Roz and Hal Giles take over the dance floor at the Swing Night at the Limelight concert on Nov. 16. Many couples could be seen showing off their steps to the catchy music, although others had to be pulled onto the floor. Tara Sprickerhoff photo.

Roz and Hal Giles take over the dance floor at the Swing Night at the Limelight concert on Nov. 16. Many couples could be seen showing off their steps to the catchy music, although others had to be pulled onto the floor. Tara Sprickerhoff photo.

Cariboo Gold Dance Band gets in on midcentury revival

Williams Lake band prepares to perform live to a reduced audience Feb. 5

Cariboo Gold Dance Band, like everyone else, faces the challenge of evolution to the “new reality.”

The band has been fortunate to restart rehearsals and is working hard toward being joined by Steve Maddock, renowned jazz singer, to present an evening of original Frank Sinatra “big band” arrangements on Feb. 5 at the Gibraltar Room.

Cariboo Gold has a 38-year history based on volunteer musicians from the Williams Lake area.

The face of the band has evolved as a few long-term members retired or moved away over the last couple of years, including George White, Bill Crook, Ross McCoubrey, Bill Hyde and David Rusch.

We have recently been pleased to have Mike Bruce join us on piano, Matt Grunland on guitar, Eric Grimmish on saxophone, Kevin Easthope on percussion and this season have WLSS students, Edwin Lee, Austin McAllister and Koen Vogt filling key vacancies.

The result is a mix of ages and experience that gives the band a whole new level of depth and energy.

Big band style of music, including the swing style we will perform on Feb. 5, is unique and requires significant work to develop as individual band members and as well as in a clean, coordinated and hopefully pleasing way.

Band leader Murray Hoffman notes the skill level has developed to the point the band now has in its repertoire music arrangements that were tried and filed away years ago because of their difficulty level.

The hope is to continue to build on this success as more amateur musicians become interested.

On Feb. 5 Cariboo Gold will spend the day with Steve Maddock in preparation for our combined performance the same evening.

Williams Lake’s own Kirsten Lyons will also be featured at the microphone.

The band will also play a few instrumentals that will present a true big band sound including a few feature solos.

Tickets will be available for a small and fully vaccinated audience concurrent with provincial health orders.

Professional audio and video recordings will be made during the performance and a select number of the evening’s songs will become available on YouTube.

Cariboo Gold hopes to reach their regular patrons and new audiences who might now be intrigued, or just ready to get out and hear some live music.

The event is largely sponsored through a grant funded by the city of Williams Lake and the Cariboo Regional District through the Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Society.

The band has also received grant funds from the Community Arts Council Williams Lake for some critical equipment including a keyboard synthesizer substituting for bass guitar and a few pieces of auxiliary percussion equipment.

The band feels extremely fortunate to be a part of the varied and talented arts and culture community that exists in the Cariboo.

Doors will open for the event on Feb. 5 at 7 p.m., show will start at 7:30 p.m.. Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for seniors and children, available at The OPEN BOOK.

Read more: Cariboo Gold Dance Band sharpening skills in preparation for 2021 shows

Read more: Professional talent comes to Cariboo Gold Band

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