The Humber music program is one of the most prestigious in the country – proven time and time again by outstanding representation at the Junos and other award shows.

This year, faculty and graduates are represented in 21 nominations, including for Group of the Year, Rock Album of the Year and Vocal Jazz Album of the Year.

“It’s humbling (to be nominated), especially considering the slew of talent represented at the Junos, many of whom are our peers and mentors,” says trombonist Emily Ferrell, until recently a member of Lemon Bucket Orkestra. The self-described balkan-klezmer-gypsy-party-punk-super band is up for World Music Album of the Year.

“I'm definitely excited,” Shamus Currie, trombonist and keyboardist for The Sheepdogs, says. “The Sheepdogs won three Junos a few years back, but I wasn't affiliated with the band at that point.

“This time around, I actually played on the record that has been nominated, and I've been touring with the band for the last four years, so I feel much more like part of the team.”

Both musicians were attracted to the prestige of the college’s music program.

“The biggest reason I was interested in going to Humber was that the bass player in my band at the time, Soren Nissen, had just finished his first year at the Humber music program and wouldn't stop gushing about how great the experience was,” says Currie, who graduated in 2014.

“The other big reason was the strength of the faculty; it's pretty awesome to study under all the top session players in Canada. Al Kay, the head of the brass department at Humber, has a reputation as one of the best trombone players in Canada, and the opportunity to study under him definitely appealed to me as an aspiring trombonist and musician.”

Ferrell, who graduated in 2011, dropped out after one semester in another school’s music program.

“I wasn’t spending enough time with my horn and felt little to no sense of community. I was uninspired. That’s when I decided to audition for Humber,” she explains.

“Humber has world-class teachers, some of the best in the business both in Canada and internationally. (The) scope in its curriculum was also appealing, and the fact that it is continuously updating courses and requirements so as to be the most relevant is a big benefit of the program.

“Dropping out of university to start again was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.”

The  Junos air April 3 on CTV. Click here for the full list of nominees.