St. Bonaventure’s College is fortunate to have one of the most comprehensive instrumental music programs in all of Newfoundland and Labrador. The program provides opportunities for young instrumentalists to participate in a variety of performance ensembles including four levels of concert band (Beginning Band, Concert Band, Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble), two levels of jazz band (Junior and Senior), as well as numerous chamber music ensembles. Although most students begin their instrumental experience in Grade 4 the Beginning Band is open to any student from Grade 4 through to Grade 12, who is interested in learning to play a band instrument.

Since the school opened in 1999, the instrumental program has garnered an impressive assortment of awards from local, national and international festivals. (See Awards Section below for a detailed list). As well, the performing ensembles have played at numerous important national and international events. In April 2011, the Wind Ensemble performed at a Papal Audience in Vatican City and the Senior Chamber Choir sang at Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica.

In the spring of 2009, the music program recorded its first CD entitled “Ascend”. The recording highlighted many of the fine performing ensembles at the school, including the Wind Ensemble, Senior Jazz Band, Dixieland Combo and Treble Choir. It has been given rave reviews and was featured on CBC’s Musicraft.

The music program is one of the hallmark activities at St. Bonaventure’s College. The school community, including parents, teachers and students, fully endorse the importance of this activity to the school’s culture.

MUSIC DEPARTMENT TOURS

2015 –  Spain

2013 –  Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary (Danube Riverboat Cruise)

2011 –  Marystown and St. Lawrence

2011 –  Italy

2009 –  Anaheim, California

2007 –  Orlando, Florida

2005 –  Halifax, Nova Scotia

2003 –  Toronto and Montreal

AWARDS

KIWANIS MUSIC FESTIVAL

Since St. Bonaventure’s College opened in 1999, music ensembles from the school have won 14 Group Rose Bowls. The Wind Ensemble was the recipient of the Instrumental Group Rose Bowl in 2003, 2004, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014 and 2015. The Senior Jazz Band was awarded the Group Rose Bowl in 2011 and 2012. St. Bonaventure choirs have received the Choral Group Rose Bowl in 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2015.

CBC RADIO BAND COMPETITION

In 2004, the St. Bonaventure’s College Wind Ensemble won the CBC Radio Provincial School Band Competition for Newfoundland and Labrador. In addition to a cash prize of $3,000, the Wind Ensemble was awarded a commission of a band composition by Newfoundland composer Michael Snelgrove. The piece that was written for the Wind Ensemble by Michael Snelgrove, “The 801:Beaumont Hamel”, was aired on CBC Radio.

HERITAGE MUSIC FESTIVAL, ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA

In 2009, the St. Bonaventure’s College Treble Choir, Wind Ensemble and Senior Jazz Band traveled to Anaheim, California to participate in the largest Heritage Music Festival held in North America. The Music Department returned from this competition with 11 major awards.

Wind Ensemble

  • Gold Award
  • First Place Award
  • Most Outstanding Band Award
  • Adjudicator’s Award (presented to groups scoring higher than 92 out of 100)

Senior Jazz Band

  • Gold Award
  • First Place Award
  • Adjudicator’s Award (presented to groups scoring higher than 92 out of 100)

Treble Choir

  • Gold Award
  • First Place Award
  • Most Outstanding Choir Award
  • Adjudicator’s Award (presented to groups scoring higher than 92 out of 100)

Other Awards

  • French Horn player, Mikaela Etchegary, was awarded a Maestro Award for outstanding musicianship
  • Instrumental Sweepstakes Award (presented to the school that receives the highest combined scores of all the instrumental groups at the festival).
  • Festival Sweepstakes Award (presented to the school music department that comes closest to a perfect score of 300)
  • The Wind Ensemble and Treble were also invited to participate in the Festival of Gold, an invitational festival for all of the best groups.

ALL-AMERICAN MUSIC FESTIVAL, ORLANDO, FLORIDA

In 2007, the Wind Ensemble and Senior Jazz Band traveled to Orlando, Florida to compete in the All-American MusicFestival. The Wind Ensemble took home a first place award as well as the Most Outstanding Band Award.

ATLANTIC BAND FESTIVAL, HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA

The Junior Jazz Combo was awarded the Most Outstanding Band Award at the Atlantic Band Festival in 2005.

MUSICFEST CANADA, TORONTO, ONTARIO

In 2003, the Wind Ensemble and Senior Jazz Band performed at Musicfest Canada. Both groups were awarded gold standings.