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Creative
Activity
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By Melissa Lombard
Wesley Ferreira's Portuguese heritage inspired a love for
music from an early age -- through the Portuguese train-
ing system of community wind bands -- bandas filar-
monicas.
His father brought him home a clarinet, even
though he said he wanted a trumpet. He's been playing it
ever since.
Ferreira has been with the University since 2007 as a
Music department lecturer, clarinet, saxophone, and
conducting teacher, and Director of Bands.
"It was exciting for me to join a department with a history
of attracting promising students and developing them into
respected music educators and professional musicians,"
he says.
Two years ago he formed Mount Allison's Pep Band
because he felt it was important to bridge the gap between
student athletes and student musicians. The band is open
to all students and ranges from 25 musicians for indoor
events to 75 for football games. The band has woodwinds
and a brass and rhythm section.
"I'm happy to say that I now see our music students more
aware and showing stronger support for our sports teams
and, conversely, our student athletes are now making a
point to attend band concerts."
Ferreira conducts the group which plays a mixture of
popular tunes, rock classics, and current chart toppers.
One of the band's main songs is Mount Allison's new
fight song, Garnet and Gold, written by Ferreira.
He credits the University's Three Cheers for Old Mount
A! web site as his inspiration
(www.mta.ca/threecheers/)
.
The site chronicles sports at Mount Allison from 1843 -
1919, including the University's first songbook published in
1908, old photos, and a 2009 recording of songs and cheers
from that time period by Mount Allison's Choral Society.
"There is such a rich history and tradition at Mount
Allison. I was so inspired, I wrote the lyrics and music in
one night. I started at 11 p.m. and finished at 5 a.m."
The sheet music and lyrics of Garnet and Gold were
placed into a time capsule in the Wallace McCain Student
Centre (formerly Trueman House).
Fight for the pride of old Mount A
Fight for her glory, shout out her name
Raise up the glorious banners of old
We are the Garnet and Gold
Go Mighty Mounties we are with you
Onward to victory!
A-L-L-I-S-O-N
From the rafters we cheer you again, RAH, RAH, RAH
Fight for our Alma Mater so dear
Let all our voices ring loud and clear
Beyond the marshlands, out to the seas
Fearless champions ever be, HEY!
Go Mighty Mounties we are with you
Onward to victory!
From the halls to the rafters we cheer again,
Fight, Fight, Fight Mount Allison.
Ferreira also has a burgeoning performance career, which
has taken him to Boston, Portugal, Texas, Ontario, and
throughout the Maritimes in the past year, including
several concerts on campus. He is set to perform in Arizona,
Manitoba, Quebec, Ontario, and Los Angeles in 2011.
On and off campus, he says the most rewarding part of
his job is working with his students.
"Mount Allison is a tight-knit community and it's a
wonderful experience to guide my students and watch
them mature and improve musically over weeks,
months, and years."
Watch and listen to Garnet and Gold at
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Isrh4poN7c
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