The Nova Scotia Junior Wind Ensemble consists of students in grades seven through ten who have been selected through auditions to form a province-wide Honour Band. This group meets twice a year at a host school for an intensive weekend of music learning. A typical weekend begins on a Friday night with rehearsal. On Saturday students participate in more rehearsal, sectionals and a social activity. Sunday provides time for finishing touches and a concert to showcase all of their hard work. This is often in combination with the host school and/or a local group. Band members are generally billeted with a student from the host school for accommodations and meals, providing players with wonderful opportunities to network with other musicians from across the province. Parents of NSJWE musicians are expected to transport musicians to and from the weekends.
The NSJWE is supported completely by the registration each student pays. We ask that new members buy a NSJWE sweatshirt, which costs an additional $25 and is worn over a white collared shirt for the concerts. We try to keep costs as low as possible. The NSJWE Executive all volunteer their time, and students have the option of billeting with host families.
A new conductor is chosen each year. Past conductors have included Diane Clarke, Maggie Helms, Nathan Beeler, Christine Blanchard, Richard Bennett, Rowan Fitzgerald, Laura Mercer, Ardith Haley, Paul Barrett, Barb Stetter and Jamie Mark. The ensemble keeps the same conductor for both weekends.
Each student must audition every year they wish to participate. Auditions are held within the month of May and the weekends usually take place in November and March each year. Students seeking acceptance into this group must make a commitment to attend both weekends.
I just wanted to write a little something to students considering auditioning for NSJWE or parents with students that have a thirst for just a little something more.
NSJWE is not just another Band program, it’s not like your typical school band or band camp. Don’t get me wrong…my son loves those bands too but this is a place where like minded kids with similar interests can come and make beautiful music together. It’s a chance to forge new friendships and make memories to last a lifetime.
My son is in his third year with NSJWE and each weekend is something he looks forward to with great anticipation. He loves everything about these weekends, from travelling to the different communities, the friends he’s made, meeting and staying with all the wonderful host families, the fun activities during social time, the music and performing, as well as the amazing Conductors and Clinicians he has met along the way and of course the many people who put it all together.
We’ve had a truly fantastic experience with NSJWE and would highly recommend auditioning for this organization if your son or daughter is looking to take it to a new level.
– Lillian- A 3 year NSJWE parent