June 16th, 2024

Band society hosting Ukraine benefit concert

By Dale Woodard - Lethbridge Herald on March 9, 2022.

As they get ready for their first concert in over two years, the Lethbridge Community Band Society have struck a note for support.
The LCBS will hold a free concert for the people of Ukraine, which includes a fundraiser, March 12 at 7 p.m. at College Drive Community Church.
The concert was originally scheduled as the band’s first live performance in two years prior to the pandemic, but when news broke about Russia’s invasion into the Ukraine, the LCBS decided to double the event as a fundraiser for those affected overseas.
“We were planning a concert because we haven’t had a concert in two years because of the pandemic. So this was kind of the inaugural one,” said Felix Michna, member of the Lethbridge Community Band Society executive. “As it turned out, this tragedy was unfolding and we thought this would be an opportunity to offer not only our condolences, but our recognition of what is happening in the world, specifically in the Ukraine. So we thought we would find an opportunity to not only have the first concert in two years, but also to offer our support for the Ukrainian community in this city and in the region as well.”
As a charitable organization, people can make a donation to the concert at http://www.lcbs.ca and get a tax receipt.
Donations will be matched by the federal government and transferred to the Red Cross, said Michna.
“We’ve already made connections with the Red Cross, so we’re in touch with them. We also hope to have as many members of the Ukrainian community show up and we’re inviting as many of them as we can.”
Michna said they hope to have someone perform the Ukrainian national anthem at the concert. 
“This came out about rather quickly, because originally it was just going to be a concert and now we’ve expanded it to something more significant and more important in terms of what’s happening.”
This year marks the 35th anniversary of the LCBS.
“The founding members started the band organization in 1987,” said Michna. “There were 41 original members and five of them are still playing after 35 years and they’ll be playing on Saturday as well as part of the Gold Band.”
After two years away, the members are understandably looking forward to tuning back up.
“I think everyone is pretty excited,” said Michna. “I think one of the issues has been how hard it has been to maintain a practice schedule. If you’re not playing for anybody, you have to be pretty determined to keep a practise schedule for yourself. I think that has been one of the hard parts, to get back together and almost start from scratch in some sense.”
Some band members, however, have gotten in a few gigs.
“We had the Tuba Christmas, so they were able to do that,” said Michna. “There are five members called the Bridge Brass that do a lot of playing. So they’ve played at a number of occasions. There are members of the band who have at least been practising.”
But next Saturday’s performance will take on significantly more meaning that just being able to entertain a crowd.
“It’s to honour and stimulate interest in what has been happening,” said Michna. “We’re hoping to get as many people as possible. That’s why it’s a free concert, just to introduce us back into the world of music and let people know we’re back.”

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