Band & Jazz Band Page
The Highwood High School Band Program has been recognized at local, provincial and national festivals for its excellence. This tradition of success is the result of hard working students and teachers, rich musical experiences, and numerous performance activities throughout the course of the school year.
Students have the opportunity to perform with the following performing ensembles, in classes or rehearsals inside and outside of the school schedule:
Grade 9 Band - this class occurs every other day all year, in the timetable. Regularly scheduled rehearsals and performances with other grades are advertised at the beginning of each school year, with much advance notice. Concerts, festivals, guest conductor workshops and the annual Gr. 9 trip to Edmonton in March are highlights for members of this ensemble. Membership in this ensemble is determined by student success at the Grade 8 level, or in special cases after consultation with the band director team.
Instrumental Music 10/20/30 - these classes occur every other day all year, in the timetable. Instrumental music covers the study of concert band and classical music, and the development of techniques of approved concert band instruments. These courses are required for all students wishing to perform in concerts, festivals and trips at the senior high school level.
Senior Symphonic Band - this ensemble is the performing ensemble for all 10/20/30 Instrumental Music members. Rehearsal is regularly scheduled for Wednesday evenings 3:30-5:30pm. Extra credit is offered to all 10/20/30 students who commit to this regular rehearsal. Performance opportunities in this ensemble for exemplary Grade 9 students may be available.
Grade 9 Jazz - this ensemble is available for any band member who wishes to pursue the study of jazz: forms, history, style and improvisation are important elements to be developed. Interested students will choose to study an instrument from one of the following groups, and while previous experience is an asset, it is not expected:
Drum set, Piano, Guitar, or Bass Guitar
Highwood Jazz Orchestra I & II - these ensembles may require an audition (numbers depending). Previous experience with the Gr. 9 Jazz Band is considered to be an asset to interested students. Regular rehearsals run before school, typically Tuesday & Thursday mornings 7-8:30am. Please contact the Highwood Band staff if you have questions about these ensembles or have interest in participating.
Mr. Stearn has been the band director for the award winning programs at Highwood High School (High River, AB), Okotoks Junior High School (Okotoks, AB), and Stelly’s Secondary School (Saanichton,BC). Mr. Stearn is a graduate of the University of Victoria School of Music, and is an active freelance musician, having performed on both bassoon and contrabassoon with the Victoria Symphony, Vancouver Symphony and the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestras. Mr. Stearn has two growing children, and enjoys undertaking home renovation and building projects in his spare time.
Mr. Wiest is a music educator and multi-instrumentalist originally from Regina, Saskatchewan. He graduated from the University of Regina in 2013 with great distinction and taught junior high band with Regina Public Schools before relocating to Calgary to direct the senior high music program at Webber Academy. In 2019, Mr. Wiest was awarded the Keith Mann Young Band Director’s Award by the Alberta Band Association. Mr. Wiest currently directs the High River Regional Band Program, and regularly performs with both jazz and classical ensembles in Calgary.