Students will choose a wind or percussion instrument with the guidance of the teacher and are then instructed on the basic playing progressions to develop into a performing group within the first year. Priorities include: developing a full quality sound, learning proper breathing habits, proper articulation, playing in tune, listening and matching others for style and pitch, and playing with a quality musical phrase. Jazz Band is available for students who have previous band experience.


Students continue their study in their chosen instruments. More technical demands will be made with emphasis on the development of embouchure, articulation, intonation and rhythm. Technical exercises will have equal importance to performance repertoire. Jazz Band is opened to all players.


Previous experience is mandatory and independent home practice is expected to prepare all performance repertoire. More emphasis will be put on the performance requirements such as stylistic features and historical contexts of the repertoire. This course will prepare students for the demands of the Senior Band. Those who successfully complete the term IV auditions will be allowed to enter the Senior Band.

20S, 30S, 40S

Students must have successfully completed course 10S to enroll in this course. Students new to Westgate must first pass an audition before enrolling in this course. This performance based ensemble will cover a wide variety of quality wind repertoire. We will perform at church worship services, the Optimist International Band Festival and several public concerts. There is a music tour every second year. Several recorded assignments are expected each year. Preparation for rehearsals includes routine home practice and a professional rehearsal etiquette. Students must comply to continue in the course.

Junior Jazz Band (Grade 7, 8 and 9)

Students in Grade 7, 8 and 9 may join this ensemble without an audition. We will explore the basic style, articulation, phrasing, and improvisation needed for the “Big Band” ensemble. Most instruments are accepted. Rehearsals are during senior lunch, every second day.

Senior Jazz Band (Grade 10, 11 and 12)

This is an elite and demanding ensemble which includes trumpets, trombones, saxes and rhythm section, for students who are also members of the Senior Concert Band. Rehearsals take place outside of school hours two days each week. We will perform and hone the styles of: swing, latin, bebop, blues and the famous ballad. Students will learn to play at a high level, thus improving their style in all types of performance. Preparation at home is required for satisfactory results.