As the Campbell River Community Band celebrates its twenty-first year, it also celebrates Canada’s 150th birthday with a concert of Canadian music.
“A Canadian Soundscape” takes place on Wednesday, May 10 at the Maritime Heritage Centre. The concert, which begins at 7 p.m., is short enough for families with young children to stay and enjoy the refreshments made by band members.
All of the music featured is either written by Canadians, or about this country. For example, although it was written by an American, James Curnow’s Canadian Folk Song Rhapsody draws on the rich heritage of our folk music, including well known songs such as Donkey Riding, She’s Like the Swallow, I’s the By, and J’entends le Moulin.
One of Canada’s most beloved performers, Oscar Peterson, was also a composer. His Place St. Henri, from Canadiana Suite, features Ted Milbrandt on clarinet and Vince Sequiera on bass clarinet.
Stephen Chatman has been a professor of music at UBC for 40 years and is also a member of the Order of Canada. His music is well known to piano students. Grouse Mountain Lullaby, marked “haunting and magical” is a tribute to a special place in his adopted homeland.
Music educators who are also composers are seldom well known in the wider world. Kenley Kristofferson, a native of Winnipeg, deserves much wider acclaim for his Filum Vitae (the Thead of Life) which he describes as “chronicling the emotional connection between humans and other complex life.”
Canadians, even those of us on the West Coast, know about winter. Brian Balmages is a distinguished American composer whose Winter Dances has been a very satisfying challenge for the band.
Other Canadian composers featured in the concert are Newfoundland native Jim Duff, Gerry Rutten from Prince Edward Island, and Donald Coakley, from Cambridge Ontario, whose works are well known in Canada and the U.S.
The Campbell River Community Band is celebrating its twenty-first year. The founding director, Celine Ouellette, now plays in the horn section, and another earlier director, Phil Cassidy, is in the trombone section.
Current conductor Kolya Kowalchuk is well known in the Campbell River area, where he grew up. He is the music teacher at Ecole Phoenix Middle School and Ecole des Deux Mondes.
Admission to the concert is by donation, to help defray the ost of rental of the band room at Carihi, insurance, and music.