LADNER BANDFEST 2010 Report
Brian Ellis, Bass Clarinet, Delta Music Makers
Fine musicianship and sunny weather combined to create a festive atmosphere and ensure the success of the 6th Annual Ladner Bandfest held in Memorial Park, Ladner, on the June 12-13 weekend.
Following its well established format of alternating between a mobile stage and a fixed gazebo, twenty bands played non-stop music throughout the two days to enthusiastic and responsive crowds.
Abbotsford Concert Band, under the able direction of Shannon Goldsmith, came in from the Valley in fine style to start the show, followed by Frank Ludwig’s exciting Vancouver Concert Band. The ever popular Vancouver Dorfmusik, led by Gordon Koch, regaled the crowd with its special blend of European-style selections, topped off with two duets played on genuine alp horns.
We were once again treated to an All-American-style performance by the North Cascades Concert Band under the baton of Lylburn Layer, who traveled in from Washington State to entertain the enthusiastic crowd. Lynn Valley Black Bear Band came over from the North Shore, to share their particular brand of music, ably lead by Ken Osterreicher.
For a unique change of pace, A Little Night Music Orchestra, led by Peter Stigings, presented a fine selection of light orchestral music to an appreciative audience. In contrast, Ed Dumas conducted the Maple Ridge Concert Band, which is recognized not only for its particular blend of music, but also for the benevolent work they do in their community.
Eugene Chang did a really fine job of substituting for a sick Gord Hembruff, and took the Port Moody Community Band through its paces. The day closed on an enthusiastic note with a fine performance by the nattily-clad West Vancouver Adult Community Band led by Tak Maeda.
One of the Bandfest’s keenest supporters was in attendance once again from start to finish in the person of 100-years-young, Edgar Dunning. A keen supporter of amateur bands, Mr. Dunning has attended each Bandfest since its inception seven years ago; was a founding member of the Delta Concert Band; publisher of the Delta Optimist and an inspiration to all who attend this unique event.
The second day got underway in a ship-shape and military fashion as the Vancouver Naval Veterans’ Band launched into a medley of nautical and martial compositions steered unerringly by conductor Lucas Teodoro da Silva. In stark contrast, the New Westminster and District Concert Band strutted their stuff under the watchful eye of John White.
Dave Fullerton brought along the South Fraser Community Band and provided an enthusiastic audience with a taste of their popular music. Always upbeat and enthusiastic, Victor Guy put the North Vancouver Community Band through its paces, followed by hearty Dan Hearty’s very entertaining Metropolitan Band.
Host band, Delta Music Makers, under the baton of Curt Jantzen and assistant music director, Margaret Behenna, brought the first half of the afternoon’s performances to a natural highlight, when renowned bandleader, Dal Richards, was invited to conduct the band in Alfred Reed’s “Silver Shadow” concert march.
The organizers were pleased to welcome Vicki Huntington, independent MLA for Delta South, who spoke enthusiastically about the Bandfest’s achievements and contribution to the community. After thanking Ms. Huntington, Curt explained that Delta Mayor Lois Jackson, a keen supporter of the Bandfest, sent her regrets that she was unable to attend.
Representatives from each band were then presented with gift certificates kindly donated by Long and McQuade Musical Instruments and Matterhorn Music Inc.
Little Mountain Brass Band, under the capable direction of Jim Littleford, opened up the second half with their unique blend of charts. They were followed by the Nanaimo Concert Band, making their second appearance at the Bandfest, and presenting a beautifully well-polished performance under the direction of John Forbes.
Outstanding in their red jackets, Earl Hobson led the Royal City Concert Band through a medley of tunes followed by Bob Mullett’s talented Richmond Legion Band.
Last, but certainly by no means least, Jim Tempest and the Delta Concert Band put the icing on the cake as they brought the 2010 Ladner Bandfest to a successful and much-enjoyed conclusion.
The ongoing success of the Ladner Bandfest, brain-child of Curt Jantzen, can be contributed in no small part to the enthusiastic involvement of its volunteers who work tirelessly throughout the year to make sure the two-day event runs smoothly.
The organizers are also grateful for the financial support of local merchants and services, as well as the voluntary financial contributions donated by the audiences, ensuring the ongoing success of the Bandfest.