MSS band plays for Queen’s Park during annual Toronto trip

The Manitoulin Secondary School band/vocal trip to Toronto saw a first for the band, and for Queen’s Park, when they performed on the steps of the Ontario legislature. This is the first time Queen’s Park had a school play in its hallowed halls.

TORONTO—For the first time in the short history of the annual Manitoulin Secondary School (MSS) band trip, the band and vocal group put on a Toronto performance, showcasing their skills in the seat of Ontario power, Queen’s Park.

Emily Hnatyshen, a Grade 12 band member (she plays tenor sax) and student organizing lead, explained that due to increased pressures on the teachers who normally arrange the trip, she stepped up in order to see the looked-forward-to event through.

The 40-member band and vocal group had decided that this year they wanted to perform somewhere on the trip and, after numerous phone calls to nursing homes, hospitals and more, Queen’s Park said the MSS group would be more than welcome and invited them to set up in the hallowed halls of the Ontario legislature.

At 5 am on Friday, May 6, the group departed from MSS for Toronto with their first stop Queen’s Park. The vocal group performed a Queen medley with the band playing ‘Jupiter,’ ‘Venus,’ and ‘Mars,’ from The Planets, as well as ‘I’m a Believer’ and a Back to the ‘50s medley.

While the legislature wasn’t busy, as this was a Friday, “we had positive feedback from the few people that were there.”

Following the concert, the group headed for an afternoon at the Royal Ontario Museum and on Saturday, the band went shopping at the Yorkdale Mall, made a visit to the Art Gallery of Ontario and topped the day off with a game of laser tag. The students stayed at residence at Seneca College, giving some of them a brief taste of what’s to come in September. The group also took in the hit musical ‘Kinky Boots.’

“On Sunday we went to the Ripley’s Aquarium and then came home,” Emily added.

Emily told The Expositor that she highly recommends any student coming to MSS to consider joining the band or vocal group.

‘It’s a fantastic opportunity,” she said. “The skills you learn both musically and socially will stick with you for a very long time.”

“It was a really good opportunity for everyone,” Emily added of the trip. “It was well enjoyed.”