Our Music Programs

St. Bonaventure’s College has of one of the most comprehensive music programs in the province. Students are exposed to music beginning in Kindergarten and are given numerous opportunities to continue their appreciation of music till graduation.

The Choral Music Program is one of the hallmark activities at our school and commences in Kindergarten. The choirs include: Kindergarten, Primary, Elementary  and Elementary Chamber. The Junior/Senior High choirs are: Treble, Chamber and Camerata.

The Instrumental Music Programs in Newfoundland and Labrador is offered to our students beginning in Grade four. The program consists of four levels of concert bands (Beginning Band, Concert Band, Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble), two levels of jazz band (Junior and Senior), as well as numerous chamber music ensembles.

The Primary & Elementary  Music Program 

St. Bonaventure’s College offers a very comprehensive classroom and choral instruction for all students in Kindergarten through Grade 6 under the guidance of Brenda Gatherall.

Classroom music starts in Kindergarten where the children are introduced to singing through folk songs, nursery rhymes, as well as the Kodaly and Orff pedagogies of Music Education. All Kindergarten students participate in a Kindergarten choir and perform in school concerts and the annual Rotary Music Festival each year in April where they are continually awarded first place awards and gold medal standings for their high achievements in choral singing.

The Primary grades (1-3) build on the foundations of Kindergarten music program and also includes a tin whistle program starting in Grade 3. Christmas plays are an integral part of the music program at St. Bonaventure’s College and every child is given the opportunity to perform on the stage in school productions. The children also participate in Remembrance Day assemblies and celebrate the various holidays of the calendar year through song.

The foundations of music theory and music history are also firmly established in the younger grades at the school.

Elementary music (Grades 4-6) includes classroom music instruction, participation in Christmas musicals as well as Elementary Choir and Elementary Chamber Choir. Membership in the Elementary Chamber Choir is voluntary and this group has been invited to participate in Festival 500 in 2007 and 2009 putting the young students from St. Bonaventure’s College on the international singing stage! The Elementary Chamber Choir has also been invited to sing at the launch of the Dr. Jack Hand Legacy Foundation where they had a chance to perform with local celebrity, Alan Doyle. They have also been invited to perform with the Canadian Tenors as part of the “Holiday on Ice” skating show in 2011 which was televised internationally. April 2016 brings an opportunity for them to workshop and perform with Rollo Dilworth, an internationally acclaimed conductor and composer during his visit to St. John’s!

Commitment to community service is also very important here at St. Bonaventure’s College. Throughout the year, the children sing at hotels, the airport and hospitals to share their talents and the music of the school year with friends, family and the elderly of our community forming their commitment to becoming “Men and Women for Others”, a pillar of Jesuit education.

Instrumental Music Program

St. Bonaventure’s College is fortunate to have one of the most comprehensive instrumental music programs in all of Newfoundland and Labrador. The program provides opportunities for young instrumentalists to participate in a variety of performance ensembles including four levels of concert band (Beginning Band, Concert Band, Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble), two levels of jazz band (Junior and Senior), as well as numerous chamber music ensembles. Although most students begin their instrumental experience in Grade 4, the Beginning Band is open to any student from Grade 4 through to Grade 12, who is interested in learning to play a band instrument.

Since the school opened in 1999, the instrumental program has garnered an impressive assortment of awards from local, national and international festivals. (See Awards Section below for a detailed list). As well, the performing ensembles have played at numerous important national and international events.

In the spring of 2009, the music program recorded its first CD entitled “Ascend”. The recording highlighted many of the fine performing ensembles at the school, including the Wind Ensemble, Senior Jazz Band, Dixieland Combo and Treble Choir. It has been given rave reviews and was featured on CBC’s Musicraft.

The music program is one of the hallmark activities at St. Bonaventure’s College. The school community, including parents, teachers and students, fully endorse the importance of this activity to the school’s culture.


2017 –  Italy

2015 –  Spain

2013 –  Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary (Danube Riverboat Cruise)

2011 –  Marystown and St. Lawrence

2011 –  Italy

2009 –  Anaheim, California

2007 –  Orlando, Florida

2005 –  Halifax, Nova Scotia

2003 –  Toronto and Montreal



The St. Bonaventure’s Wind Ensemble has had the privilege of performing at Vatican City in 2011 for Pope Benedict and in 2017 for Pope Francis. These performances took place during the Papal Audiences held in St. Peter’s Square. At the latter performance, there were 50,000 people in attendance from all over the world. Two of our students can actually boast that they had the honour of performing for both Popes!!



