GPV tour band earns top honour at Atlantic Festival of Music

GPV tour band with Dr. Hopkins. (Submitted photo)

FALL RIVER: A gold standard returned home with a local junior high school band from a music festival held at Mount Saint Vincent University in Bedford last week.

The Georges P. Vanier Junior High tour band and members of their Percussion Ensemble performed at the Atlantic Festivals of Music on April 26.

Both of those groups are extra-curricular and include students from grades 6 – 8. The students from the Fall River school were entered at the B200 level, which is about a grade 8 band level.


According to band teacher Meg Ferguson, the students performed three pieces for the judges, including Dragon’s Lair, In the Wake of Spring, and finished off with Brace for Impact which featured the percussion section. 

The adjudicators were Dr. Mark Hopkins from Acadia University and Mr. Nathan Beeler from Halifax Regional Arts (HRCE).

After performing on stage, the band had a workshop with Dr. Hopkins, who gave the band students more tips in how to improve their performances even further.


Dr. Hopkins had some great ideas and the students enjoyed working with him.

He also congratulated Charlotte Whitman, grade 7, for her excellent timpani playing in Dragon’s Lair.

Ferguson said she’s thrilled that the band students earned a Gold Standard for their performance.


After their workshop, they were able to watch other groups perform.

One of those performances knocked the socks of the students from GPV.

It was done by Cochrane High School, who came all the way from Alberta to participate.

“They were incredible,” said Ferguson.