The Band Program at Western is among the finest of its kind in Canada. We are proud to say that annually we have over 350 students who perform as proud members of the Western Canada High School Band Program, making us the largest program in the city of Calgary. We have three preforming concert bands. The Grade 10 Concert Band, the Grade 11 Symphonic Band and the Grade 12 Wind Ensemble. Each ensemble is a featured performance ensemble open to students with previous experience in instrumental music. The Band Program courses exist as co-curricular to complement our outstanding academic and co-curricular programs. Students enrolled in the Band Program receive 5 credits for the full year courses that operate in the AM scheduled block twice a week. The operation of these courses in the AM block allows our outstanding student population the opportunity to take these courses without running into any conflicts within their day block schedule.
Throughout the year, the Band program participates in local festivals, workshops, partners with outstanding music organizations like the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, and most importantly builds a community at Western that is rich in student development and culture. Students partake in fall band camps and participate in an annual spring Band Tour to a variety of National and International destinations. Twice a year, we perform to a packed house at the world class Jack Singer Concert Hall for our Winter Band Concert in December and Year End Band Concert in June.
The Band Program at Western offers the following incredible ensembles: Grade 10 Concert Band, Grade 11 Symphonic Band, Grade 12 Wind Ensemble, Junior Jazz Band, Senior Jazz Band and two Jazz Combo’s. Additionally, we are also pleased to offer a Chamber Ensemble Program as supplement to the large instrumental performing ensembles. The Chamber Ensemble Program includes the following: String Ensemble, Brass Ensemble, French Horn Ensemble, Flute Ensemble, Clarinet Ensemble, Saxophone Ensemble, and Percussion Ensemble.
Band Leadership ExecutiveStudent leadership is key component of the Band Program at Western. Yearly, grade 11 and 12 students have the opportunity to apply to take up a role as a senior leader in the Band Program by applying to the Band Leadership Executive. The work of the Band Executive centres on creating a sense of community amongst the Band Students in the program at Western. As a leadership group, they aim to maintain and build upon the culture of musical excellence that exists within the Band Program. Through a variety of initiatives and committee work, they engage the student community to increase the quality of musical and social experiences available to each and every individual in the program. They strive to embody the values of excellence, class, professionalism, citizenship and heart that have become core values to the Band Program. As leaders, they take great pride in knowing that the work they do makes a significant impact on the culture and community of the Band Program at Western.
Instrumental Jazz ProgramThe Jazz program at Western includes options for grade 10,11 and 12 students in both instrumental and vocal performance. Junior Jazz Band, Senior Jazz Band and Jazz Singers rehearse in the PM block after school twice a week. They also perform within the school, in the community, at festivals and on trips. Students choosing to take Jazz must also be enrolled in a large performing band or choir.
Choral ProgramWith 100 singers in the choir program, there’s a choir for everyone at Western! No experience is required to be a part of the outstanding choirs in the choral program. There are three choirs within the program, The Festival Chorus, for treble singers new to the choral program at Western, The Concert Choir, for all baritone singers and treble singers who have advanced from the Festival Chorus, and the Jazz Singers, an auditioned ensemble dedicated to the development of the jazz idiom.
Singers in the choral program have multiple opportunities to work with internationally acclaimed clinicians throughout the year, helping to develop their skills in vocal technique, performing, and sight-reading. In the fall they attend camp in Chestermere, Alberta or participate in extended workshops at the school. All choirs participate in Choir Alberta’s Choralfest, providing them with an opportunity to hear choirs from around the province and to work with guest clinicians. The Concert Choir and Jazz Singers travel on a multi-day tour each spring, furthering their performance experience. In addition, our choral and band programs join for the Winter and Year-End Concerts at the Jack Singer Concert Hall, one of the most beautiful and acoustically acclaimed venues in North America.
All students in the choral program are enrolled in a full year course that meets twice a week in the AM Block, before the start of regular classes.