Montague high school to host Haywire guitarists, musical alumni


Published on May 19, 2017

Montague Regional High School (MRHS) students Sam Martell, left, and Merlin M’Cloud, right, along with music teacher Kirk White get ready to rock at the MRHS Band Goes Haywire concert being held at the school next Tuesday. The concert will see the school’s current performing band collaborate with Haywire guitarist Marvin Birt for a version of the Charlottetown band’s 1987 hit Dance Desire.

©THE GUARDIAN/Mitch MacDonald

MONTAGUE, P.E.I. – The band is getting back together — well sort of.

A special concert at Montague Regional High School on Tuesday, May 23, will see the school’s current concert band collaborate with alumni from the program and special guest guitarist Marvin Birt of Haywire.

Music teacher Kirk White said the night is going to see an eclectic mix of music, from performances of “West Side Story” songs, to an arrangement of Maroon 5’s “She Will Be Loved”, as well as some contemporary pieces and smaller ensembles.

The finale will then see students perform Haywire’s hit “Dance Desire”, which was a top 20 hit for the Charlottetown rockers, with Birt.

“There’s going to be a wide variety,” said White. “My hope is that we’ll bring in some people to this concert that don’t normally come to the band concerts.”

The evening will also showcase some of the high school’s musical alumni.

This is the first time I’ve ever brought back instrumental alumni, so we’re really excited to do that and for the opportunity to play with Marvin. He’s a world-class musician. For the students to get a chance to perform with him is super cool.

Kirk White, music teacher  

Don Fraser, director of music at Confederation Centre of the Arts, is arranging the wind instruments for the finale, while drummers David Cyrus MacDonald of Paper Lions and Alan White, a Holland College instructor and member of More Soul, will also play.

Other alumni performers will include guitarists Bruce Rooney and Isaac King, as well as bassist Adam Beck.

“There’s a lot of working musicians out there from this program, so we’re just trying to celebrate that,” said White. “This is the first time I’ve ever brought back instrumental alumni, so we’re really excited to do that and for the opportunity to play with Marvin. He’s a world-class musician. For the students to get a chance to perform with him is super cool.”

White said there could be a few more surprise musicians at the concert, which is being held at 7 p.m. at the school. Tickets are $5 for adults, $4 for students and seniors and will be available at the door.
Funds raised will go towards covering the cost of the concert and the school’s music program.