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“Fantastic!”, “It blew me away”, “Simply spellbinding,” are a few ways the recent performances at the Conference of Independent Schools of Ontario’s 32nd annual Music Festival were described.
The Festival brings together more than 1,400 students across Ontario from 47 independent schools for a grand performance one weekend a year. The students meet to fine-tune their performance once in February, then for two final rehearsals together on Friday and Saturday with the colossal performance on Sunday.
Roy Thomson Hall sells out in minutes as parents, families and music lovers scramble to get a seat in the house.
Starting in September of the previous year with music educators meeting to put plans in motion, finalizing the repertoire and inviting conductors for the evening, the festival is a challenging and rewarding experience for both students and faculty. Trafalgar Castle School’s own Music Faculty Ms. Newman was invited to conduct the Senior Choir.
Auditions are held in November and a set number of students are invited to participate on the big day. This year 19 Trafalgar students in Grades 7 to 12 were selected to showcase their skills:
Five girls in Grades 7 to 8 Band;
Five girls in Grades 9 to 10 Band;
Three girls in Grades 11 to 12 Band;
Four girls from Grades 11 and 12 Senior Choir; and
Two girls from Grade 11 String Orchestra.
“The girls are very interested in being a part of these ensembles,” said Music Faculty Mr. Smerdon “They particularly like to connect with other students who have similar interests and with whom they can truly share the experience.”
The Festival while showcasing the top musical performances also gives students an opportunity to demonstrate their leadership skills and promotes personal growth.
“It is quite special to see the room full of students and know that they are gaining both personal growth and educational achievement through music,” adds Mr. Smerdon.
Music students at Trafalgar Castle School perform in school and community events throughout the year.
See more pictures here.
Learning at Trafalgar Castle School goes beyond the classroom, and sometimes it even takes us to the pool. The philosophy of encouraging every girl to follow her aspiration, whether it takes her to the stage, the field, the concert hall or out to communities in need, is borne out by the careful attention to finding new ways to deliver learning.
For Grades 5 and 6, swimming classes are offered as part of the regular school day. The obvious learning goal is to build a set of skills, which makes our girls able to survive in a lake-rich environment. They learn basic strokes and kicking techniques; water/boat safety; rescue techniques and basic synchronized swimming skills. “We work with the girls to increase their fitness levels in survival and rescue if they need help in a body of water,” says Faculty and Swim Coach Ms. Campbell.
Beyond the technical skills, the classes create a sense of innovation within the minds of students. By offering atypical programs as part of the curriculum, students develop a mindset that allows them to transition easily from task to task, as well as demonstrate their adaptability and flexibility. Whether it is yoga, swimming or the low ropes course, the students at Trafalgar participate in a wide range of physical education activities and experiences. “We show them that there are many ways to be active and healthy while having fun at the same time,” says Faculty Ms. Robinson.
The students love the challenges and fully embrace the team work environment, while both the faculty and parents are engaged in preparing students for life inside and outside the classroom.
Click here to see some photos.
Recognizing the need to join a larger movement, Trafalgar students recently created their own Earth Hour. The lights were turned out throughout the Castle for the second half of the day and students, faculty and staff unplugged for an hour with no computers, tablets or phones being used during the period.
Students were encouraged to enjoy the quiet time, participating in alternate activities such as reading, playing games or enjoying a lively discussion. Beyond the obvious goal of saving energy, students were reminded of the larger aim of the program, which is protecting the environment for future generations.
Students were also reminded that there are now five R’s to consider in the recycling model: Rethink, Refuse, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. One metal can recycled can power a television for two hours; a computer for three hours; and a light bulb for 20 hours.
Green initiatives at Trafalgar have been implemented with the use of reusable water bottles, refilling water stations and composting through the use of green bins. “The goal is to get to the stage where we only use refillable cups for both hot and cold drinks and enforce a total ban on plastic water bottles,” shared Ms. Robinson, Faculty who is spearheading the program. More environmental initiatives will be introduced as Trafalgar continues to strive toward a more sustainable model.
As Trafalgar gets greener, the students are busy planning activities to celebrate Earth Day on Friday, April 22.
We are a proud sponsor for this event.
Come and visit our historic castle.
Click here for more information on Doors Open Whitby.
Volunteer participation is a key role in the life of Trafalgar Castle School. A very special thanks to all our volunteers who help with governance at the Board and Committee levels, the Parents' Guild and those without whose help events and school activities would not be possible.
The school is closed today!