Concert bands unite for bombastic performance
Music: Foothills Music Society welcomes two guest ensembles
Wednesday, Mar 16, 2011 06:00 am
There won’t be any shortage of saxophones, trumpets, clarinets and flutes Sunday at Holy Trinity Academy in Okotoks.
A trio of concert bands will play back-to-back-to-back March 20 at 2:30 p.m. in an event titled Band Together. It’s a free concert being coordinated by the local Foothills Music Society (FMS).
John Bird, a trumpet player and president of the society, said this is new territory for his large ensemble of players.
“This is the first time we have done a joint concert like this,” he said. “It was just an idea that we were tossing around as we tried to come up with a different way to put on a performance for a local audience.”
He added what really put things into motion was an offer from another concert band.
“The Cochrane Music Society had approached us with possibility of doing a joint concert some place,” Bird said. “One of the issues they’ve had in Cochrane is they didn’t really have a place to perform, a proper theatre or anything like that. We sort of discussed things and decided we would host the event down here and make it a road trip for the Cochrane Music Society.”
To round out the bill the Sherwood Like to Play Community Concert Band from Calgary was later offered an invitation to appear at Band Together and accepted. Each group will perform for about 30 minutes. The FMS should be about 35 members strong at the event while the Cochrane and Calgary groups will come in slightly smaller at about 30 members each.
Bird explained there will be a broad variety of material played at the Holy Trinity Academy concert.
“It will range from military march-type material right down to adapted versions of pop songs,” he said. “A lot of this music though is specifically written for the particular makeup of a concert band, which is generally woodwinds and brass with no strings.”
While Bird said he is pleased to showcase two visiting bands he confirmed the local FMS is looking to really shine in front of a hometown crowd by selecting some prime musical material.
“One piece we’re performing is a three-movement suite by a very famous composer named Vaughan Williams,” he said. “I refer to this as a kind of English folk suite for a military band. It contains a march and a variety of other selections. Another piece we’re doing is a contemporary piece by a current composer from down in the States named Eric Whitacre. It’s a mood piece titled “October” it’s actually very stirring.”
Band Together will be held at Holy Trinity Academy at 2:30 p.m. on March 20 and admission is free but donations to the Okotoks Food Bank are encouraged.