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Music at Morven Hits the High Notes
  • Arts
  • Performing Arts
  • Senior School
Bridge Magazine, Winter 2024 Edition

A diverse range of opportunities in Morven's music program means every student has the chance to experience performing arts during their senior school years. Read below to find out more about the faculty who lead these programs and what's on offer.

The Morven Band plays at the 2023 Jazz Cabaret concert

Female Collingwood student playing the electric guitar in a band performance


Morven Band

For his musical education, Mr. Hidalgo attended MacEwan University in Calgary, Capilano University and the University of British Columbia. Along the way, he taught privately, held many musical workshops, and, for a period of time, even owned his own music school. He began his formal teaching career at Our Lady of Perpetual Help School in Vancouver and joined Collingwood to lead our band program in 2022. Mr. Hidalgo believes that band is an important way to support the development of the school community and promote a sense of belonging for students.

There are lots of ways for students to get involved in band at Collingwood. In addition to concert band, strings, junior band and string orchestra, there is also drumline and drum corp. Drumline is an especially great opportunity to get involved, as students can start at any time of the year, and all levels of skill and experience are welcome. There are actually a variety of different band roles where no musical experience is required. For example, Mr. Hidalgo hosts the Top 40 Pop Rock Groups every Wednesday and Friday morning. Entirely student-driven, these groups create their own groups and pick the music they are learning and rehearsing. One of the fun things about these groups is that many students use this as a way to learn a new or different instrument.

“Playing in musical ensembles with the students you go to school with is a wonderful opportunity you might never have the chance to do again. I encourage anyone who is interested in band to come have a chat with me to see what would be a good fit for you.”

– Mr. Hidalgo, Morven Band Director

Ms. Desentis poses with several of her students in class.

Morven Dance

With an MFA, bachelor’s degrees in industrial design and choreography and diplomas in dance and musical theatre, Ms. Desentis has been teaching all levels of dance since 2009. She has taught across various genres, including contemporary, jazz, hip-hop, musical theatre, and Latin dance forms. She has also directed interdisciplinary workshops emphasizing the integration of dance and design. She joined Collingwood School in 2022 and loves collaborating with students to create new works and witnessing each student’s growth as they discover their artistic voice.

Dance is offered at Collingwood as both an extracurricular and curricular class. Senior and Junior Dance Companies are conducted before school. Additionally, dance is offered as an elective in the regular class schedule. In these elective classes, students follow the BC curriculum, enabling them to investigate dance in depth. This curriculum also empowers students to critically explore and create, facilitating the discovery of their own artistic voice. Open to everyone, dance clubs also provide students with an opportunity to get involved. Typically, no prior experience is necessary, and students rehearse during lunchtime and after school. In the upcoming year, we will introduce more clubs, such as the Dance Creation Club, which will provide the opportunity to explore students’ ideas for the upcoming Wonderland performance. It is open to those interested in participating in the March show. We also plan to introduce a Salsa club and a K-pop club, both of which will be open to everyone.

“Ms. Desentis encourages young dancers to follow their passion, to keep exploring and learning, and to keep believing in themselves. The most important thing about dance is to be present in each moment, to fully commit, to be honest, and to be kind and listen to your body.”

– Angela W, dance student

The Morven Choir sings at the 2023 Winter Concert

Ms. Weiss poses with several of her choir students

Morven Choir

Our Morven Chorus Director, Ms. Weiss, grew up in Langley and attended fine arts school. She received a jazz music degree from Capilano University, an Education degree from UBC, and has been an internationally performing musician for the last 15 years. Before joining Collingwood, Ms. Weiss taught at West Van Secondary School. While the pandemic was hard on choirs everywhere, Ms. Weiss is rebuilding Collingwood’s Senior School choir program with a positive energy and enthusiasm that is gaining momentum.

Right now, we have both junior chamber and senior chamber choir ensembles, with the goal of building toward a concert choir, which typically consists of about 30 students. Current participants come from diverse musical backgrounds and enjoy a variety of genres. Ms. Weiss believes that music is a valuable way for students to expand their language skills, experience new cultural exposures and develop social-emotional learning through teamwork. Students don’t need music reading experience, and the choirs are starting all new material in January. If students are interested in trying out choir, Ms. Weiss invites you to drop by the music room or send her an email. You can even come by and sit in on a choir practice to see what it’s all about.

“Join the Collingwood choirs where every voice matters. Together, as a united group, we strive for musical excellence through play and create musical memories that last a lifetime. Come and be a vital part of the Collingwood community.”

– Ms. Weiss, Morven Choir Director/TIC

  • Arts
  • Performing Arts
  • Senior School