From left: Bruce Ham (Conductor), William Beauvais & Sierra Newlove (Stelly’s Secondary), Svenja Frey and Ryan Kelly (both from Parkland Secondary). (Submitted)

Sidney Concert Band supporting local school programs

Benefit concert Dec. 11 helping three Saanich Peninsula schools

SIDNEY — When flautist Svenja Frey arrived from Germany to attend high school for a year in Sidney, she immediately joined the Parkland Secondary School band.

“As a German exchange student, daily life in another language can be hard sometimes. Music is like an international language to me, spoken the same all over the world.”

Little did she realize she would have a chance to flex her musical muscle in the Sidney Concert Band (SCB), while supporting her school’s band program through SCB’s annual Christmas Benefit Concert.

“I’ve played in orchestras like the Sidney Concert Band before,” explains Svenja, “and it’s wonderful to find people on the other side of the world who enjoy music just as much as I do. It reminds me of home and now having the opportunity to play in the local concert band while supporting the school band programs is fantastic!

The SCB presents Christmas Memories, an evening of family-friendly seasonal music, vocals and an audience sing-along on Mon., Dec. 11 in the Parkland Secondary School Theatre. Concert proceeds will benefit the three Peninsula secondary school band programs. A pre-show Flute Ensemble will perform at 6:30 p.m. and the main show begins at 7 p.m.

This year’s concert features an assortment of Christmas favourites such as It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year and Spirit of Christmas – a medley of traditional carols interwoven with the most iconic poem of the season, Twas the Night Before Christmas, as recited by SCB’s own raconteur extraordinaire, John Hewson. Vocalists Stephanie Benbow and Georgina Stevens will present Christmas from the ’50s and Jim Kingham will warm your heart with his rendition of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas. The evening will also feature special guests, the High Notes Flute Choir and the band’s own brass section in A Merry Brassy Christmas.

Conductor Bruce Ham knows only too well the demands of maintaining a viable band program.

“As a retired high school band director, I’m keenly aware of the financial needs of a school band program. Instruments and music are very expensive, so any help we can give these programs will be greatly appreciated.”

Ham is actively involved with the Peninsula band programs at Parkland, Stelly’s and Claremont secondary schools and through these connections, four students were invited to play with the SCB for the Dec. 11 concert.

“Sharing our collective musical knowledge with young people is so rewarding,” Ham said. “The young people who perform with the Sidney Concert Band have the opportunity to sit next to ‘seasoned’ musicians who are wonderful mentors. These students then take that experience back to their school and all their peers benefit as well.”

Stelly’s tenor saxophonist, William Beauvais, couldn’t agree more.

“The SCB is a great opportunity to meet friendly, talented people, and have fun! I’m excited to bring the skills they’ve taught me back to my bands at Stelly’s as well as our local 676 Air Cadet band!”

Schoolmate and percussionist, Sierra Newlove, echoes William’s sentiments.

“I’ve enjoyed playing in the Sidney Concert Band these past few weeks, alongside so many experienced musicians.

“Now I’m looking forward to applying my new skills in the Stelly’s school band.”

Trumpeter Ryan Kelly from Parkland says, “being able to play in the SCB has allowed me to challenge myself and discover my full potential. I’ve learned new playing techniques from the veteran musicians in the band and can’t wait to teach what I’ve learned to the other kids in my school band.”

For Svenja Frey, the SCB has quickly become a way to connect with musicians outside of Parkland Secondary.

“There are so many friendly, supportive and talented people in this band, Sidney can consider itself lucky!”

The Parkland Theatre and parking area is located at the back of Parkland Secondary School, 10640 McDonald Park Road in North Saanich.

Entrance to the concert is by donation at the door. Food bank items are also encouraged.

Submitted by Yvonne Kupsch

Just Posted

Executive chef hosts National Honey Bee Day in Langford

The Westin Bear Mountain Golf Resort and spa lost all of their honey bees last year

UPDATED: Materials linked to 1992 Colwood murder found at construction site in Metchosin

West Shore RCMP investigating to determine if relevant to the old case

PHOTOS: Tour de Victoria takes off

1,800 cyclists took off in the Ryder Hesjedal’s Tour de Victoria for a city-wide loop

First responders, police march in funeral procession for Fredericton officers

Hundreds of officials marched in the parade, which included massed band, several police motorcycles

Five things to do in Greater Victoria this weekend

Puppy yoga, horses, cars, water guns and more make up this weekend’s list of events to see

Canadians react to death of former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan at age 80

Nobel Peace Prize-winning former UN leader died early Saturday following a short illness

44 drownings so far this year in B.C.

Lifesaving Society urging caution to prevent deaths while on lakes, oceans and in pools

Some of B.C.’s air quality levels worse than Jodhpur, India

Okanagan, northern B.C. seeing some of the worst air quality globally

VIDEO: Ground crews keep a close eye on largest B.C. wildfire

Originally estimated to be 79,192 hectares, officials said more accurate mapping shows smaller size

Canadians believe in immigration but concerned about asylum seekers: study

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada paid for study to understand Canadian attitudes

These are the highest-paid actresses of 2018

In its list released this week Forbes said all 10 earned a total of $186 million before tax

VIDEO: Fires break out in scrap piles at mill on Vancouver Island

Nanaimo firefighters got blazes under control in early morning hours Saturday at Harmac Pacific

Most Read