Valley Student Receives Music Camp Scholarship

ValleyBiz Story |

A group of 42 students from various schools across the Swan Valley traveled to Dauphin on March 9 – 11, 2017 to participate in the 23rd Annual Parkland Norman Honour Band (PNHB).

Submitted photos. Click any picture for a larger version.

PNHB provides outstanding junior, intermediate and senior instrumentalists with an opportunity to develop their skills in a highly motivated setting. Open to students in grades 7 through 12, PNHB also provides an opportunity to meet and perform with other enthusiastic students from across the Parkland-Norman area.

A total of approximately 240 students spent two and a half intensive days in full and sectional rehearsals under the direction of various Winnipeg guest conductors and instrument specialists from both the Brandon University and University of Manitoba Schools of Music.

“The Honor Band process is intensive, tiring, hard work – and fun!” said, Mark Matejka, “This whole event, via the students, brings so much enthusiasm and momentum back to the school program and to the school.” he added. Matejka is the Director of Music at Minitonas Middle Years School (MMYS) and attends the event with students each year.

The event concluded with a concert on Saturday, March 11 with performances by each of the two Junior Bands, an Intermediate Band and a Senior Band. During the concert, scholarships to the International Music Camp (IMC) at the International Peace Garden were awarded to one student from each band. Recipients were selected by the guest directors from each band.

Swan Valley student Autumn Klekta was selected by guest conductor Alexis Silver to receive a full scholarship for one week at IMC. Klekta is in her second year of band at MMYS and plays the double bass. She participates both in concert band and jazz band and also studies piano and guitar.

“As Autumn’s name and award was announced, just before the last song, I saw a look of disbelief on her face that quickly turned into a huge smile that became non-stop throughout the last number the band played!” said Matejka, who is also Autumn’s band instructor. “The fact that she totally didn’t expect it was the best part – she was recognized for something that she does as a matter of fact and out of habit - being excellent in her playing.”

“For me as a teacher, those moments are the sweetest, because you work so hard for your students and want them to succeed.” Matejka concluded.

Do you know of a Swan Valley resident who deserves recognition for an achievement? We would love to share it on
Contact us at