The Handsworth music program was started by Mildred Twist in the 1960s. Joe Beraducci, Brian G’froerer and Bob Rankin were its directors in the early to mid 1970s. In 1976, Bob Rebagliati started building the program into one of the top six best high school jazz schools in Canada.

1979 was their first big year when their senior jazz band placed second in overall marks at the New West Jazz Festival.

1981 their performance tape was accepted by Disneyland and they were off on their first big tour which included participating in the World Band Olympic Competition in Anaheim.

1982 the senior bands were off to Skagway and Whitehorse while the junior bands toured Ashcroft, 100 Mile House and Prince George.

1983 Edmonton, Calgary and Banff for the senior bands and Harrison Hot Springs, Logan Lake, Kamloops and Salmon Arm for the juniors.

1984 Handsworth Junior Jazz band takes first place in Westcoast Jazz Festival in Victoria and goes on to take first place at the Canadian Stage Band Festival in Toronto.

1985 Junior and senior jazz bands place first and second respectively at the Kiwanis Jazz Band Festival. All their concert bands: junior, intermediate A & B and senior, placed in the top three places at the Coquitlam Concert Band Festival.

1986 Four gold medals are won at MusicFest held at Expo 86 at False Creek in Vancouver.

1987 They participated in the Pacific Basin Band Festival in Honolulu Hawaii against 12 international bands. They were the only ones representing Canada.

1988 The senior bands participated in MusicFest in Calgary that year.

1990 Handsworth captured four gold medals at the New Westminster Jazz Festival securing an invitation to the Pacific Coast Provincial Music Festival in May held at the University of B.C. The also received an invitation to MusicFest in Winnipeg but instead traveled to Florida that year and performed in the Sea World Music Festival.

1991 They received their fourth first place win in the New West Jazz Festival. Handsworth’s four concert bands were among the eighty bands competing at the Coquitlam Music Festival, March 1st.

1992 Jazz Bands score hat trick at local music festivals. Intermediate Concert Band received a gold and the senior concert band received a silver at the Coquitlam Music Festival. Senior Concert band for the second time is invited to represent Canada at the Pacific Basin Band Festival in Honolulu, Hawaii.

1993 Junior Jazz and the Intermediate Concert Band receive highest honors at the prestigious Festival Canada in Banff. Handsworth was the only lower mainland school participating in the Vancouver Island, University of Victoria’s, Band Fest ’93. The Senior Band earned a SUPERIOR rating while the Intermediate Band received an EXCELLENT rating.

1994 The Intermediate Concert Band and the Junior Jazz Ensemble travelled to Victoria on March 1 to participate in the University of Victoria’s Concert Band Festival. Another southern California tour. The strings program travelled to Olympia, Washington.

1995  Junior and senior jazz invited to MusicFest in Calgary while the Strings are off on an Oregon tour. Both jazz bands received top ratings at the Surrey Jazz Festival in order to be invited to MusicFest.

1996 The SENIOR CONCERT BAND and the SENIOR JAZZ BAND traveled to New Orleans on an exciting and very educational Band Tour, April 11-16. Their Senior Jazz Band was invited to MusicFest in Toronto but declined to travel to New Orleans instead where they participated in River Fest.

1997 Handsworth Music students won 12 out of the 29 awards available at this years Kiwanis Jazz Festival. The Blue, Gold, Intermediate and Senior Concert Bands performed at this years Kiwanis Concert Band Festival as well as the Elementary Handsworth Honour Band.

1998 Handsworth sends four groups to MusicFest. The orchestra travels to San Francisco. Senior bands tour Atlantic Canada. The Handsworth ensembles have maintained a Gold level performance standard for the past twenty years.

1999 A tour to Nelson, BC and the Handsworth music department takes it upon themselves to raise $250,000 for new musical gear.

2000 48 students in 3 different ensembles participated in a tour to Cuba while the orchestra traveled to Los Angeles.

2001 Bob celebrates 25 years at Handsworth. A senior tour to Edmonton and an orchestra tour to Victoria, BC.

2002 Highest possible ratings from the Westcoast Jazz Festival in Nanaimo. MusicFest in Calgary and an orchestra tour to Ottawa.

2003 Orchestra tours to San Francisco.Junior and senior jazz participate in Envision Jazz Festival in Surrey.

2004 Handsworth returned to the Sun Peaks Music Festival this year and the seniors traveled on a farewell tour to New York as Reb retires. The orchestra went on to Florida.

2005 The Handsworth Elementary Honour Band, the Junior Blue and Gold Bands, and the Senior Wind Ensemble all performed to a “Superior” rating at the Kiwanis Concert Band Festival. Handsworth Senior & Junior Jazz Bands and Jazz Combos were given an “Official Invitation To Register” at MusicFest Canada (National Finals). The Handsworth Senior Winds were also given an “Official Invitation To Register” based on their “Superior” rating at the Kiwanis Concert Band Festival at the beginning of March. The Senior Wind Ensemble was one of 12 bands chosen by a panel of adjudicators for the “Official Invitation To Register.” A total of 55 bands performed at the week-long Festival held in Burnaby. The Strings also receive an “Official Invitation To Register” based on their “Superior” performance at the Fraser Valley Kiwanis Music Festival last year. The senior bands were off on a tour of China that year.

2006  Handsworth Senior & Junior Jazz Bands and Jazz Combos were given an “Official Invitation To Register” at MusicFest Canada (National Finals) in Ottawa this year. The decision on whether to travel to Ottawa to perform was already made last May — China in October or Ottawa in May? Dah.

2007  Senior and junior jazz band tour West Coast Instrumental Jazz Festival
April 26-28th, 2007 at Malaspina College, Nanaimo. Strings and choir members go on spring break tour to Costa Rica.

2008 Handsworth traveled to Melbourne, Brisbane, and Sydney this March.  All Strings Students attended the Mt. Hood Orchestra Festival in Gresham, Oregon.

2009 Senior Jazz picks up five awards at West Coast Jazz Festival. Banff and Lake Louise Orchestra Tour.

2010  Junior & Senior Jazz Bands attend the 33rd annual BC Interior Jazz Festival in Kelowna. Banff and Lake Louise Orchestra Tour.

2011 European Tour

2012 Banff Rocky Mountain Music Festival

2013 Whistler Cantando Music Festival, Intermediate Concert & Jazz Bands and Junior Gold Jazz Band May 2-5, 2013 Whistler Village. Alaska Performance Tour for the seniors.

2014 Banff Rocky Mountain Music Festival. BC Interior jazz Festival in Kelowna. Mr. Woodward retires!


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