Improving Musical Literacy at Bishop Kidd School

We spoke to Principal Susan Robichaud about the fun and learning of an overnight band camp

WHAT: We received funding to offset the cost of an overnight band camp to River’s Edge in Cremona.

WHY: Our primary goal was to improve students’ musical literacy by having them work in groups with clinicians from the U of C.  Our second and equally important goal was to provide a new experience for our students, many of whom have not been outside the city since their arrival from another country.  We also included students from St. Rose of Lima’s band program.

HOW: In addition to the music component, students had a true campfire experience complete with s’mores and a sing-along. They went on a hike, participated in multiple outdoor activities including volleyball, football, basketball, ping pong, tetherball and multiple cooperative games. We served Subway for lunch, and the rest of the meals and snacks were prepared by staff at River’s Edge. Male students bunked in cabins; female students slept in the main dormitory.  We also had a movie on at 9 p.m., but only five children came inside to watch it. I think that speaks to the level of enjoyment and appreciation of the outdoors.  A good time was had by all.  It was a GREAT learning experience!


  • “At band camp we did so many different things that are new to some of us. We had clinicians come in and work with us. We learned so many new skills on our instruments. We played in our grade levels and as one big band. We got to go on a hike and connect with nature. We got to go to the gym or go outside to play a sport of our choice. We had a campfire which gave us time to make new friends or reconnect with some old ones. We even got a bit of free time to go play sports, play games or just have fun! None of us wanted to leave after because it was such an amazing opportunity.” – Grade 7 student
  • “Students have learned new skills and good techniques that have significantly helped us to improve in band class. It was a good experience to play with another band class. It helped us improve in learning to play with a different school. It was a very enjoyable experience and we are very thankful for the opportunity. Not only did we play music, we also had choices to play games, gather around a campfire and eat delicious food. Overall, we as the grade nine of St. Rose, are very grateful to have been given the chance to attend this camp.” – Grade 9 students


  • “On May 1 and 2, 2017, St. Rose of Lima and Bishop Kidd schools had a combined overnight band trip to River’s Edge Camp. During our time at River’s Edge Camp, students and staff members from both schools had the opportunity to celebrate music education. St. Rose of Lima and Bishop Kidd had the amazing experience of collaborating and learning from one another. Students and staff were fully immersed in both school community groups. Students had the opportunity to work with instrument clinicians specific to their instrument. In addition to having instrument family time, students also worked with their grade group and eventually the large ensemble (consisting of both schools and approximately 100 students in total). Many of the students from St. Rose of Lima have not had the opportunity to play with such a mass band ensemble. They were able to experience a full band sound through this camp. The experience was such a beneficial and everlasting one. Not only did students and staff members make new and lasting relationships, but students embodied a full fine arts education for two days.” – Kathleen Serquina, Music Director, St. Rose of Lima School

HOW THE CCEF HELPED: The Calgary Catholic Education Foundation provided a grant of $4,000 to fund a band camp experience for over 320 students in grades 7-9 that would otherwise not have been possible.


Learn more about donating to the CCEF to help fund meaningful projects and school enhancements that positively impact Calgary Catholic students.