Musician, teacher and director Jack Fellner hates to see students of band park their musical instrument once they’re finished with their secondary school band classes.
That’s one of the reasons why the 87-year-old director of the Adult Community Concert Band in 100 Mile House leads weekly practices for a 15-member group of amateur musicians who might not otherwise have somewhere to play. The band has been at it for more than four years, practising every Thursday night from September through June at the Christ the King Lutheran Church in 100 Mile.
Aside from a performance during the Christmas season at Fischer Place and another at the end of their season, the band members’ focus is on practising and enjoying the camaraderie that comes from playing with a group of like-minded people.
Fellner says he can work with any instrument that comes through the door, and currently, the band includes a trumpet, saxophone, clarinet, flute, trombone, electric base and percussion instruments.
The director says he’s always excited to welcome new members.
“All you have to do is have an instrument, and we’ll do the rest,” he says, adding the adult band includes members who range in age from recent high school graduates to seniors.
As director, he doesn’t play in the band, but Fellner has had his share of performing.
In the early days, he played in big bands in Illinois and later was a school music teacher in Los Angeles and in Calgary.
Now, he’s happy to provide people in the South Cariboo with an opportunity to play their instruments in a fun productive environment.
“It keeps music alive in a sense.”
On June 19, the band will perform in a concert at Martin Exeter Hall at 2 p.m. Fellner is calling it ‘A Smorgasbord of Tunes’, and says there will be something to please everybody.
People can look forward to hearing a bit of classic concert band music, a lot of Broadway hits and even some pop. The musicians will also perform a few solos and in small ensembles.
“They’ve come a long way and have put a lot of time into practising. They’ve worked hard at it and they really want to do well.”
Admission for the concert will be by cash donation and proceeds will turned over to a local charity.