Tina Horwood during choir rehearsal at Oak Bay High. The school’s long time choir director was awarded the B.C. Outstanding Music Educator award this month. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

Oak Bay High choir director named B.C.’s most outstanding music educator

Choir director joined by Oak Bay High students at annual conference

When Tina Horwood received the B.C. Music Educators Association’s most Outstanding Educator award in Richmond last month, she wasn’t the only one there from Oak Bay High.

Shortly after Horwood was recognized at the BCMEA awards presentation in the River Rock’s big ballroom, a crew of Oak Bay High students were part of the provincial Honour Ensemble performance at the Fraserview Mennonite Church.

READ MORE: Time for round two of the Dunnet Theatre seat sale

Oak Bay sent a whole team of students who performed in the various choirs. Two were her own twin sons, John and Chris, in the Honour Vocal Jazz Ensemble. Two more were a pair of Grade 11 students who are currently in five of Horwood’s choirs; Brownyn Bergmann, who was one of eight Oak Bay students in the vocal jazz choir, and Esme Johnson, who performed in the 100-piece concert choir.

“It was three days of workshops that finish with the concerts, it was intense,” said Bergmann.

Eight Oak Bay students that were in the Honour Vocal Jazz Ensemble.
(Tina Horwood Photo)

It’s part of a long tie in that Oak Bay High has with the BCMEA.

Esteemed retired music teacher Dave Dunnet was given the BCMEA Honourary Lifetime award way back in 1991.

This year’s Honourary Lifetime Award went to children’s entertainer Charlotte Diamond.

With Horwood earning the Outstanding Educator award, it closes a circle, as Dunnet was actually Horwood’s teacher when she was a student.

“He’s a special guy,” she said. “[Winning the award] acknowledges the picture that comes together to make an outstanding educator.

“It’s not just me. It’s my family… it’s the ‘Dave Dunnets’ who come to my concerts still, who sit in the back row, to wave and offer positive feedback, and [who send] encouraging emails.”

For years, Horwood has opened her home to her choral students. But not just on any night.

“It’s for the solo you need to perform as part of the curriculum,” Johnson said. “We all eat dinner, we get to know each other a bit more, and it makes it less stressful.”

Anyone who has met Horwood knows she “talks fast,” Johnson said.

“A million things going on in her head. She makes you feel comfortable and she finds a place for you.”

For years Horwood’s mom has also allowed Oak Bay students to invade her Shawnigan Lake home for music retreats.

“It’s my husband giving up time and energy to allow me to go on trips, and retreats, and my own four kids that I’ve had the privilege of teaching at Oak Bay,” Horwood said.

READ MORE: Oak Bay High students selected to perform in prestigious concerts

After Horwood earned her award at the BCMEA event last month, Diamond, the keynote speaker, earned hers next.

Then Diamond and her husband sat behind the Horwoods, and immediately connected.

Horwood is also known for her work leading the Island Ukuleles program which she’s been part of since she first learned the ukulele 35 years ago.

“It’s nice to see her recognized,” Bergmann said. “I know how much she’s working, and I’m only with her half the time.”

reporter@oakbaynews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Just Posted

Police are looking to identify suspects in an Oct. 10 report of mischief in at a construction site in the 2800-block of Peatt Road in Langford. (West Shore RCMP handout)
West Shore RCMP seeks suspects after trio spray paints Langford construction site

Three individuals caught on camera hopping a fence on Peatt Road

Norm Scott, president of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch no. 91 in Lanford, pins the first poppy to launch the annual Poppy Campaign on George Baker, who served with the Royal Canadian Air Force from 1953 to 1989. Baker said it was an honour to be chosen for something so significant for veterans everywhere. (Rick Stiebel/News Staff)
Poppy campaign launches in Langford with pinning ceremony

The poppy campaign is officially underway with the first of the pins… Continue reading

A sentencing hearing began for Joel Conway who was convicted of break and enter and sexual assault last year. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
Saanich man sentenced to three years in prison for breaking into woman’s home and sexually assaulting her

Crown is asking Joel Conway be sentenced to four years for both charges, to be served concurrent

Physical distancing signs are a common sight in B.C. stores and businesses. THE CANADIAN PRESS
272 more COVID-19 cases for B.C., outbreak at oil sands project

Three new health care outbreaks, three declared over

President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Allentown, Pa. on Oct. 26. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
POLL: How closely are you following the U.S. presidential election?

It may feel like it’s been going on forever but the U.S.… Continue reading

This house at 414 Royal Ave. became notorious for its residents’ and visitors’ penchant for attracting police. It was also the site of a gruesome torture in August 2018. It was demolished in 2019. KTW
6-year sentence for Kamloops man who helped carve ‘rat’ into flesh of fellow gang member

Ricky Dennis was one of three men involved in the August 2018 attack

Cpl. Nathan Berze, media officer for the Mission RCMP, giving an update on the investigation at 11:30 a.m., Oct. 30. Patrick Penner photo.
VIDEO: Prisoner convicted of first-degree murder still at large from Mission Institution

When 10 p.m. count was conducted, staff discovered Roderick Muchikekwanape had disappeared

Among the pumpkin carvings created this year by Rick Chong of Abbotsford is this tribute to fallen officer Cont. Allan Young.
Abbotsford pumpkin carver’s creations include fallen police officer

Rick Chong carves and displays 30 pumpkins every year

An online fundraising campaign in support of the six-year-old boy, Edgar Colby, who was hit by a car on Range Road Oct. 25 has raised more than $62,000 in a day. (Submitted)
$62K raised in 1 day for boy in coma at BC Children’s after being hit by vehicle in Yukon

The boy’s aunt says the family is “very grateful” for the support they’ve received from the community

Police service dog Herc helped RCMP locate and arrest suspects in the Ladysmith area on Oct. 23, 2020, related to a stolen vehicle. (Submitted)
RCMP nab prolific property offender in Ladysmith with assist from police dog Herc

Police attempted to stop the vehicle but it fled from the area towards Chemainus.

Health care employees take extensive precautions when working with people infected or suspected of having COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
WorkSafeBC disallows majority of COVID-19 job injury claims

Health care, social services employees filing the most claims

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole rises during Question Period in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Wednesday October 28, 2020. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)
Conversion therapy ban gets approval in principle, exposes Conservative divisions

Erin O’Toole himself voted in favour of the bill, as did most Conservative MPs

Most Read