For the love of mu­sic

Prince Albert Daily Herald - - ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT - JA­SON KERR

It’s get­ting to that time of year where Erika Ry­bin­ski gets that fa­mil­iar itch.

It’s not for hockey or pump­kin pie, it’s for a chance to gather and play with her fel­low mu­sic lovers.

“It’s re­fresh­ing, es­pe­cially for my­self,” she chuck­les. “I’ve been trans­ferred to an ele­men­tary school, and I’m not teach­ing band any­more, so this is the cherry on top of my cake.”

On Wed­nes­day, Ry­bin­ski and her fel­low mu­si­cians are in the base­ment of Cal­vary United Church, busily pre­par­ing for an­other year of per­for­mances with the Prince Al­bert City Con­cert Band. Roughly two dozen mu­si­cians, with trom­bones, tubas, sax­o­phones, flutes, trum­pets and var­i­ous other in­stru­ments are busy warm­ing up.

Ry­bin­ski is the co-di­rec­tor of the group, a re­spon­si­bil­ity she shares with Ni­cole Webb.

“This is a unique form of the fine arts,” Ry­bin­ski says. “You don’t see many wind en­sem­bles to­day in our cities, so it’s good exposure to the fine arts and just a good way to build com­mu­nity.”

This gath­er­ing has an air of ur­gency. With the first con­cert sched­uled for Oct. 22, the next few prac­tices are piv­otal. No band mem­ber is full time, so some­times jobs and fam­ily com­mit­ments take prece­dence.

Still, Ry­bin­ski says the cramped sched­ules are more than worth it.

“It’s dif­fi­cult to get ev­ery­one to­gether, es­pe­cially for sched­ul­ing con­certs and re­hearsals, (which) are once a week,” she says. “It’s a big com­mit­ment, but a lot of peo­ple are will­ing to take that com­mit­ment and come out and make mu­sic and art to­gether.”

The Oct. 22 show is the first of their new sea­son. Ry­bin­ski and Webb have se­lected an “eclec­tic mix” of some of their favourite pieces. They’ll be joined on stage by Prince Al­bert bag­piper Dave Monette.

Ry­bin­ski says the band mem­bers are al­ways ex­cited to get up on stage and scratch that itch, and this year is no ex­cep­tion.

“The best thing about be­ing in­volved in some­thing like this is be­ing given the op­por­tu­nity to cre­ate a work of art, not alone, but with an en­tire com­mu­nity of mu­si­cians, and to recre­ate the works of other artists.”

The first Prince Al­bert City Con­cert Band per­for­mance of the year will be held at Sa­cred Heart Cathe­dral on Oct. 22 at 7 p.m. Ad­mis­sion is by do­na­tion.

JA­SON KERR/DAILY HER­ALD

Prince Al­bert City Con­cert Band co-di­rec­tor Ni­cole Webb leads mem­bers dur­ing a re­hearsal at Cal­vary United Church.

JA­SON KERR/DAILY HER­ALD

Mem­bers of the Prince Al­bert City Con­cert Band pre­pare for their first con­cert of the sea­son on Oct. 22.

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