The Salisbury Composite High band will perform at the event on Saturday, April 13.

Roughly 50 Grade 10 – 12 students make up the Salisbury Composite High band that has qualified to take part in the Canadian Rocky Mountain Festival, in Banff. The event is an international competition, which includes bands from Western Canada and the United States.

“It’s an honour to be going to such a big festival alongside so many talented bands,” said Grade 11 band member, Sarah Giesbrecht. “The festival is a huge deal to us. It’s encouraged us to get better and grow, and will continue to motivate us to improve our skills.”

The band submitted their audition last June to qualify for the festival. When school began in September the band was practicing daily and in smaller groups when they had free time.

“I love our band because it feels like a family. Everyone is supportive of one another and our teacher pushes us to be the best we can be,” added Giesbrecht. “What sets us apart from other bands is that we have all three grade levels playing together, and we have the opportunity to build lasting friendships that grow every year we play together.”

They will spend four days in Banff, from April 11 – 14, spending their time practicing and watching other performances. The band will perform on April 13 in front of the panel of internationally acclaimed judges and audience.

The next day they will take part in a clinic, where the judges will provide performance feedback and lead the band through a practice to offer tips and tricks to improve their technique.

“We have a long history of great bands coming out of Sherwood Park,” said band teacher, Rob Graves. “Our students have been working hard and have made amazing progress as musicians. To have the chance to play in an international competition is a big deal for us—it’s a dream come true.”

The Canadian Rocky Mountain Festival is known as a launching ground for concert bands and a great performance this weekend could lead to an invitation to compete in the national competition next season.