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Powell River Community Band set to resume performing

Outdoor concert planned for Willingdon Beach venue, highlighting marches of the world
GREAT SETTING: Powell River Community Band will be putting on an outdoor performance, weather permitting, at Willingdon Beach Loggers Memorial Bowl, with marches of the world being featured as the musical component.

After a two-year COVID-19 hiatus, Powell River Community Band is finally performing together again.

On June 11 at the Loggers Memorial Bowl at Willingdon Beach, weather permitting, the band will be putting on an open-air concert. The 1 pm concert is free, but donations will be appreciated. The band will be playing marches of the world.

Band and board member Ann Trousdell said the band is an independent, self-supporting organization, consisting of woodwind, brass and percussion players with a passion for playing together. The band also financially supports students to give them an opportunity to join the band for free and continue playing beyond their school band level.

“The Powell River Community Band has a long, interesting history,” said Trousdell.

Long-time band member Dave Florence provided some of those details.

“In 1913, Powell River had a community band called the ‘greatest band in the world.’ There are pictures of this band at the qathet museum and in the Brooks Secondary School hallway,” noted Florence. “In the 1930s and 1940s, there was a community band led by James Innes. Then, Charles Stowell began a community band, which emerged following a community college class in the 1960s. Various conductors continued the class, including Bob Williams, Travis McDonough and Pat Kendrick.

“In the 1990s the band stopped playing for several years and musical instruments and other equipment were sold to a new community band in Chilliwack.”

Trousdell said in 1996, a group of musicians led by Kendrick, including Florence, Hanna and Read English, and Walter Martella, started the Academy Community Concert Band under the auspices of Powell River Academy of Music. Martella became conductor and rehearsals were held in the portable classrooms outside of the academy.

“In February of 1999, the band separated from the academy of music and re-established itself as the Powell River Community Concert Band,” said Trousdell. “The separation made it possible to accept Kiwanis Club’s generous offer of financial support from its bingo charity funding. The band members spent many nights staffing Kiwanis Bingos.

“In 2014, Roy Carson became the conductor of the community band and he has taken the band to yet another performance level. He is a highly trained musician and educator who commits extraordinary amounts of his time and energy to the mentoring of students and fellow musicians alike.”

Most recently, in 2021, the band welcomed Steven Cramaro as the conductor of the junior band, enabling the band to welcome beginner players to join.

“The objective of the band is to operate and maintain a community-based brass-reed band and associated ensembles in the Powell River area, encourage and provide opportunities for adults and students to develop and express their musical talent, and hold public band concerts to showcase the concert band and associated ensembles,” said Trousdell. “Any adult or student playing a brass, woodwind instrument or percussion, with basic band experience, is invited to check us out. You might want to consider joining the band in September.”

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