Do I have to book through Ellison Travel and Tours?

Con Brio is not in the travel business – our goal is music-making – which is why we use the services of Ellison Travel and Tours as our appointed accommodation and travel partner. To secure our performance venues at Whistler and Sun Peaks, we are required to guarantee hotel guest room space for our participants a minimum of 12 months prior to the festival and put up the appropriate deposits. To fulfill our obligation for the venues, without which we cannot present the festivals, we are only able to offer them in a package that includes fees, accommodation and ground transportation. Should you wish to arrange your own ground or air transportation, this can be accommodated.

How can parents and family attend student performances?

We recognize and appreciate the valuable support of parents, friends and family, who are welcome to attend student performances at no charge. Just check in at one of our performance venue festival desks on site to receive a complimentary guest pass to all student performances. Tickets for the Gala Concert are $20 each, also available at our festival desks.

What repertoire should I select for performance?

At Con Brio, ensembles perform festival appropriate music of their own selection from their repertoire. Quality of the music selected is of concern to the adjudicators, who will make comments on the appropriateness of your selections as well as the quality of your performances, so please choose repertoire carefully. Two or three pieces of contrasting style is recommended. A capella singing for choirs is encouraged. Jazz selections should allow opportunities for improvisation. We are a bit more particular about repertoire for the older bands, but with a young developing band, as long it’s not a pop tune, most things are good. It has more to do with substance and style than the source material and film scores are often good pieces of music with substance. The Ralph Ford arrangement of Lord of the Rings, for example, is a particularly good young band arrangement. 

Graded or ungraded. How do I decide?

We believe that learning is not enhanced by a competitive environment and created our festivals to be non-competitive. We also understand that there is sometimes value in knowing where your ensemble ranks. You know your students best and whether being graded is helpful to your programme. To assist you in your decision, the adjudication sheets are posted under FOR DIRECTORS so that you can assess your ensemble’s preparedness in each area.

Gold standard signifies that an ensemble has achieved excellence in all facets of its performance.
Silver standard signifies that an ensemble is demonstrating an exceedingly high standard of musical performance.
Bronze standard signifies an above-average quality of performance with latitude for improvement.

No matter what you decide, all ensembles receive the same adjudication feedback and a personalized plaque. The only difference is that no mark or grade is assigned when the ungraded option is selected. In keeping with our commitment to a non-competitive environment, there is no publication of results. These are only for the benefit of you and your students.

Is your festival open to community concert bands?  Is there a ‘level’ or class that groups enter? Is there an age/experience system?

We have had many community concert bands and choirs participate in the festival. We do not have a class or level for registration.  We do however, ask that music selections be “festival appropriate” – i.e. avoid pop songs. Other than that, it’s pretty open.