The Didsbury High School band has been invited to nationals in Niagara Falls. It has been a busy year for the Didsbury band as they have just gotten back from the Maritimes on a performance tour which included Acadia University.

Kirk Wassmer, Band Director for Didsbury High School talked about how even though they missed an important event due to timing, things still worked out.

"There's a wonderful festival that happens in Halifax called the Atlantic Festival of Music. It actually just wrapped up last week, but we were too early to participate in that festival. One of our adjudicators that had listened to us at Acadia asked that even though we weren't a part of the festival, we still want it to be adjudicated by the same standard."

Wassmer thought it was a great idea since they were there anyways.

"Result of that, the band received a gold rating from the adjudicators and because this festival is one that recommends to the national festival, we also received an invitation to Music Fest."

Sadly Music Fest is taking place in a couple of weeks in Niagara Falls, since the band already made a trip out East they are unable to attend.

"It's just not practical to come back from one big trip and prepare for another."

Luckily though, with this event, they are able to defer to next year so Wassmer is hopeful they are able to attend nationals next year in Toronto.

Wassmer is so proud of how far his students have come.

"The way they performed out there, they played great, but I realized kind of after the fact that this is our first time travelling since before the pandemic and our first time getting out."

According to Wassmer, he and his band were fortunate enough to keep playing during the pandemic, unlike many other high school bands.

Wassmer has two bands, a senior band and a grade nine band. The senior band has 83 kids, two concert bands and three Jazz bands. With that being said Didsbury High School has a school population of around 270 kids, so a large population is a part of the band program.

Being the Band Director for 22 years, Wassmer is looking forward to next year in hopes of making it down to Toronto.

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