In December of 2017, the St. Bonaventure’s College Wind Ensemble won first place in the CBC Music Class Challenge for the High School Instrumental class. Their video of the “2018 PyeongChang CBC Olympics Theme” was broadcast during the CBC’s coverage of the 2018 Winter Olympics. The school also received $5,000 in recording equipment as part of their winnings. This is the link to their video submission:



Since St. Bonaventure’s College opened in 1999, music ensembles from the school have won 16 Group Rose Bowls. The Wind Ensemble was the recipient of the Instrumental Group Rose Bowl in 2003, 2004, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016. The Senior Jazz Band was awarded the Group Rose Bowl in 2011 and 2012, and 2017. St. Bonaventure choirs have received the Choral Group Rose Bowl in 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2015.


In April of 2012, the St. Bon’s Symphonic Winds ( composed of elementary and junior high students), won the Long & McQuade Youtube Performance Competition for their level. The school was awarded $5,000 to purchase instruments. This is the link to their video submission:



In 2004, the St. Bonaventure’s College Wind Ensemble won the CBC Radio Provincial School Band Competition for Newfoundland and Labrador. In addition to a cash prize of $3,000, the Wind Ensemble was awarded a commission of a band composition by Newfoundland composer Michael Snelgrove. The piece that was written for the Wind Ensemble by Michael Snelgrove, “The 801:Beaumont Hamel”, was aired on CBC Radio.


In 2009, the St. Bonaventure’s College Treble Choir, Wind Ensemble and Senior Jazz Band traveled to Anaheim, California to participate in the largest Heritage Music Festival held in North America. The Music Department returned from this competition with 11 major awards.

Wind Ensemble

Gold Award

First Place Award

Most Outstanding Band Award

Adjudicator’s Award (presented to groups scoring higher than 92 out of 100)

Senior Jazz Band

Gold Award

First Place Award

Adjudicator’s Award (presented to groups scoring higher than 92 out of 100)

Treble Choir

Gold Award

First Place Award

Most Outstanding Choir Award

Adjudicator’s Award (presented to groups scoring higher than 92 out of 100)

Other Awards

  • French Horn player, Mikaela Etchegary, was awarded a Maestro Award for outstanding musicianship
  • Instrumental Sweepstakes Award (presented to the school that receives the highest combined scores of all the instrumental groups at the festival).
  • Festival Sweepstakes Award (presented to the school music department that comes closest to a perfect score of 300)
  • The Wind Ensemble and Treble were also invited to participate in the Festival of Gold, an invitational festival for all of the best groups.


 In 2007, the Wind Ensemble and Senior Jazz Band traveled to Orlando, Florida to compete in the All-American MusicFestival. The Wind Ensemble took home a first place award as well as the Most Outstanding Band Award.


The Junior Jazz Combo was awarded the Most Outstanding Band Award at the Atlantic Band Festival in 2005.


In 2003, the Wind Ensemble and Senior Jazz Band performed at Musicfest Canada. Both groups were awarded gold standings.

Gr. 7-12 Choral Program

St. Bonaventure’s College welcomes Ms. Susan Quinn as the Choral Director for our grade 7-12 choral program.

Each choir rehearses once a week and the singers are active in many aspects of musical life both at the school and in the community. The choirs play an active role in the music for liturgical services throughout the year, and participate in local festivals.

In 2009 the St. Bonaventure’s College Treble Choir participated in the Heritage Music Festival in Anaheim, California where they won the most outstanding choir award and numerous other awards. The Treble Choir also actively participates in the Kiwanis Music Festival where they received the choral group Rose Bowl in 2007 and 2009. The Senior Chamber Choir won the Kiwanis Music Festival Choral Group Rose Bowl competition in 2011 and toured Italy with the St. Bonaventure’s College Wind Ensemble in April 2011 where they performed at High Mass at the Vatican and at a Papal Audience, in addition to concerts on the Amalfi Coast.