Special to the Tribune/Advisor
The Lake City Secondary School Tour Band is well supported by adult bands in the lakecity whose members often join the high school students for concerts and help with their fundraising activities.
The public will have an opportunity to see both the Lake City Secondary School Bands and the Williams Lake Community Band in two popular pre-Christmas concerts this week.
The LCSS Tour Band will be in concert this Thursday, Dec. 8 along with the LCSS Jazz Band, Grade 10 Band and the Grade 10 Hand Chimes group.
The concert will be held in the Williams Lake Campus Commons on Carson Street starting at 7 p.m. Admission is by donation to help with band travel costs.
This Friday, Dec. 9 the Williams Lake Community Band will join the Just for Fun Choir in a concert taking place at city hall starting at 7 p.m.
The groups will be performing a combination of Christmas music and other favourite music. Admission to the community band concert is by donation for the Salvation Army food bank.
The LCSS Tour Band is composed of 60 band students in grades 8 to 12 who 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 senior tour band students have travelled to Cuba, Italy and Austria, as well as to music festivals in Whistler and Sun Peaks.
In 2017, the older band students will tour New York and Boston, while the band students in grades 8 and 9 will 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.
The tour band recently raised funds by hosting a concession at the Cariboo Gold Dance Band’s Night to Remember concert in November with internationally acclaimed B.C. saxophonist Bill Runge.
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.
Band members have played along with school musicians in class and volunteered in district band retreats.
Cariboo Gold members regularly perform alongside school bands at Christmas time and for other concerts.
This week Cariboo Gold will be performing for seniors at the OAPO dinner taking place at the Seniors Centre, Thursday, Dec. 8.
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.
Cariboo Gold 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, who performed with Cariboo Gold in November has performed all over North America and the world for more than 30 years.
Connie Haeussler is a longtime member of the Williams Lake Community Band and Cariboo Gold Dance Band.