For the love of music
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.
Prince Albert City Concert Band co-director Nicole Webb leads members during a rehearsal at Calvary United Church.
Members of the Prince Albert City Concert Band prepare for their first concert of the season on Oct. 22.