North Hastings HS students achieved success on music exams

North Hastings HS students achieved success on music exams

Congratulations to students at North Hastings High School who completed Royal Conservatory of Music exams in instrumental music.

Grade 9 students McKayla Cybulski, baritone; tenor saxophone; and Rebecca Busby, flute, each completed the Grade 1 Royal Conservatory exam for their respective instruments. Grade 9 students Trinity Thrower and Sara Switzer, who play the trumpet completed the Grade 4 exam. Grade 10 student Thomas Coghlan completed his Grade 1 bassoon exam, and Grade 11 student Alexandria Mighton, flute, completed her Grade 4 exam. The exams were held in Peterborough in mid-January.

In September 2015, North Hastings High School's (NHHS) 68 instrumental music students were given an opportunity to prepare and complete Royal Conservatory of Music exams on their band instruments. This was the first time that music teacher Dianne Winmill has offered this enrichment activity to her students.

"Many of the students taking music at NHHS are looking for "more." I have the ability to serve as accompanist and coach for these exams, so I thought I would offer it to the students who were capable and interested. Seven students took me up on my offer," explained Winmill.

It was a big commitment. On their own time, the seven students practiced numerous major and minor scales, studies and solos with piano accompaniment under the guidance of Winmill and in some cases, their musical parents. In some cases, 40 to 50 additional hours of individual practice time was necessary to learn all of the material for the exams.

But what do these examinations mean for these students?

According to Winmill, "The Royal Conservatory of Music is an internationally accredited organization, so students can use the completion of these exams as material for their portfolios and resumes, no matter where they are in the world."

In addition, students in the Junior Enrichment Development Initiative (JEDI) program at NHHS can use the experience as one of their independent study projects.

"It is a win-win all around," says Winmill. "If I can give music students of North Hastings the opportunity to get involved with this internationally known, highly-respected music education organization, why wouldn't I?"

Next year's group of instrumentalists will also be offered this opportunity. Parents of interested students may contact Winmill at [email protected] for more information.

The cost of the exams was split between the students' families, the music program and an anonymous community donor.

The Royal Conservatory of Music is one of the largest and most respected music education institutions in the world, providing the definitive standard of excellence in curriculum design, assessment, performance training, teacher certification, and arts-based social programs.

Pictured here (left to right) are Royal Conservatory of Music Examiner Professor Peter Stoll, NHHS music teacher Dianne Winmill, Alexandria Mighton, McKayla Cybulski, Trinity Thrower, Thomas Coghlan, Sara Switzer, Mathiew Childs, and Rebecca Busby.

For more information, please contact:
Kerry Donnell, Communications Officer, 613-966-1170 or 1 800 267-4350, extension 2354, [email protected]