Sunday, January 6, 2008

Scarborough Community Concert Band

The seniors and their families crowding the large central lounge at Cedarview Lodge broke into delighted applause as the Scarborough Community Concert Band moved out of the classical section of their program and began a rousing rendition of Jingle Bell rock.

The thirty piece band, now in its 35 season, were obviously enjoying themselves and the warm reception they were getting from their audience. In a way, the occasion was a kind of minor miracle. Here were thirty people, several of them from West Hill, not only taking an evening of their time out of the busy Christmas season to brighten the lives of Cedarbrook's elderly residents, but who devoted several nights a month to rehearsals, all at their own expense. Just for the love of playing music.

The concert band is comprised totally of wind instruments, "no strings attached", as they like to say. Founded in 1972 by Paul Dunn and David Bourque, it was originally intended as an opportunity for recent highschool music program graduates to continue their love of music. Steve Duff, head of the music department at David and Mary Thompson C.I. was the first music director. Over time several members of the Band went on to professional careers with the Toronto Symphony and the Canadian Opera Company.

Now under the direction of Andrew Chung, the group is self sufficient, supported by corporate and individual sponsorships and welcomes any brass or woodwind musicians willing to make the commitment of time and with an interest in performing.

As the band's final number ended, the audience at Cedarbrook weren't able to give a standing ovation, but the cheers and applause were warm and prolonged enough to encourage an encore.

If you missed the Scarborough Community Concert Band at Cedarbrook, look for them at the Scarborough Civic Centre this summer, where rumour has it , they will be joined by highlanders playing bagpipes for at least one number.

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