Christmas time without music is akin to Halloween without costumes so thankfully here in the lakecity, several bands will be providing residents with opportunities to take in some quality Christmas concerts.
According to Laura Eilers, a band teacher for Lake City Secondary School and conductor of the Williams Lake Community Band, Williams Lake will be treated to three Christmas concerts hosted at schools in December. As the band program extends across both the Lake City and Columneetza Campuses, two of them will feature student performers.
“I think it’s important just for the kids to showcase what they’ve been working on and just get them more in the Christmas spirit,” Eilers said. “It’s not necessarily easy for kids to perform in front of other people but definitely once they get going are happy to do it and really striving for excellence.”
To kick things off the Williams Lake Community Band will be performing its annual Christmas Concert on Friday, Dec. 6 at LCSS Lake City Campus in the commons, Eilers said, with the show beginning at 7 p.m.
Eilers said they moved venues this year because they had outgrown the previous location of City Hall as both the event and the choirs involved have grown bigger over the years. At the school, they’ll have space and the freedom to host all the performers and the audience.
In addition to the Community Band, there will be Angela Sommer’s children’s choir, the Just For Fun Women’s Choir and her Teen Choir. Otherwise, the format will be the same as previous years as they switch between choir to band with admission to the event by donation, with all money and food going back to the Salvation Army.
“We’ll be playing mostly some Christmas songs, we’re going to be playing The Grinch, Feliz Navidad and some other familiar Christmas tunes and we’ll end with a mass band and choir, where the audience is welcome to join in as well,” Eilers said.
On Thursday, Dec. 12 at the LCSS Williams Lake Campus Eilers said the senior players will perform including Band 10, the Seniors Tour Band and the Jazz Band. The show will begin at 7 p.m. and take place on the main stage of the high school.
Eilers said the bands will be playing songs like A Most Wonderful Christmas, A Jingle Bell Rhapsody amongst other classics like Carol of the Bells. All bands will be showcasing a wide range of songs they’ve been practicing since September, she added.
Meanwhile on Tuesday, Dec. 17 the Junior Concert will take place at the Columneetza Campus’ gymnasium at 7 p.m. and will include Band 7, Band 8, band 9 and the Junior Tour Band. Eilers said all of them will be playing Christmas pieces and some other concert band piece they’ve been working on over the course of the semester.
Admission for both of these student concerts will be by donation, Eilers said and will go right back to the band program to purchase equipment and resources needed to keep the program running.
“If you’re feeling like you need to get in the Christmas spirit, the commons is going to be all dressed up in Christmas attire and it’s just going to be a Christmas atmosphere, so if you need to get in the Christmas spirit come and listen to the bands at WL,” Eilers said. “At Columneetza there are aspiring musicians who are just starting off and it will be great to (come support them.)”
Eilers feels that the band program provides a home for a lot of her students and that it’s the strong sense of community that really sticks with former band members and shows in their music at concerts.
“The kids have been working really hard for (these concerts) over the course of this semester so they’re definitely looking forward to it,” Eilers said.