The Nanaimo Concert Band won’t get any time off this coming long weekend.
On Sunday, Nov. 10 the ensemble is presenting its annual fall concert at the Port Theatre, and the following day the musicians will be part of the Remembrance Day ceremony at the downtown cenotaph. The concert band hasn’t missed a Remembrance Day since the very first armistice celebration on Nov. 11, 1918.
This will be the first time conductor Dave Fullerton will be leading the NCB on Remembrance Day. He said he’s very proud to take part.
“Remembrance Day is always very moving for me,” Fullerton said. “My father served, both of my grandfathers served and I have been part of Remembrance services and have served as a player [and] as a conductor for a number of years.”
Fullerton said the Sunday concert will feature music relating to Remembrance Day, including “one of the most beautifully arranged treatments” of Danny Boy.
“In the first half we have excerpts from opera, we have serious music, we have music thematic for Remembrance Day and then, and our audience is used to this, once we come back after the break it turns into a show,” Fullerton said.
He added that the concert will also include “a surprise presentation that we think people will remember for a number of years,” but wouldn’t say more than that.
“I’m sworn to secrecy,” he said.
Among the pieces not marked ‘confidential’ is A Touch of Tuba, featuring a solo by tuba player Bruce Roberts. Roberts said he’s been working on it all year.
“It’s really quite demanding on tuba,” he said. “It touches four octaves, for one thing, so you’re going way high and way low.”
Next year will be Roberts’s 40th with the NCB. Before then he played in concert bands in the towns he was stationed in as an RCMP officer mostly on the Prairies. He said he joined the NCB “the day after” he moved to Nanaimo.
Roberts said he’s glad the group will be backing him up on A Touch of Tuba.
“The band is so good and it makes me sound way better than I am,” he said.
WHAT’S ON … The Nanaimo Concert Band’s Annual Fall Concert comes to the Port Theatre, 125 Front St., on Sunday, Nov. 10 at 2:30 p.m. All seats $16. The band will also perform during the Remembrance Day ceremony at the downtown cenotaph.