Patrick Fogarty Has All That Jazz

Patrick Fogarty Has All That Jazz
Posted on 04/06/2016
Jazz Pic

Aristotle once said, "Music has the power of producing a certain effect on the moral character of the soul, and if it has the power to do this, it is clear that the young must be directed to music and be educated in it.” Band director, Mr. James Hilts, is bringing the education, and power of music to the young students at Patrick Fogarty Catholic Secondary School in Orillia, and is helping them become better musicians as well as better people.

The Senior Band and Jazz Band have performed in a few music festivals in the last two months, to prepare for their upcoming nationals performance in Ottawa. The Jazz Band won gold and the Senior Concert Band won silver at the regional music competition in Collingwood.

The Patrick Fogarty Junior Band received a gold level of excellence for their performance at a music festival in Newmarket this week.

“I am so proud of the music students here at Patrick Fogarty. They are all such hard working, loving kids, and they really create an encouraging team environment wherever they go,” said Director James Hilts.

Both the Senior and Junior Bands are excited about the national music festival in Ottawa and are determined to deliver a gold medal performance. With only five weeks left until the trip, everyone is practicing diligently to perfect their performance pieces.

The music department hosted a MusicFest Feast, with a Catholic mass prior to their performance, and dinner for school faculty, parents and members of the band. “It is what our school strives to achieve. We try our best to attain a close relationship between the church, the community, and our school. They are great students and they are excelling at connecting our school to the church and community,” said Principal Caroline Healy. The dinner was held at the Guardian Angels church in Orillia. “It was a great time, and all the guests had so much fun dancing to our music, enjoying each others company, and even making new friends.”

At a performance for the future grade nine students of Patrick Fogarty, Mr. Hilts asked the current music students if there was anything they would like to tell the grade eights. Here is what they said:

“When I came to the school, I didn’t have any friends. When I joined Music, I found a great group of welcoming and kind people who quickly made me feel I was a part of something, I owe my success in school to music.”

“I was really nervous about going to high school, but once I got here, I joined the band and was invited to senior band, and now I have made so many friends in all grades, even the grade 12 music kids have been so kind to me, even though I’m in grade 9.” 

“James Hilts has worked so hard at Patrick Fogarty to create an amazing Music program. He has made something beyond a class or a band, he has created something like a child’s tree-fort refuge for students trying to escape the stress of life, a home full of great people to turn to, great music, and usually, some kind of great random food. I walk into the music room all the time, and there is always people in there talking and laughing. Sometimes you walk in and there's ten or more people gathered around the piano singing with Mr. Hilts while he plays a song.”

“Patrick Fogarty’s music room may not be the biggest, or the best, or the most expensive, but it has heart, and I love that.”

“This group of crazy Musicians, is my family, I love them all so much.”

Submitted by Maria Brown, Student Journalist