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Canadians, Buffs make beautiful music together
MHS BAND2-4-5-13
Ben Turner of Reynolds High prepares to warm up with bandmates. - photo by HIME ROMERO

Band students from the Reynolds Secondary School in Canada can thank social media for Thursday’s hookup in Manteca.

All told, 50 students and four band directors including Dave Flello and Jacqui Sullivan performed at Sierra High and Manteca High.

The latter consisted of an evening performance combining students from the Victoria, British Columbia school and those at MHS under the direction of Anthony Dahl.

“This was really awesome,” said MHS sophomore Isabella Garcia-Mendez, who plays the clarinet. “We not only met new people but made new friends.”

Garcia-Mendez is also the assistant drum major and was no stranger to Canada. She went to Vancouver on a family vacation.

Dahl found out about a month ago that Reynolds Secondary School was coming via bus through the Central Valley.

“They found out about us online through a Facebook page for band directors,” said Dahl, who learned about a week ago that his visitors were stopping en route to San Francisco.

This public secondary school located in the Greater Victoria suburb of Saanich specializes in a variety of programs including music. “This is a cultural year for us,” Flello said.

By that, he noted that the band made up of juniors – seniors got to go to Europe – have been on the road since Tuesday.

Dahl made arrangements for both bands to play during the cultural exchange that took place in the MHS cafeteria.

“We have some in our repertoire and at least one piece for the two bands to interact,” Flello added.

Earlier, his group shared a jam session with the Sierra High band under the direction of Rick Hammarstrom.

The itinerary for Reynolds Secondary School also includes sight-seeing during the day followed by an evening concert by Cuban pianist Chuchito Valdes in San Francisco.

The group will then travel to Napa Valley to play with yet another high school band and, on the return trip, stop by Eureka to visit the Fort Humboldt State Historic Park and Logging Museum.