Erika is currently working on a low budget film and her only days off are Thursday and Friday (which means that she will unfortunately miss out on Halloween again this year). Her trumpet partner, Dave from across the street, was having a concert with his new band this evening, so we both opted to go to it.
Dave and Erika had formerly been members together in the East York Concert Band, comprised of big-hearted people whose music unfortunately had the tendency to sap one’s will to live. I had been through enough torturous performances over the years to have simply fallen out of the habit of going to the performances, but I knew that this band we were going to see tonight, though still comprised of amateurs, was considered a serious step up in terms of quality.
And so it was. Held in an auditorium in a west-end collegiate, the concert was very enjoyable, and featured not only some truly outstanding individual players (the bassist, drummer, a trombonist and the saxophone player who also arranged many of the pieces played that evening) but was clearly comprised of a good ensemble cast of musicians. On top of that, there was a featured young local musician just back from a stint at a prestigious Manhattan music school who played excellent piano, clarinet and drums at various points during the night (a “triple threat” as the conductor put it).
It was hard not to make comparisons to previous EYCB concerts: this was fun, the pacing never seemed to drag, and the pieces clearly within the abilities of the musicians. At the end of first half there was a jazz jam session which featured a select group of the better musicians who proved that they could swing as well as play classical pieces. The conductor is a bit of a ham (and a helluva trumpet player), and a separate announcer injected the right dose of humour and banter. In the end there were a few dud notes, but they were few and forgivable. I had been expecting a better concert this time around and was not disappointed.
Afterwards we joined Dave as he joined the rest of the band at a nearby pub for a couple of drinks.
Am looking forward to seeing Erika’s performance for the “Brass Conspiracy”, another band she has graduated to from the EYCB.