Thomas A. Blakelock musicians won gold at Carnegie Hall

Carnegie Hall
Thomas A. Blakelock musicians won gold at Carnegie Hall
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Janet Bedford

Janet Bedford is a broker with Royal LePage in downtown Oakville, with 20 years of real estate experience. Along with helping her clients find the perfect home or sell their home, she is often found photographing the many events that take place in Oakville. She has written extensively for various publications.

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Carnegie Hall, New York City welcomed the Thomas A. Blakelock High School Wind Ensemble directed by Mr. Brian Vincent performed in the Baldwin Wallace Conservatory Invitational Band Competition. The organizers held this event in the Isaac Stern Auditorium Stage at Carnegie Hall on February 16, 2019.

Imagine the thrill that this talented group of young musicians experienced as they performed with perfection on this coveted stage.

Carnegie Hall

Photo Credit: Janet Bedford

Once asked, “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” a very astute taxi driver replied, “Practice, Practice, Practice!”

Mr. Brian Vincent did just that. This dedicated group of high school students rose to his challenge; practiced, practiced, practiced – and, together, came home with a gold medal for their efforts, combined with the opportunity to play, compete, and win, at Carnegie Hall!

Carnegie Hall

Photo Credit: Janet Bedford

It is an experience none of the students will forget; nor will it be for the group of us who cheered them on!

Their challenging repertoire included three pieces:

  1. Florentiner March by Julius Fucik (ed. Frederick Fennell),
  2. Lux Aurumque by composer Eric Whitacre
  3. Hounds of Spring by Alfred Reed

The students performed each piece to perfection. They deserved the gold medal tribute.

Over many years, Thomas A. Blakelock bands played, competed and won. The music program at the school with Brian Vincent as their “Music Education Advisor for Bandology” is known for the finest of music programs. It attracts talented and dedicated students.

Also, Mrs. Abbey deserves her place in the training of the Blakelock bands. She and Mr. Vincent are unbeatable, and loved by all!

Prior Post: Wind ensemble from T.A. Blakelock High School to play at Carnegie Hall

Music has always been a very important part of Mr. Vincent’s life, according to the write-up provided by the internet. It began when he was a youngster in Grade 4.

Mr. Vincent studied music at Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Toronto (Bachelor of Music in Performance Degree, Honours Standing). He completed his Teaching Certification with the Professional Development Program at Simon Fraser University.

Carnegie Hall

Photo Credit: Janet Bedford

As a musician, Brian has experience with:

  1. Kitchener-Waterloo Youth Symphony Orchestra
  2. Wilfred Laurier University Symphony
  3. Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra
  4. Hamilton’s National Academy Orchestra

He conducted:

  1. Halton Youth Symphony Orchestra
  2. High Rendition Jazz
  3. Halton Junior Jazz Honour Band
  4. Senior Winds Honour Band

Brian became a music teacher in 2003. After a few years as an elementary school music teacher, Mr. Vincent became head music teacher at a public high school in southwest Oakville, Ontario. He guided both schools to multiple awards at the provincial and national levels.

Sadly (for us – his fans, parents and students,) Mr. Brian Vincent expands his talents in Ethiopia. We wish him all the best and say “Thank you” to Mr. Vincent, Mrs. Abbey, the students who take part in the Thomas A. Blakelock High School Wind Ensemble, and the many parents and supporters who made the experience in New York and the opportunity to perform at Carnegie Hall a reality.


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