Band celebrates 30 years

The Terrace Community Band celebrated their 30th year anniversary with two events over the Canada Day long weekend.

The band performed in the band shell in George Little Park for park goers on the evening of June 30.

And the next morning, on Canada Day, the band was up and at ‘em again for the annual firefighters pancake breakfast, where the band held their final performance of the year.

Come September, the band will resume from summer break and will continue with their regular Tuesday evening practice at Caledonia Secondary School.

Wayne Jones, past president of the Terrace Community Band, says the secret to having a band last so long is having a passionate musical director. Over the last 30 years, the band has had five committed musical directors, Jim Ryan, Bob Butchart, Susan Brouwer, Jose Coosemans and now Geoff Parr.

The band was started by Jim Ryan back in 1983, who noticed that between playing music in school and getting preoccupied with college and life, there was nowhere in the community for people to play music, Jones explained.

Throughout the years, band members have come and gone, but the number of members has always remained around 30. Ages of band members range from 18 – early 60s.

Each year the band also performs at the Remembrance Day ceremony. However, the band doesn’t just stick around Terrace, as they have made trips to perform on Haida Gwaii and Ottawa. Each year the band performs at SeaFest in Prince Rupert and in Hazelton on Good Friday to support their food bank.

“[We’re] focusing on keeping music in the northwest,” said Christine Crawford, president of the Terrace Community Band.

Additionally the Terrace Community Band has played at MusicFest Canada several times in the past 30 years, and adjudicators put them at the highest standard, the gold standard.

Originating from the Terrace Community Band have come small ensembles like a jazz band, soloists, a trio, and the dessert night events that were held at the golf course. The Terrace Symphony originated from Ryan too, as a place for stringed instrument musicians to play.

The community band, and founder have created a lasting impact on the community of Terrace as the song the Spirit of Terrace was written and composed by Ryan while in Prince George for dialysis. He found a paper and wrote it down, Jones said.

“It reminded him that lots was going on back home,” said Jones, adding if anyone wants to add lyrics to the song, they are more than welcome.


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