On the cold Tuesday night of Jan. 22, the Acadia Junior High Gymnasium was packed full for the school's winter concert. Excitement was in the air. The students were so thrilled.
The night featured a blend of flute, clarinet, bass clarinet, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone, trumpet, French horn, trombone, euphonium, tuba, percussion, and bassoon.
The concert featured over 325 students who participated in band program at Acadia Junior High. The program includes a jazz ensemble, a Grade 9 concert band and a Grade 8 concert band conducted by Darryl Ferguson. The Grade 7 concert band is co-conducted by Ferguson and Jo-Anne Gibson.
The event was a blast as Ferguson and Gibson led band members in one beautiful rendition after another.
The Grade 7 Concert Band was super on Starsplitter Fanfare, which used six different notes in a very powerful, full and mature piece; Chisholm depicted images of cattlemen driving their herds up the Chisholm Trail , echoing the sounds of cowbell and whip; and Asturias gave each instrumental section an opportunity to play the melody, capturing the vibrant energy found in Spanish folk music.
The Grade 8 Band was no less dazzling on Distant Thunder of the Sacred Forest, which merged and unified several different rhythmic patterns into a melody; Three Czech Folk Songs combined three tunes into a suite; and the Arabian Dances captured the celebration of a late-night campfire festivities.
The Acadia Jazz Ensemble’s renditions of Groovin’ Hard, The Creole Love Call and Soul Sauce delighted the audience.
The Grade 9 Band’s version of Joy truly mirrored the intense emotion the composer must have experienced at the birth of his first child; Nathan Hale Trilogy captured the courage of an American patriot of the Revolutionary War era who was hanged for spying; and Creed conjured a variety of moods, from reflection to exultation.
In thanking the school principal, students and parents, Darryl Ferguson praised all stakeholders for the support the band received within the school community and beyond.
Special thanks were also extended to the band program at Fort Richmond Collegiate and its teaching staff — including Darryl’s wife Cheryl Ferguson — for their support of music education at Acadia.
Sunday Olukoju is a community correspondent for Fort Richmond. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.