Monday, January 30, 2023

Busy time of year, Wallaceburg Concert Band Christmas show on Saturday

By Dan White – Special to the Sydenham Current

For many performing artists the next month is among the busiest times of the year.

People flock to the traditional during the holidays.

Dave spoke extensively about the Wallaceburg Concert Band in his last column, and in just a few days we will be loading all our gear onto a couple of trailers and hauling it down Elgin St. from our rehearsal home to WDSS.

It is sure to be a crazy busy day for the members of the band as we meet early, transport everything and turn the gym into a performance space.

But it is what we love and the free concert will bring as much joy to all of the musicians who have worked for months to prepare for you as it does for our audience.

Maybe that is why performing arts are so popular during the holidays.

Like Christmas, performing arts are better done when crowds gather.

Like all holiday celebrations, performing arts require a massive amount of work quietly completed in the background for the brief time when everyone gathers to experience the fruits of the labour.

Like any present, it is the giving of the gift that brings joy as much as receiving.

This Saturday, we will give everything that we have to brighten the lives of as many people as we can in our community.

There is no ulterior motive, no hidden agenda, we just want to bring the community together and celebrate.

Obviously, this year will be even more significant as it will be the first Christmas Concert for us in three years.

Once we are done in Wallaceburg, we will take everything back down Elgin Street until December 11, where we will do it again, with a mostly different selection of Christmas music at the Capitol Theatre.

This will be a very exciting time with our first gig in an actual concert venue.

It makes us dream of a performance venue in Wallaceburg, but that’s a conversation for another day.

A quick footnote: Mayor Caniff and his wife, Christine came to town to meet with the band executive, listen to our hopes and dreams and take in several songs by the concert band before heading back south to Chatham.

I have noted this before, I lived in Sarnia for five decades and was very involved in theatre there, Mayor Bradley seldom made an appearance or actively supported the arts.

Darrin doesn’t have to support the arts; he sees that it can be a driving force for the community and he gives the gift of his attention.

But wait there is more.

The Wallaceburg Brass Quintet is finally able to perform publicly again and we have half a dozen performances set up over the next few weeks.

Dave, Joni, Chris, Meighan and I will be playing at all three retirement locations in town as well as at three elementary schools.

These too are free and some are a musical outreach to entertain, bring joy and maybe even inspire some young people to pursue learning an instrument.

The fact that there is no music in our local schools is a conversation for another day as well.

We are also planning to do an outdoor performance, probably near the fountain. If we are lucky, we will have a little snowfall before Christmas and we can play with snow around and film for an upcoming video.

In the coming days we will be setting up a Wallaceburg Brass Quintet Facebook Page and you will be able to find out where and when on that site.

We will also share our videos from the past two years there.

We are still planning to create more videos – we really want to make a Christmas video but all of these concerts plus rehearsals for Remember, Maggy? sure don’t leave a great deal of spare time.

Has everyone noticed that the downtime and quiet COVID forced (where we found new interests) has been crowded out by the return to, well, life.

Not complaining, just observing.

On the subject of sharing – James Snyder and I met with two people wanting to start an arts council in another community.

As directors with the Chatham Kent Arts and Culture Network we were happy to facilitate the beginning of another organization that will support arts and artists and be leaders in the arts community.

Being on a board of directors can be very rewarding.

If you happen to be at the concert on Saturday at WDSS, thank you for your support.

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