June 14th, 2024

Community Band Society celebrating 35 years with Mayor’s Christmas Concert

By Alejandra Pulido-Guzman - Lethbridge Herald on December 2, 2022.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDapulido@lethbridgeherald.com

The Lethbridge Community Band Society is bringing back their annual Mayor’s Christmas Concert after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year marks their 29th concert.

The concert will take place this Saturday at 7 p.m. at Southminster United Church with special guests Deputy Mayor Ryan Parker and the Alegré Choir, which is part of the University of Lethbridge Conservatory choirs, and is under the direction of Kathy Matkin-Clapton.

Those in attendance will enjoy the sounds of the Community Silver Band conducted by Karen Van de Vendel and the Community Gold Band conducted by Mark Ward.

Van de Vendel explained that the Silver Band is an intermediate band, while the Gold Band is an advance band, but they have some players that play in both.

“Besides having our special guests, we have also partnered with the Christmas Hope campaign, so they will have volunteers there handing out envelopes and all the proceeds will go into that Christmas hope campaign,” said Van de Vendel.

She said it is really nice to be able to bring the concert back as it was very tough on everyone to not have an outlet to play music, and members are very excited about it.

“I really feel like coming to the mayor’s concert is such a tradition and it’s not an expensive thing to come to, and it’s just such a beautiful way to start the Christmas season especially after what we’ve gone through over the past few years,” said Van De Vendel.

She said it is great to be able to bring back the concert this year as the LCBS is celebrating their 35th anniversary, with some of its members being part of it since inception.

Ward echoed the enthusiasm of Van de Vendel when it comes to bringing back the concert this year. He said it is exciting to be able to do a Christmas concert again now that things are opening up.

“We’ve got most of the band members back. After COVID it took a while, and we still weren’t sure. There was a little bit of worry about if people would come back, and if they would all come back, so we’re just really happy to be able to present the concert again,” said Ward.

He said they will have a special guest performing with the Gold Band.

“David Mikuliak is going to be singing with the Gold Band and speaking. He’s doing ‘You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch’ and he’s also reading the poem ‘The Night Before Christmas’ along with band accompaniment,” said Ward.

He said the band will also be playing a medley of well-known Christmas carols in a different way, with an arrangement by a Japanese arranger.

“This year we have the deputy mayor coming along and we hope to see him up there at the end on the sing along conducting the band. We’ll have to talk to him about that, but the mayors in the past have always been really good sports about coming up and helping us lead the singing and the conducting at the end,” said Ward.

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