SURREY — Jim Tempest and members of his military band are excited to play host to a unique concert here this month.
For its 26th year, the Pacific region’s International Military Band Concert is coming to Metro Vancouver – specifically, Surrey’s Chandos Pattison Auditorium.
“It’s the first time it’s ever been held here in Greater Vancouver, which is exciting for us,” said Tempest, music director of the Band of the Fifteenth Field Artillery Regiment, RCA, part of the Canadian Army Reserve based in Vancouver. “It’s a big deal it’s coming here, for sure.”
On the afternoon of Victoria Day (Monday, May 23), close to 80 musicians from six military bands in B.C., Washington and California will gather for two days of rehearsals, culminating in a 2:30 p.m. concert at the Fraser Heights-area theatre.
The band directed by Tempest will host Pipes and Drums of the Seaforth Highlanders Regiment of Canada, the NADEN Band of the Royal Canadian Navy, the 56th U.S. Army I-Corps Band, U.S. Navy Band Northwest and the U.S. Air Force Band of the Golden West.
Musicians from each of the bands will form a composite, or massed band for the performance in Surrey.
“Our band is the core, and each band will bring between six to 10 people,” Tempest explained.’
“It’s like going to see the VSO in a theatre – there won’t be marching or anything.”
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The concert will feature symphonic wind music, traditional marches, film music and more.
“It covers the gamut, and there will be something for everybody,” Tempest said. “Having done this for so many years, the calibre of performance is as good as anyone could hope. It’ll blow your mind, it really will, because the level of musicianship is amazing.
“The nature of the work that most of us do doesn’t allow for this kind of concert literature because, you know, we’re out on parade squares and playing at dinners and stuff like that, so for the musicians it’s this fantastic opportunity to get together and play really great music in a really great ensemble. It kind of nourishes our musical side. And because it’s played so incredibly well, the audiences just go crazy.”
For the first 20 years of its existence, the annual concert was sponsored by a business association in Olympia, WA.
“They set up the hall, did all the publicity, and it’s very much a military town, with lots of community support for it, but for some reason in 2010 they decided not to do it any more, so the concert has moved around since then,” said Tempest, who also leads Delta Concert Band.
Tickets for the concert range from $10 to $20, and net proceeds will support school band programs in the province, via the B.C. Military Music Society.
“Our band includes seven players who teach elementary band, and four or five of them are in Surrey,” Tempest said.
“One of the guys told me he gets $50 a year to run his band program, so imagine that for a piece of music for a band it’s $25 or $30, so that’s one or two pieces of new music per year. They make do by using old stuff and borrowing and sharing, but if we can give each one of those programs another $50, that’ll double their amount of money.”
Tickets can be purchased through the websites Tapestrymusic.com/tickets and Picatic.com/imbc. More info about the concert can be found at Militarymusic.ca.