Holy Cross Collegiate (HCC) saw strong representation in the Alberta Band Association Provincial Honour Bands this year, as four of their students joined provincial bands through the Alberta Band Association (ABA).

Grade nine students Jasmine Hickman, Elizabeth Muller, and Brooklyn Munro all joined the ABA's Junior Honour Band, where they performed at the Red Deer Polytechnic Arts Centre on March 5.

"It felt really special because being able to go to an honour band, you get that feeling of 'wow all this hard work and help from our teachers and parents has finally paid off,' it's really awesome," Hickman said. 

Playing in the honours band also gave the musicians a chance to play harder things and learn new techniques. Muller explained she got the chance to play some more complicated rhythms, as well as play higher notes on her clarinet than she has at HCC, which requires more advanced technique. As for Munro, she plays bass clarinet and said this was the first time she got to play a piece that actually involved a bass melody. 

"It was kind of like, 'oh my goodness, people are actually looking at me now, I'm not just the background noise making it sound good.' It was really cool to play in front of such a big audience," Munro said.

HCC band girlsFrom left to right: Elizabeth Muller, Brooklyn Munro, Jasmine Hickman
Photo Courtesy Sarah Haughey

As for Boll, she's a grade 12 percussionist who joined the Alberta Wind Symphony. On top of the excitement of playing in a big group on the provincial stage, Boll also enjoys the opportunity to make new friends.

"It's a good opportunity for us to not only learn more, have more experiences, but to meet new people who have the same ideas and interests as you," Boll said.

On top of joining the Alberta Wind Symphony, Boll also received the $2500 John K. Nikel's Memorial Scholarship. Only two of these scholarships are given in the province; one in Southern Alberta and one for the north. Boll said it's an honour to be chosen and the money will be a big help to continuing her music career.  

"It'll help me towards my first year of university so I'm not in crippling student debt, only minor debt," she said. 

Mickaela BollMickaela with her John K. Nikel award.
Photo courtesy: Sarah Huaghey

As for what the future holds, Boll will soon be auditioning to join the University of Lethbridge's music program. As for Muller, Munro, and Hickman, they don't know exactly where their musical future will take them, but they all know they don't plan on stopping anytime soon.

"I've been playing instruments since I was like 5 or 6 so it's kind of like a part of me now," Muller said. 

"Music has become so important to me that I think I will probably pursue it in some form way after high school, but I think my ultimate dream would be to be a conductor for a world's biggest orchestra, something like that," Hickman added.

All four girls added that music teacher Sarah Haughey has been a huge reason why they love music so much, and all spoke of how great of a role model she's been in sharing her love of music with her students.

"A big thanks to Mrs. Haughey because none of us would be where we are without her and she's a fantastic teacher and she's been a huge role model for me and I know I will never, ever forget the impact she's had on us so far and I am excited to continue learning from her," Munro said.

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