Peter Wenzek, music teacher at Burnaby North Secondary School, just can't get enough of conducting.
The seasoned high school teacher stepped into a second role as music director of the Royal City Alumni Band at the beginning of November last year.
To celebrate his double duties and the passing of the baton from former Alumni Band director, Earl Hobson, Wenzek will conduct a joint show with both the student and adult bands at the Michael J. Fox Theatre on March 14.
About 60 senior students in the music program at Burnaby North have been rehearsing with the 45-member adult band from New Westminster for this special concert that will kick off the Alumni Band's 25th season.
The show will include a variety of types of music, including jazz, string orchestra, choral performance, and concert band.
Wenzek said he is happy to be in this new role and is keen to bring the youth from his classes and the adult musicians from the Alumni Band together.
"Often when kids finish high school, they often say, 'Well, what do I do next with my music?' or, 'I'm done' and I look at it as, actually this is just the beginning," he said of the Alumni Band. "...I wanted to get a chance to introduce the kids to the band, and the band to the kids."
The concert will also be a chance for the public to get to see the Alumni Band perform and may even inspire some people to pick up their long-forgotten instruments again, said Wenzek.
"People are re-discovering this is a great way (to get back into music) and we also believe very much that it's also a really healthy to do," he said.
Bill Walters, president of the Royal City Alumni Band Society, said the band originally formed to provide adult amateur musicians with the opportunity to further their musical education and experience, and over the past quarter century has grown to include musicians from all over the Lower Mainland.
"We play general concert repertoire, classical, pop, show tunes," he said. "It's a very wide variety. It's a wind ensemble concert band, so no strings - it's wind and percussion."
The Alumni Band has been performing at community events in New Westminster and around the Lower Mainland for 25 years and continues to welcome new members.
Wenzek said until about 15 years ago, Burnaby North used to host concerts that showcased both school and community bands together.
"That was a (good way) to introduce the kids to the community bands, and the community bands to the high schools and this is a good way to foster more students, when they finish high school, and later in life as well," he said. "There really are opportunities to play and it's about finding some artistic part of your life that's missing."
The adult band members range in age from 18 to 80 and come from a variety of musical backgrounds.
The band practices at New West Secondary School music room and performs at community events around town throughout the year.
The concert on March 14 starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $8 at the door, at the Michael J. Fox Theatre, at 7373 Macpherson Ave.
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