straightening ties, and adjusting blazers, they headed down to the warm up room. Warm up led to the performance, where the ensemble played two pieces. One was a beautiful variation on Greensleeves called “Greensleeves Fantasy”, and the other a lively classical piece by the name “The Barber of Seville”.  

Following the pieces, the students received an hour-long workshop with one of the talented adjudicators present at the festival. With excitement, as they were the only string group she had adjudicated in all her years of doing it, she offered the students a new perspective on rhythm, meter, and expression. Watching one other  high school band brought their day at the festival to a close, and the musicians returned to the bus to head back to Brentwood. 

Attending this festival offered the entire string ensemble a chance to grow and improve as a group, as well as individuals, so thank you to Mr. Clausen for making this happen for all of us! 

Sarah R, Mackenzie ‘20 

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