Conductor Kolya Kowalchuk

Community Band slates spring concert

New conductor takes baton as founder returns to horn section for May 24 concert at Carihi

The Campbell River Community Band is gearing up for its annual spring concert on May 24, but this time a new conductor, Kolya Kowalchuk, will be at the helm.

Founding conductor Céline Ouellette is taking some time off to rejoin the horn section, while Kolya Kowalchuk is exchanging his drum sticks for a baton.

The new director played in the community band during his high school years, and again after his return from Montreal where he got degrees in music education and composition from McGill. He now teaches music at Ecole Phoenix Middle School.

For the 2 p.m. concert Kolya has chosen the theme “A Day in the Life of Spring”. The program will take the audience from dawn to dusk with a variety of interesting music celebrating the season.

Singers will recognize two of the numbers. Sure on This Shining Night is a band arrangement of a haunting song by Samuel Barber. Eric Whitacre’s choral classic, Sleep, has been arranged for concert band by the composer. With its shimmering dissonances it’s been both challenging and rewarding for the band.

Several band members will be featured soloists for this spring concert. Ted Milbrandt, a founding member of the band, will be featured in Nocturne, an arrangement of a Tchaikovsky classic.

Relative newcomer Kayla Izon will be the soloist in the lively Latin Sun by André Jutras.

Roger Kirk, anchor of the trumpet section, and Natalia Matheson, on tenor sax, lend their jazz talents to Paul Desmond’s Take Five.

A highlight of the concert will surely be Brian Balmages’ Elements (Petite Symphony) a suite of four movements: Air, Water, Earth and Fire. The band loves the four varied movements and so should the audience.

There’s always a march at a band concert, and this one finishes up with the very unusual Burst of Flame by Richard Bowles, the late music director at the University of Florida.

As usual at the Community Band’s Sunday afternoon concerts, refreshments prepared by band members will be served. The concert will be about an hour long, and children are welcome.

The Campbell River Community Band has been together for nineteen years, mostly under the baton of founding director Céline Ouellette. The band rehearses once a week from September to May.

Tickets are available at the door. The cost is $5, or $12 for a family. The concert will be held in the multi-purpose room of Carihi Secondary School. The entry is off the lower parking lot.