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Carleton Place and District and Community Band returns for first Christmas concert since COVID in support of food bank

The Carleton Place and District Community Band performs in June, 2022. – Photo via Facebook

Nothing immerses you in the holiday spirit quite like sitting back and listening to the beloved Christmas classics. This experience is made all the more magical when you’re hearing those classics live and in concert.

On Sunday, Dec. 3 from 2 to 3 p.m., the Carleton Place and District and Community Band (CPDCB) will be hosting their annual “Wonderful Wintery Concert” in support of the Lanark County Food Bank. The concert will take place at the Zion Memorial United Church Fellowship Hall at 37 Franklin Street in Carleton Place. 

The “Wonderful Wintery Concert ” is family-friendly and open to the public. Admission for the event is free, but guests are encouraged to donate food or cash to the food bank on arrival in lieu of buying tickets. 

Musicians in the band range in age and experience from those who have played for a couple of years to those retiring from a career of performing music professionally. The concert band consists of woodwinds, brass and percussion instruments and includes two very experienced and talented singers who are regularly featured in the concerts.

Lanarkist had the pleasure of speaking with Crystal Payne, flute player and member of the Carleton Place District and Community Band, about the upcoming fundraiser.

“The CPDCB has held this fundraising event for the food bank for many years,” Payne said. “We are not a part of the food bank’s program but we perform the Christmas concert to provide whatever help we can for the food bank. In conjunction with this is the opportunity for the band to be heard in public during the Christmas season, which provides an end goal for the band as we reach the end of the year. “ 

Payne’s history with the band is impressive and extensive.

“The CPDCB goes back many years but was restarted approximately 30 years ago by a small group of individuals,” she explained. I have been the music director for the past nine years and during this time the band has grown to 48 musicians.”

Payne added that she’s been a music director for different community and military bands since the 1970s. 

Payne shared that the group has been practising and rehearsing for their Christmas concert since the beginning of October. The Christmas concert has been an annual event in Carleton Place for many years, however it did not take place during the COVID -19 pandemic. This is the band’s first Christmas concert since COVID -19 began. Throughout the year, the band also performs for other events and concerts including Remembrance Day services, Canada Day, concerts in the park during the summertime and an annual spring concert every June.

In terms of what concert-goers can expect from the afternoon, Payne elaborated “You can expect a variety of music at the Christmas concert. There will be the opportunity for the audience to sing along to carols.”

The Zion-Memorial United Church Choir will perform with the band, and there will be vocal performances by band members. A mixture of classic holiday music and some brand new Christmas selections will be performed.

“The band looks forward to restarting the annual Christmas concert this year with the community and helping to support the local food bank,” Payne said.  

The CPDCB practices once a week on Monday evenings from 7:30 to 9 p.m. at the Navy League of Canada building located at 137 John Street in Carleton Place.

The CPDCB is open to musicians young and old.

“If you play an instrument now or if you have played in a band years ago, come out and enjoy playing music again,” Payne said, adding that there are no fees to join and if you have two or three years of experience or more the CPDCB will be a great fit for you.

Please contact Mike Peckett at mpeckett@sympatico.ca for further information, or visit their facebook page at www.facebook.com/cpadcb.

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