G.P. Vanier, year-end concert on June 16 was arranged in an intimate setting with the musicians on risers below the stage and the audience seated in a semi-circle close to the performers.
It was a perfect setting to appreciate how well the musicians work together, offering energetic, nuanced performances with the encouragement and leadership of the head of the Vanier music program, Pam Heckbert.
Heckbert acknowledged that this performance, marking the end of the 2016-7017 school years was bittersweet.
When school resumes in the fall, Pam Heckbert takes over the position of Principal of G. P. Vanier and she pointed out, with her new responsibilities she will be unable to give the students the commitment she believes they deserves, so she is passing the baton to someone else to take over the music program.
“I love these kids, I love teaching band and I love directing, but unfortunately because of my new role the kids deserve consistency and they deserve more time and energy than I will be able to give them,” Heckbert said. “So it is with a heavy heart that I give this concert but they will be getting what they deserve so I am excited about that.”
She said it was a hard decision but realized that the most difficult decisions are usually the right ones.
The performance began with Grade 7s playing two Canadian folk songs and progressed through the different grades. There was also a jazz performance featuring four soloists and the concert ended with all students in the band program performing together.
At the end of the concert, students spoke about how they will miss Pam Heckbert being part of the music program, how they enjoyed being taught by her and the fun they had when they travelled to concerts and events, especially their trip to Vancouver.