The jazzy sounds of Christmas classics will be coming to the bandstand for GLOW Maple Ridge.
It’s A Cool Thing To Do Sax Quartet will be taking to the stage from 4:30-5:45 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 9.
They will be playing about 30 Christmas classics, with a twist.
The group of four local musicians have played in a variety of concert, jazz, and marching bands plus a few pit orchestras over the last 20 years.
“We had considered forming a quartet for a couple years just to be able to choose the music we wanted to play,”explained Judy Rohl, performer with the band.
In 2018 they formed the quartet and have been rehearsing and playing together for the last three years.
It’s A Cool Thing To Do is playing every Thursday, same time, until Christmas. They will also be playing outside ValleyFair Mall from 7:30-9:30 p.m. on Dec. 13 in support of the Salvation Army’s Christmas Kettle Campaign and at Lafarge Lake in Port Coquitlam from 7:30-9 p.m. on Dec. 18.
Maple Ridge secondary’s jazz band will be entertaining the crowds the following evening.
Prior to Covid the Snazzy Jazz event was always a community favourite, said school band director Brian Weingartner, and had been put on as a holiday cabaret event the previous few years at the school.
“While we can’t yet have tables of cookies and treats to share, nor swing dance lessons, we will still put on a swingin’ show featuring standard and classic jazz big band charts, as well as many more holiday favourites,” promised Weingartner.
The Maple Ridge secondary School of Rock band kicked off the GLOW event on Nov. 26. Then last week – the second of the Maple Ridge Secondary School’s Winter Concert Series – the beginner band, the intermediate level band, and the senior wind ensemble performed.
“Our Beginner Band is actually the largest ensemble currently, with approximately 30 students,” said Weingartner.
This beginner band is the largest they have had within the last five years. And, he added, many of the other elementary band program across the district are also seeing a lot of interest.
“After the distance learning of spring 2020, and heavily modified teaching of last school year, it is clear that the desire to make music is alive and well,” he noted.
The intermediate band, students in Grades 8 and 9, played Frosty the Snow Man, We Wish You a Merry Christmas, and a piece titled Snow , or Yuki, based off of a traditional children’s song in Japan, and written by local BC composer Robert Buckley.
Closing out the night was their senior Wind Ensemble, students from Grade 9-12, who performed four pieces including: the classic Sleigh Ride by Leroy Anderson, a medley of music from Charlie Brown Christmas, a rockin’ arrangement of Christmas Eve Sarajevo 12/24 by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and closing with a two minute and 10 second whirlwind A Rollicking Hanukkah by Randall D. Sandridge.
The final MRSS concert takes place from 6:30-7:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 10.
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