Special to Tribune/Advisor
The Cariboo Gold Dance Band’s Night to Remember this Saturday, Nov. 19 with special guest saxophonist Bill Runge is a fundraiser for the Lake City Secondary School Tour Band.
The LCSS Tour Band, composed of 60 Grade 8-12 band students, practice after school hours in addition to their regular in-school classes under the baton of conductor Laura Eilers.
Older students mentor the younger musicians.
Every two years the band fundraises for a major band trip.
In the past the band has travelled to Cuba, Italy and Austria, as well music festivals in Whistler and Sun Peaks.
In 2017, the older students will tour New York and Boston, while the Grades 8s and 9s head to Sun Peaks Music Festival.
Band trips are just as popular with band parents as with the kids, says Eilers, and there is a long waiting list for chaperones.
Cariboo Gold musicians are enthusiastic supporters of the school band programs, says director Murray Hoffman, since most of them came through the school band program themselves.
Members have played along with school musicians in class and volunteered in district band retreats.
The band regularly performs alongside school bands at Christmas and other concerts.
The Cariboo Gold Dance Band was started in 1983 by members of the Williams Lake Community Band who got together to play some big band charts.
The band has now been meeting for weekly practices for more than 30 years, and has performed all over the Cariboo and the province, including New Year’s Eve in Wells, and the Clinton Annual Ball.
Long-time band members have fond memories of playing on the B.C. stage at Expo 86 and headlining for a week at the Biltmore Hotel in North Tahoe, Nevada.
The 16 member band specializes in big band music from the 40’s, but its repertoire also includes Latin sounds and dance music from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, right up to the current era.
Special guest saxophonist Bill Runge has performed all over North America and the world for more than 30 years.
In addition to working with too many famous artists to count, he’s also composed and arranged for film and television.
The band is thrilled to perform with such an accomplished musician, says Hoffman, it’s going to be a great show.
Showtime is 7:30 pm, Saturday, Nov. 19, at the Limelight Theatre. Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for students and seniors and are available at The Open Book, from Cariboo Gold members, and at the door.
The evening provides two hours of swing, Latin, show tunes and more with a dance floor provided.
Connie Haeussler is a longtime member of the Williams Lake Community Band and Cariboo Gold Dance Band.