• Ben Knorr

Campbell Collegiate Music Program - A Comfortable Place for Expansion

My four years in high school pushed me past my expectations more times then I can remember.

I was an eager grade 9 student being a member of the Concert Choir, Concert Band, Jazz Band, Vocal Jazz and Musical Pit Orchestra.

Grade 10 was highlighted by the re-birth of the String Orchestra. I took up the violin seriously and played in this ensemble as a Violin III. I also composed a seasonal four movement Banjo Concerto for String Orchestra and Banjo this year. The conductor, Mr Baird, allowed this piece to be read and eventually performed at the University of Regina’s Musica Sacra event in the spring. This was the first time one of my pieces was taken seriously, and it was the first of many occasions where I felt a very strong freedom of musical expression at Campbell.

In Grade 11 I switched to cello, and continued my involvement in all the other musical groups available; sometimes helping out on bass for the younger vocal jazz groups. I arranged three of Daniel Gervais’ fiddle tunes for String orchestra, Fiddle and Guitar and co-wrote an East-Indian inspired choral piece.

My final year I arranged Trombone Shorty’s Big 12 for big band, was the featured soloist at the graduation ceremony where I played the Adagio Movement (II) from the Concierto D’Aranjuez on Classical Guitar, helped re-instate the wind ensemble, and wrote a modern choral piece titled Osculum with Latin lyrics.

All of these accomplishments would not have been possible without the help and support of the students and teachers at Campbell Collegiate. Deidre and Russ Baird are the Choral teachers; Russ also leads the string orchestra, pit orchestra, and vocal jazz groups. Scott Peters directs the concert and jazz bands. Dan Hanline taught the Jazz Bands for the first two years.

These teachers, which I now call friends, helped me grow as a musician, but also a person. I will be forever grateful for their generous hours spent looking at my work, and offering advice.

Being able to invest time with people is one of the most important qualities in an excellent teacher, and good person.

Thank you for all your help, it means a lot, and I would not be where I am without it.

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