Harry Ainlay Symphonic Band | Edmonton, AB

← back to Showcase 2018 concerts

Harry Ainlay Symphonic Band
Rob Speers
| Director

Harry Ainlay High School is a school of over 2,600 students in grades 10-12. The school offers a strong academic program as well as excellent programs in the fine arts, sports and vocational areas.  The music program is a prominent example of these excellent programs. Harry Ainlay bands consistently are top award winners at local, provincial and national music festivals.  Through the performance of quality literature, students increase technical skill and gain competence in performing and appreciation of music as an artistic expression. A high level of activity is maintained and students are challenged with high standards. In this way the tradition of excellence in music has been maintained at Harry Ainlay High School.

An education that includes music benefits the students in increasing their self-confidence as they learn to play their instruments and learn to cooperate and work as a team. It expands their mental capacity and dexterity and enables them to meet challenges in many areas as they continue to grow into young adults. Students require self-discipline, initiative and great work ethic to function successfully in a musical ensemble. All of these valuable life skills also make these students successful in whatever career they choose to pursue after their schooling is complete.

Symphonic Band is a non-auditioned ensemble of Grade 10, 11 and 12 students who choose to become members of the group. Classes meet every second day as a full ensemble and every second day in sectional classes throughout the year.

The music students are fortunate to have two very capable music directors teaching their classes. Rob Speers, born and raised in Edmonton, is currently Music Director at Harry Ainlay High School, where he has been teaching for the past 32 years. Ensembles under his direction have been consistently successful in attaining awards and accolades at local, provincial, national and international levels. 

Over the years, Rob has conducted church choirs, youth choirs, community bands and marching bands in addition to his duties at school where he currently conducts the Symphonic Band, Concert Band and “A” Jazz Band. Rob continues to work as a freelance trumpet player and remains active as a conductor, adjudicator, performer and clinician throughout western Canada and internationally.

Mr. Speers is currently the President of the Alberta International Band Festival, and served for many years on the board of the Alberta Band Association, Music Alberta and the New Edmonton Wind Sinfonia.  Rob is a member of the honorary band fraternity Phi Beta Mu and was awarded the prestigious David Peterkin Award in 2003 and received the 2005 Elkhorn Award from the Alberta Band Association. In 2006, Rob was the recipient of Alberta Foundation of the Arts’ Tommy Banks Award. In 2013 Rob was awarded the Vondis Miller Legacy Award by the Alberta Band Association, “recognizing an individual who has devoted many years to sharing the joys of music making with young people.” In 2014 Rob was elected to the John Philip Sousa Foundation Legion of Honor.

Joel Forth joined the Harry Ainlay staff in 2015 and directs the Concert Band, Jazz Choirs, Concert Choir and guitar classes.  He is currently on the board of Choir Alberta and in 2010 received the Ernest Dalwood Conducting Prize from the University of Alberta.  Joel sings with the prominent chamber vocal ensemble Chronos.

The music program has been fortunate to have the assistance of the Harry Ainlay Music Parents Association in the raising of funds to further the musical education of the students. The parents association has made the commitment to assist in the promotion of music in a student’s education. Fundraising remains an essential part of the music department’s ongoing efforts to make Harry Ainlay one of the finest music programs in the country.

PERFORMING: Friday, April 13, 2018  |  9 PM |  Greenham Theatre