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Mr. Perkins, We Salute You

Mr. Perkins found himself pursuing the teaching profession late in his musical career. Some may argue that it is unfortunate that he was unable to impact students earlier in his career but it can be said that his experience traveling and performing as a musician sets him apart from those who immediately began regurgitating the musical principles they learned at school. His passion for music supersedes most other band leaders I’ve had the pleasure working with, not settling for anything less than excellence.

Though he began teaching late in his musical career, Mr. Perkins has been the leader of Collingwood’s Instrumental Music Program since basically, forever. He is responsible for directing both the orchestral and jazz ensembles, and introducing Collingwood to the idea of having its own orchestral music program for the first time (which is something that most schools are unable to offer). His diverse musical background in both styles (jazz and classical music) has cemented him as an irreplaceable music instructor.

The success that Collingwood has had touring such as on the L.A. Band Trip, Cuba trip, or at competitive music festivals such as the Kiwanis Music Festival and Vancouver’s International Jazz Festival, is due to the musical direction supplied by Mr. Perkins. Students in Collingwood’s Instrumental Music Program have an astonishing amount of talent, but without Mr. Perkins’ leadership and tutelage, we would be disappointed to never witness their full potential. Rehearsals are a productive and fulfilling experience as whenever he’s at the helm, I am surprised to be entertained by the band’s own playing. Who knew that hard work could be so rewarding? It is important to note the close relationships Mr. Perkins builds with his students in the music program. As they progress through the stream, starting in Grade 8/9 Band, then to the Intermediate Jazz Ensemble, and then finally to the Senior Jazz Band, or perhaps in our Jazz Combos, he is able to see from start to finish, a musician as he/she strives to perfect their craft.

Among impressive feats such as excelling at his professional career, Mr. Perkins is also (with the agreement from a multitude of other students, not just my own opinion) a great guy. His humorous personality, occasional witty remarks, and generally positive outlook make him a pleasant person to be around and makes band something to look forward to.

Perkins, you will be truly missed! Good luck with your musical endeavours, wherever they may take you.

To quote AC/DC… “For those about to rock, we salute you.” … and indeed Mr. Perkins, we salute you. Thanks for being such an important part of the Collingwood family.

By: Lucas Philipp

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