Photo Contributed The Nanaimo Concert Band celebrates its 145th anniversary with a special concert Sunday (April 23) at 2:30 p.m. at the Port Theatre.

Nanaimo Concert Band celebrates 145th anniversary with spring concert

Concert is Sunday (April 23) at Nanaimo’s Port Theatre

For 145 years, Nanaimo Concert Band members have serenaded audiences on Vancouver Island.

The band began in 1872 when Rev. James Reynard, the rector of St. Paul’s Anglican Church suggested organizing a brass band in Nanaimo, according to Brass Roots, a book on the history of the Nanaimo Concert Band written by Amy Campbell. The group, known then as the Nanaimo Brass Band, played church concerts, shows for charity and other community events. It wasn’t until the 1950s that the band adopted the current name it uses today.

To celebrate the significant milestone, the Nanaimo Concert Band is hosting a spring concert on Sunday (April 23) at 2:30 p.m. at the Port Theatre.

The show includes songs by Canadian composers in honour of Canada’s 150th anniversary, a special piece to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Vimy Ridge and a piece for trumpet player Al Campbell, who is celebrating his 75th anniversary with the band.

“If you have heard the band before and you liked us, you are really going to enjoy this special concert,” said Shari Barker, a member of the Nanaimo Concert Band. “And if you haven’t heard us, then this is a great opportunity to come and see what we are all about.”

The musicians will also play two songs in honour of Stan Wardill, a longtime member who passed away on March 13.

One of the songs is When the Saints Go Marching In, which Wardill told people he wanted to have played when he died.

“Stan was almost the father of the band,” said Barker, adding that he knew everyone’s name. “He was almost like the heart of the band … He had charisma and was a complete gentleman.”

Barker said Wardill beloved by audience members and would often sell 300 tickets by himself to shows.

“He had a following,” said Barker, adding that his concert fans were often referred to as Wardill’s Warriors.

Wardill joined the band on April 8, 1937 and didn’t quit the band until he was in his early 90’s, said Barker.

Tickets are $16 available in advance by calling 250-754-8550 or by visiting www.porttheatre.com.

For more information about the Nanaimo Concert Band, please visit http://nanaimoconcertband.com.

arts@nanaimobulletin.com

Just Posted

Vehicles crash at Mary Ellen Drive intersection

One vehicle was towed after a car crash in the north end of the city on a rainy Sunday night

VIDEO: Campaign begins to keep Nanaimo Recycling Exchange open

Lease for recycling exchange on Kenworth Road site expires in March

Woman accidentally hands over diamond ring with spare change

Incident happened Wednesday at about 7 p.m. at parking lot near Nanaimo’s boardwalk

Proposed public art installation sparks debate in Victoria

$250,000 sculpture compliments an interactive sound element of First Nations drumming and singing

#MeToo at work: Employers play a role in fixing culture of harassment

B.C. workplaces are getting ahead of being the next MeToo debacle, calling on experts to train staff

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Family suspends search for missing Alberta couple, plane near Revelstoke

Due to bad weather, families of missing Albertan couple say they will resume in the spring

Canadian grocers make $3M per year from penny-rounding: UBC study

Ottawa announced plans in 2012 to phase out the copper coin

Sagmoen neighbours recall alleged hammer attack

Woman was screaming outside Maple Ridge townhouse in 2013

B.C. anti-hate campaigner finds Google search on his efforts redirects to porn

Text from online news article about Cran Campbell being used to link to suspect websites

‘The Last Jedi’ opens with $220M, 2nd best weekend all-time

As anticipated, the movie fell shy of the opening weekend for J.J. Abrams’ 2015 franchise reboot

2 couples tie the knot in Australia’s 1st same-sex weddings

West Australian couple Anne Sedgwick, Lyn Hawkins have been together for 40 years

B.C. concert promoter bans Nazi symbols at shows

A man was witnessed making a Nazi salute during a heavy metal show at Pub 340

Most Read