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A wedding, a birthday bash for bandstand

Amanda Rohl and Alex Angus will tie the knot during the Bandstand Birthday Bash, marking 20th year of bandstand in Memorial Peace Park, June 14.  - Colleen Flanagan/The News
Amanda Rohl and Alex Angus will tie the knot during the Bandstand Birthday Bash, marking 20th year of bandstand in Memorial Peace Park, June 14.
— image credit: Colleen Flanagan/The News

“If music be the food of love, play on,” – Shakespeare.

Amanda Rohl and Alex Angus orginally planned on getting married next year. Those plans have changed slightly.

Instead, the couple is advancing the big day by several months so they can help mark the birthday of a major part of downtown Maple Ridge and they’re fine with it.

The music lovers will tie the knot June 14, as part of the Bandstand Birthday Bash, marking the stand’s 20th year following construction in 1994 by the Maple Ridge Concert Band.

Friends suggested they move up the date last year. Amanda agreed then realized she had only eight months to plan.

But, “This is perfect for us,” said Amanda, 24.

“Jumped the gun a bit,” added Alex, 21.

Both are in the concert band and they both played in the Maple Ridge secondary band when they were in school.

“When they started doing stuff outside school, (such as singing in the Coastal Sound Youth Choir) they decided they liked each other,” explained Amanda’s mom, Judy.

The wedding will  mark the first two decades of the bandstand and the commemoration of renovations that should be done by then.

The Maple Ridge Concert Band wants to spiff up the bandstand by completing the wrought iron work on the posts and washing the copper roof, two projects for which it ran out of money two decades ago. Using an acidic wash will turn the roof a copper-blue colour instead of the current dirty brown.

The band recently got Maple Ridge council’s support and now is fundraising to pay for the $24,000 in renovations and the $18,500 for the Birthday Bash.

That’s drawing lots of interest, says band president Gale Yip.

The pair remembers their first date in 2011, because it was the same day the Canucks lost the Stanley Cup to the Boston Bruins.

“I’ve always done community bands,” said Amanda, who’s been a member of the concert band off and on for 10 years.

Now that she’s out of school she plays more regularly. Both also play in the Brass and Saxy Big Band, which plays in seniors homes, while Alex plays trumpet in a jazz band. Cuban trumpet player Arturo Sandoval is one of his favourite artists. “It’s mostly the Latin stuff. It’s really fun to play.”

The couple, who hold hands constantly, also play in a travelling band which goes away for fun weekends.

“Music is something I love to do,” said Amanda. “You get to do some cool stuff with it.

“It’s definitely something that has made my life better.”

Sometimes you even get paid, depending on the gig.

Maple Ridge staff say the wrought iron work and acid wash of the roof “will provide a more interesting and aesthetically pleasing structure in Memorial Peace Park for the forseeable future.”

The bandstand’s trombone player and architect Tom Walker had audio in mind when he designed it. The ceiling panels are designed to reflect the sound and eliminate the “slap back” effect.

The concert band built the bandstand entirely from local donations of cash, labour and materials, then gave it to the District of Maple Ridge. Total price tag at the time was $192,000.

Amanda’s and Alex’s wedding harkens back to that of another founder of the facility. Legion member George Price, a veteran of the Second World War, got married for the fourth time, soon after the bandstand opened in May 7, 1994.

Alex plays trumpet and Amanda plays saxophone, as do her parents Judy and Dan, who are also part of the concert band.

Alex acknowledges many kids play during high school then give it up when they graduate.

But if kids like playing, get back into it, he says. “I was one of those kids. She got me back into it,” says Alex.

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