Why on earth is Campbell River Community Band conductor Kolya Kowalchuk calling the May 8 concert Rev Up The Band?
Perhaps the titles of some of the pieces he has chosen offer a hint: Anchors Away, Adrenaline Engines, Into the Clouds, Horse and Buggy, Parade of the Tall Ships. It seems we’re all going on a trip, whatever the means of conveyance.
The Wednesday night concert begins at 7 p.m. in the Maritime Heritage Centre. It’s short enough for kids and people who don’t want to drive in the dark. Admission is by donation, to help defray rental costs.
Some of the pieces Kowalchuk has chosen evoke travel in earlier times. Parade of the Tall Ships by the Emmy and Grammy Award winner Jay Chattaway paints a picture of nautical life aboard the tall ships. Leroy Anderson’s Horse and Buggy was a staple of Pops Concerts of the 1950s, and is one of the many Anderson favourites the band has played over the years.
In a completely different vein the band will perform some energetic and rhythmically complex music suggesting high speed travel in the future.
Adrenaline Engines and Hyperdrive with their driving rhythms and frenetic energy, keep our two talented young percussionists busy at the back of the band.
Time slows down again with the lovely On a Russian Rowing Chanty, which is a series of variations on the Song of the Volga Boatmen, arranged by Jack Wilds. The Newfoundland folk song, Petty Harbour Bait Skiff opens with a baritone solo by Doug Craig.
If you have ever traveled west into the setting sun, you will understand what is happening in Chasing Sunlight by Cait Nishimura, a Toronto composer and music educator. This work won the 2017 Canadian Band Association Composition Competition.
Other works on the program include Into the Clouds and the futuristic Ghost in the Machine (in which the machine breaks down before starting up again)
The program opens with Anchors Aweigh, the march of the U.S. Navy and ends with Photo Finish, a “galop” or country dance which will leave everyone, including the players, breathless.
The Campbell River Community Band is celebrating its twenty-third year. The founding director, Celine Ouellette, now plays in the horn section.
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 Carihi. He recently was the music director and conductor of the pit band for Carihi’s musical James and the Giant Peach.
After the program, there will be a reception with goodies prepared by band members. Everyone is welcome to stay and visit.