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Local band director honoured

Musical achievements noticed
MVG dids Kirk Wassmer band
Didsbury High School music director Kirk Wassmer teaches a class at the school on Oct. 29. Noel West/MVP Staff

DIDSBURY - A local band teacher has been named the Elkhorn band director of the year in Alberta.

Kirk Wassmer, band teacher for Didsbury High School (DHS), was thrilled to be chosen by his peers for the prestigious award, which is given out annually by the Alberta Band Association.

"You are nominated and chosen by former Elkhorn Award winners," said Wassmer. "I was surprised and very honoured. When I look at the list of past award winners, they are people who are role models and mentors to me. So to even be considered in their company is an honour."

The award was presented at the recent Music Alberta Conference in Calgary.

"It was awesome," said Wassmer. "We had 350 music teachers from around the province at Studio Bell and at the new Calgary library for sessions and concerts. The awards presentation was the last event of the conference."

Wassmer has been teaching band at DHS since 2001. The band has an amazing 162 students involved, which is about 60 per cent of the whole school population.

"The community is just very supportive of band," he said. "I have an amazing feeder program. I have great students who understand the importance of music in their life and work to make it so."

The DHS band fall concert takes place on Nov. 7 in the school gym at 7 p.m.

"It's our first concert of the year," he said. "It's open to the public. Admission is by donation."