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 Jamie Pettit
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From: Wednesday, March 30, 2016 8:57 AM -0400
Subject:Macphail Elementary Band Wins Big!
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The Macphail Elementary Band has won a Platinum Award at York Region’s Music Alive, which is described as one of the largest music festivals in Ontario!  This eclectic mix of approximately 50 student musicians, spanning from grades 5-8, includes strings, brass, woodwinds, percussion, as well as a few “untraditional” instruments on occasion, such as bottles, rattles and pieces of plastic tubing to be whirled in the air!  The students bring varying experience to the group but all share the joy of creating and performing a range of styles and genres of music.  Part of teacher/musician/conductor Charles Glasspool’s approach to performing is to have a student band member write an introduction to the music, and then present those words on stage.  At the Music Alive competition, one of the grade 8 students spoke about how they had used synesthesia (when someone can feel, taste and hear colour) to add layers to their music.  The student then asked the audience, “What colour do you think our music is?”  The performance of three pieces initially earned Macphail a Gold.  It was actually later at the workshop portion of the event that the honour was raised to Platinum, the highest achievement possible!  The adjudicator said that he, “…didn’t think that an elementary school band could play so stylishly and boldly.”  In his words, the Macphail Tigers were, “my favorite concert of the entire festival.”  This is high praise from a nationally renowned judge!  This stellar performance of tremendous musicianship also earned the band an invitation to this year’s national event in Ottawa, which is set to take place in May.  The next challenge for this dynamic group of students is to use the feedback from Music Alive to continue improving their unique approach to music.  Later, Mr. Glasspool reflected on the accomplishment as, “like a dream…a musical miracle really!”
 
Image of Macphail Elementary Band performing on stage