Community band up and running in Ladysmith

Grade 5, 6 and 7 students in Ladysmith are getting a chance to learn new instruments in a weekly concert band class.

Cameron Wigmore (centre) is offering a community band program for Grade 5

For the past month, young students in Ladysmith have been meeting once a week to learn to play the trumpet, saxophone, clarinet and flute.

Cameron Wigmore, a tenor saxophonist who works as an educational services consultant with Tom Lee Music, recently began offering a community band program for Ladysmith-area students in Grade 5, 6 and 7.

The nine-month program, which began Oct. 1, brings students together once a week for a one-hour instrumental concert band class.

Through his work with Tom Lee Music, Wigmore met Rod Alsop, the band teacher at Ladysmith Secondary School (LSS), who informed him about the need for an elementary school concert band program in Ladysmith, he explained.

“There’s a need,” he said. “I think it’s important for kids to have that opportunity. I had that opportunity. If elementary school programs disappear, secondary band programs will disappear.”

Through the community band program, Wigmore hopes to pass on a love for music, the ability to play an instrument and the experiences that come with being part of a band.

“I want them to come away from this with the skill of being able to play an instrument and the social aspect of a band class where you work as a group throughout the year — that is unique from other classes where you may have labs, but this is unique, as a whole group comes together to play a song; the social aspect is a huge part of it,” he said. “Hopefully they’ll see it’s really rewarding at that young age and want to come back, and hopefully we’ll have 20-plus kids.”

So far, Wigmore has brought in clinicians who are experts on each instrument to work one-on-one with each student.

Currently, the students have five notes on their radar.

“You can make a song with five notes, you can make some harmony, so we’re working on that” said Wigmore. “We’re just starting to get going with the basics of reading music and playing our instrument.”

Wigmore believes Grades 5, 6 and 7 are a great time to learn an instrument.

“That age group is fantastic for teaching something new where they are starting from scratch,” he said. “By Grade 8, it’s difficult to teach a teen or young adult to start something new because it’s going to be difficult. If it’s fun and there’s a big program and a good teacher, that can happen, but that doesn’t exist without an elementary program, and that’s the Catch 22. Kids have a better time being a beginner and learning an instrument. Then they can jump into a secondary program and participate in band trips, which are really fun.”

Wigmore says there has been a lot of interest, and he currently has a small wind ensemble with 11 students from École Davis Road Elementary and Ladysmith Intermediate School.

Although the community band program has already been running for about a month, Wigmore says students can still join up to the middle of this month. After November, it gets difficult to join because the students have already been playing for a while and will be moving forward.

Classes are held Mondays from 3:30-4:30 p.m. in the LSS band room.

The fee for the program is $300 for the school year and works out to $10 per one-hour concert band class, and the fee qualifies for the Canadian Children’s Arts Tax Credit and is totally refundable within 30 days of payment, according to Wigmore.

Wigmore plans to run the program again next year and says the price will probably be the same as this year.

For more information, contact Wigmore at 250-739-2522 or camsax@gmail.com.

Just Posted

Caps fall to Clippers in Nanaimo on Friday night

Clippers’ tying and winning goals come in less than a minute

Cowichan school district approves women’s winter shelter

The Cowichan Valley School District’s board of education has approved in principle… Continue reading

North Cowichan is Canada’s hot spot on Wednesday

The Warmland lives up to its name

Ladysmith Secondary School improv still groovy after 20 years

Catch performances Nov. 15th, 16th, 17th and 22nd, 23rd and 24th

New Coast Guard radar boosts marine traffic monitoring off B.C. coast

Six radar installations set up for Georgia Strait to Queen Charlotte Strait to Prince Rupert

Saving salmon: B.C. business man believes hatcheries can help bring back the fish

Tony Allard worked with a central coast First Nation to enhance salmon stocks

Vancouver Island remembers

Important stories shared as Islanders salute those who made the greatest sacrifice

High-end B.C. house prices dropping, but no relief at lower levels

But experts say home ownership remains out of reach for many for middle- and lower-income families

Worker killed in collision at B.C. coal mine

Vehicle collision occurred at approximately 10:45 a.m. this morning

B.C. asking for tips on ‘dirty money’ in horse racing, real estate, luxury cars

Action follows a Peter German report on money laundering in B.C. casinos

Canadian dead more than a week after plane crash in Guyana: Global Affairs

Global Affairs said it couldn’t provide further details on the identity of the Canadian citizen

Children between 6 and 9 eligible for $1,200 RESP grant from province

BC Ministry of Education is reminding residents to apply before the deadline

Victoria spent $30,000 to remove John A. Macdonald statue

Contentious decision sparked controversy, apology from mayor

Privacy concerns over credit card use for legal online pot purchases

Worries follow privacy breaches at some Canadian cannabis retailers

Most Read