Beaconsfield High School Bands tour LBPSB Elementary Schools
by Helena Tsitouras
As a long-standing tradition, Beaconsfield High School’s Senior Concert Band and Senior Jazz Band toured Elementary Schools in their community to spread the joy of music and encourage future high school students to pursue music.
Under the guidance of music teachers, Philippe Legault and Valérie Lepage, BHS Music went on the road to visit a total of nine elementary schools over the course of three days in October. The two senior bands performed audiences from grades 4-5-6 with the addition of younger students in a few of the schools. The bands travel as far as Ile Perot and as close as nearby Beaconsfield schools.
This year’s elementary school tour marks the 13th year of this beloved BHS music tradition. Teacher Phil commented, “Our students always look forward to the tour and the elementary students and staff always look forward to our visit.” Both the Senior Concert Band and Senior Jazz band are extracurricular bands consisting of dedicated students from grades 10 and 11.
While having the opportunity to showcase their talents, these concerts are also intended to encourage future BHS students to take part in their impressive music program. Music is offered as an option course to students in grades 7-11, with 300 participating students this year.
Majority of grade 7 students entering BHS do not have experience with band instruments, explained teachers Val and Phil. While in grade 7, they are introduced to all instruments available to them before deciding which they would like to learn to play. Each class is treated as its own band and within 4-5 weeks, the students take part in their first auditorium concert.
Many of the students decide to continue within the music program until graduating. During their time there, they have many fun experiences offered to them including extracurricular bands, concerts, fieldtrips and travelling to places such as Ottawa, New York, Boston, and Virginia to perform in festivals.
“The tour is one of our favourite activities with the students and it really kicks off our year.” Explained teachers Philippe and Valérie, “We love seeing our students shine and inspire younger students.” A bonus to these three days is when the senior band students have the opportunity to revisit their own elementary schools and reconnect with their past teachers.
“We think one of the greatest highlights from our tour is how students work as a team.” Philippe and Valérie explained, “They help each other and all work towards the same goal. Overall, through our sharing of music and work involved, the students and staff truly bond, further reinforcing the values that we try to instill by working as a team and family through the experience.”