Yoshiaki Koizumi

Yoshiaki Koizumi

Oboe featured in principal role in concert band’s annual show

NANAIMO – The Nanaimo Concert Band will feature one of its youngest members during its annual fall concert.

The Nanaimo Concert Band will feature one of its youngest members during its annual fall concert.

Yoshiaki Koizumi, 16, is a exchange student from Tokyo, attending high school in Nanaimo. He plays the oboe, which some believe is one of the hardest woodwind instruments to play.

The oboe is a double-reed woodwind instrument and is  capable of very gentle, expressive passages, yet it is said it takes a large amount of air to play. The range of pressure between the softest and loudest sounds is rather small, so careful control of the pressure on the reed is necessary.

“We haven’t had an oboist for a while and saw this opportunity to pull out a piece called Gabriel’s Oboe,” said Shari Barker, publicist for the concert band.

Gabriel’s Oboe is the main theme for the 1986 film The Mission and is one of the most beautiful pieces of music written for the oboe in the 20th century.

“We knew that Yoshiaki has never seen this piece before, but we thought, let’s give it a try. Well, he did an amazing job,”   Barker said. “The whole band broke into applause in rehearsal when the piece ended.”

Clarinet player Richard Perks, a longtime member of the band who also performed with the Naden Band, will be taking the lead on a classical piece called Concerto for Clarinet.

“We are extremely lucky to have Richard in the band, and the clarinet section excels under his leadership,” Barker said.

The Nanaimo Concert Band was established in 1872 by Rev. James Reynard. The band has played for the Empire Days celebration throughout Nanaimo’s history, and has played for the opening of major public buildings, royal visits, and Bathtub celebrations.  The band has, without fail, played at every Remembrance Day ceremony since the First World War.

All members of the band are from our community who volunteer their time for all  rehearsals and performances.

Barker, who has been with the band for more than 30 years, was just 14 when she joined. She said she gained knowledge from the experienced musicians and knows that Yoshiaki will have a similar experience.

When he was asked what he thought of the band so far, he replied, “I like it, as people here are so kind.  I am very happy to join the band and I am very excited to play my first concert with the band.”

The concert is set for Nov. 3, 2:30 p.m., at the Port Theatre. Tickets $13.50. Please call 250-754-8550.