“Wind Band Classics” a return to their roots for Prince Albert Concert Band

The Prince Albert Concert Band performs at Sacred Heart Cathedral in this file photo from October 2017. -- Herald file photo.

The Prince Albert Concert Band is taking a trip down memory lane with their upcoming concert.

“Wind Band Classics” will feature a variety of pieces, from contemporary pop hits to more traditional compositions, but the majority will focus on music learned and played by massed bands in high school and university.

PA Concert Band director Kayleigh Skomorowski said it’s a return to their roots for most band members, and that’s what makes performing it so enjoyable.

“I wanted to give people something to really bite into and work on, but also, it’s kind of a nostalgic opportunity,” Skomorowski explained. “People get to play the pieces that they would have played in their upper level high school years, or often in their university years, for those who played at the university level.”

Works from British composers Gustav Holst and Ralph Vaughan Williams, and Australian—American composer Percy Grainger highlight the concert playlist. Skomorowski said many of these songs were written specifically for massed bands, and helped them become accepted and acknowledged as an art form roughly 100 years ago. All these years later, and they’re still played across the world.

“I like that they are still relevant and fun to play,” Skomorowski said. “There’s a lot to learn from them. Many of them are 100 years old, so the fact that you can take that piece of art and still play it generations and generations later is really exciting.”

“Wind Band Classics” will also feature a guest performance from the St. Mary High School Senior Band, which Skomorowski also directs. She said it’s important to show high school musicians that they can still continue pursuing their musical passions after they graduate, and playing with the Prince Albert Massed Band is a big part of that.

“You want your students to understand and see what being a lifelong musician can look like,” Skomorowski explained. “A lot of them think that if they’re not going on to study music after high school, that trumpet or that instrument is going to kind of get put in a case and probably tucked under a bed and forgot about, so for them to meet and see the community band, with them in concert, I think is really important.”

“Wind Band Classics” will take place on Sunday, March 3 in the St. Mary High School Lecture Theatre. Admission is by donation.