It was a year to remember for the Didsbury High School band as they attended a national event called Music Fest in Toronto earlier this month.

Last year, the band was invited to attend the same event, but because of timing and the cost of travel, they could not make Music Fest. Luckily, they could defer their invite to this year and the band made the most of it.

Kirk Wassmer, Band Director for Didsbury High School explained that the 5-day trip was unbelievable as they visited all kinds of places like the CN Tower, Ripley's Aquarium, Niagra Falls and a Toronto Blue Jays game.

"The kids were fantastic ambassadors for our schooling community, as always, they played great. We also had a jazz combo from within our program that performed as part of the Nationals and both of our groups were awarded a gold standard for their performance."

75 students with 17 chaperones made the trip to Toronto. Wassmer is proud of how hard his band worked to receive the gold standards for the past several months.

"We selected some challenging repertoire that pushed us as musicians, to go and get acknowledged is special."

After Music Fest, Wassmer was awarded the Keith Mann Award for Outstanding Band Director which is a national award.

"One of my students said existing in a rural community you do get those positive strokes and that acknowledgement from parents and friends who are expected to say something like that. So to go to a national festival and perform at that level it truly means a lot."

One of the songs they performed was called 'Autumn' by a Canadian composer named Cait Nishimura. The other song was called 'Diamond Tide' by Viet Cuong.

With the school year now coming to an end, the band is practicing for their year-end concerts in June.

"Hopefully one day we will get invited back to Nationals. I know the next group of kids will enjoy just as much as our current band.

Also last year, they travelled to Acadia University to show off their skills at the Atlantic Festival of Music where they received an invite for the event they just returned home from.

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