The Westshore Community Concert Band is gearing up to celebrate 10 years of music, and to honour the donors that helped them grow through the years.
Playing pieces new and old, the band will kick off a it’s 10th season by performing an appreciation concert on Oct. 20. “This is an opportunity for us to say ‘thank you’ to all of the sponsors,” said Gail Nash, band secretary, president of the West Shore Arts Council, and woodwinds player.
The band relies on donations and honorariums. “We’d get $100 here, $100 there from our performances,” said Nash, adding that the generosity of their numerous sponsors has been key in keeping the band going.
From a modest beginning in 2002, the WestShore Community Concert Band has grown significantly. Starting with eight, the band now boasts closer to 45 members.
Ten years ago, conductor Michael Dominy filled the local concert band void by gathering local musicians and practising in Westmont School in Metchosin. “Nothing like this had ever existed in the area before,” said Nash. “It started by word of mouth and people just trickled in.”
At that time, Dominy played the clarinet and conducted simultaneously.
“I’ve done it – it’s tricky,” notes Nash. Though the multitasking has ceased, the band’s repertoire has grown in size and complexity.
“We play a variety of tunes. There’s sure to be something for everyone,” said Nash.
In addition, two of the band’s members are composers. The band has played their original pieces, giving the band, as Nash said, “something different than anyone else has.”
The band itself brings West Shore communities as well as families together. It is not uncommon for sons and daughters to play along with their parents. The age range of the band is also quite notable, with the youngest member to date being just nine years old, and the oldest being close to 90. Nash and her husband, Robert Hume, also play together in the band. Nash plays oboe, clarinet and English horn, while Hume plays the French and alto horns.
The band practices Tuesday nights and performs as a group usually three times per year. Ensembles composed of various band members also perform around the community throughout the year.
The appreciation concert will take place from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 20 at the Forge Church, 2612 Sooke Rd. Admission is free, but concertgoers are encouraged to bring a cash or food donation for the Goldstream Food Bank.
For more information on the Westshore Community Concert Band, visit www.angelfire.com/bc3/westshoreband.