On June 4 Patrick Macgibbon and the collective members of the Nakusp Secondary Band gathered in the high school gymnasium along with fellow students, parents and special guests for their final band concert of the 2013/2014 school year.
The smartly dressed orchestra was subtlety divided into Grade 8, Grade 9 and senior band ensembles, with several members transcending the grade divides to play across the musical board.
The Grade 8s began with a spot-on performance of the national anthem then powered through three selections that highlighted different sections of instruments. They finished their Grade 8 musical career with a rousing tune entitled Celebration, which popped and jumped to the delight of the gathered audience.
The succeeding Grade 9 group ramped up the play-list with the familiar Van Morrison tune, Moondance, then showcased their talents with two more musical selections.
Macgibbon introduced the senior band with a teasing question.
“Did anyone out there watch the Charlie Brown show? Any Charlie Brown fans?”
Macgibbon then demonstrated the wild windmill playing style of one of the bass players from the Charlie Brown Christmas special.
The senior band smartly performed three musical pieces (including a Charlie Brown tune) with Macgibbon moving from the traditional conductor position to orchestrate with the drum set situated at the rear of the student performers.
After finishing with a Star Wars melody, the senior band treated the audience to a slide show presentation of their recent trip to San Francisco.
Each member had the opportunity to talk about their favorite memory with highlights including stories and pictures of biking the Golden Gate bridge, Alcatraz, Fisherman’s Warf and the California Academy of Science.
Beyond the stereotypical San Fran’ tourist destinations the students indulged in the ‘Frisco music scene by attending a concert by the “best pianist in the world,” Evgeny Kissin, meeting the jazz legend Wynton Marsalis and attending the church of St. John Coltrane.
Ellen Weatherhead mused that the Sunday morning experience was “probably the weirdest church experience that anyone has ever had. It was really chill and cool and kinda spiritual.”
Senior band member Sage Reimer was kind enough to offer her thanks on behalf of the globe-trotting students.
“We would really like to thank all of our sponsors that helped us go to San Francisco,” Reimer said. “And a huge thank you to Mr. MacGibbon because he put so much time and effort into this and actually went with us, which was pretty brave. It was an amazing trip that I don’t think any of us will ever forget.”