Monday, November 28, 2022
November 28, 2022

Music groups drum up new members

It’s been a month shy of two years since the last rehearsal, but with a new space — and renewed enthusiasm — Bandemonium’s concert band is back, and seeking musicians at every level.

On Monday, Sept. 19, from 7 to 9 p.m. the Bandemonium Music Society is hosting a drop-in open house at the new band room — formerly the library — at the middle school building. It’s not a rehearsal, according to the nonprofit’s secretary, Kim Thompson, but an open invitation.

“We want to call in the current band members, let them see the room — get excited and register,” said Thompson, “and tell anyone else who’s at all interested in playing, come on in!”

Thompson said the early reviews on the space are stellar; being a smaller ensemble, the society’s jazz band Swing Shift has had a chance to try it out, and reported the room — library carpet, drop ceiling, corkboard and all — worked surprisingly well for their acoustic needs.

“Once they took out the stacks, so to speak, the room felt bigger than expected,” said Thompson. “It’s such a good space, acoustically, and we want to share it.”

Thompson envisions the return from the long COVID-induced rehearsal drought as an opportunity to revitalize music on the island — and the new space is just the spot. Bandemonium wants musicians to tour the room and share their ideas for what groups, classes, or workshops the community wants to see there.

“We’d love to make the concert band even bigger,” said Thompson. “There’s a lot of instruments in closets out there.”

And, Thompson added, with enough interest Bandemonium wants to bring back the adult beginner band program — for anyone who feels rusty, or maybe wants a space to learn a new instrument.

After the Sept. 19 open house, rehearsals are set to begin starting Sept. 26. The concert band meets weekly on Monday nights, the jazz ensemble on Thursdays. There are early bird discounts on fees before Oct. 24, as well as for musicians who want to join both groups or play for just part of the 2022/23 season — and there should be ample performance opportunities, something Thompson knows people miss.

“The new space is hopefully going to give us the chance to try a few new things; we’d love other groups to use it as well,” said Thompson. “It could be a central hub for the different bands and choirs on the island — we’d love to see every open hour filled with music.”

The Bach on the Rock chamber orchestra and choir will also be using the space later in the season and will have a representative at the Monday open house to talk with potential singers and musicians. The group has a particular need for string players at this time.

For more information about Bandemonium visit www.saltspring.band or email kim.saltspring@gmail.com.

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