Huntley Grade 4,5,6 band an early introduction to music collaboration

By Jake Davies - West Carleton Online

CARP – Music education starts early for student at Huntley Centennial Public School.

Thanks to Christine Heath, Huntley is one of the very rare schools that has a Grade 4, 5 and 6 band. Most elementary schools, if they have a music program, don’t accept students in it until Grade 7. At Huntley, the program is extracurricular and Heath, who works in the school office, volunteers her time to lead and teach the band.

“They are very keen,” Heath told West Carleton Online moments before the year-end concert was set to begin on June 7.

There are about 60 kids in the band from the ages of nine to 11. The majority of band members rent their musical equipment during the year.

“It makes it easier for the parents,” Heath said.

The program starts in October and continues for the remainder of the school year. The band plays three concerts throughout the year including the Christmas concert, May Arts Festival and the June year end band concert.

As the gym loudly fills with the concert audience, it’s not just parents filling the seats.

“The bus drivers see the kids lugging these instruments to school every day, all year, so even they are here to watch,” Heath said.

The concert was a performance of 18 short songs including Mozart Melody, Bingo, Au Claire de La Lune, London Bridge and Wheels on the Bus performed with the Kindergarten class.

With such a devoted fan base, Heath says the night before was a long one.

“I didn’t sleep last night, I get so nervous,” Heath confided. “I get more nervous leading this band than I do playing in the band I perform with.”

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