G.P. Vanier strikes up the band for its 15th annual fundraiser event

Vanier band teacher, Brock Whalen, conducting his students at the “Strike up the Band” performance and dinner evening on March 17.

Tom Henihan
Express Staff

Georges P Vanier’s 15th annual Strike up the Band dinner, performance and silent auction took place on Saturday March 17.

Eighty-five of the school’s 107 band students performed at the event, while also wearing a different hat waiting and bussing tables to ensure that the over 180 people who attended the evening were well looked after.

Band teacher Brock Whalen welcomed everyone and thanked them for their support.

Mr. Whalen is completing his first year as Band Teacher having taken over the role from Pam Heckbert who was appointed G.P. Vanier Principal last year.

“I am enjoying my time here a lot, it’s been a definite learning experience,” says Whalen. “And I am really enjoying the kids and the support we have here.”

The level of proficiency of a school bands is designated in five levels with Vanier band students certainly on par with other school bands.

Vanier Grade 7 band is at a level 3, Grade 8 and 9 are at level 2, and senior band is level 3.

Level 4 is between advanced high school to university and 5 is university level.

“So we are exactly with everyone else in this region,” says Whalen.

“We were at the Peace River Festival on March 14 our grade 7 band got honors and our senior band got distinction. We have our Grande Prairie Music Festival on April 16 and 17, which is a provincial wide festival and all our bands will be performing there and will play most of the sections that they play here tonight.”

Grade 7, Gade 8 and 9 and senior band performed during the evening playing an eclectic repertoire of pieces such as “Canto,” “Power of Love,” “Whale Warrior,” – Lady Gaga mix – The Blues Brothers “Peter Gunn Theme” and a piece entitled “Chasing the sunlight.”

The roast beef supper, refreshments and dessert were excellent and the students did a wonderful job of catering the event.

Following the draws, silent auction and fifty-fifty the Senior Band played the final piece of what was an extremely enjoyable event.

Guests enjoy dinner and the perfromances at Vanier’s “Strike up the Band.”


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