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Moose Jaw Adult Concert Band to resume practising Feb. 1

The Moose Jaw Adult Concert Band provides an ideal opportunity for independent musicians who want to play in a formal band setting
Members of the Moose Jaw Adult Concert Band perform in May 2017.

For musicians seeking a band to play in, The Moose Jaw Adult Concert Band is offering an opportunity for any adult in or around Moose Jaw to come out and rehearse on Thursdays starting at 7 p.m.

Rehearsals are held in the band room at Vanier Collegiate and are set to begin Feb. 1. Practices will continue into May with the exception of holiday breaks. To conclude the season, members will perform at the Mae Wilson Theatre shortly before the venue is taken over by the Moose Jaw Band & Choral Festival.  

Membership is comprised of experienced musicians with a variety of skill levels, and members are asked to supply their own instrument.

“A lot of people who come out haven’t played in years, so if people are kind of rusty that doesn’t mean that you can’t come out and play,” said Kurt Gillett, the administrator for the band. “But there is some level of experience (required). You can’t be a beginner.”

The pieces are set at a high school difficulty level.

“Sometimes it gets a little bit harder; it depends on the members we have. If there’s a song that’s too hard, that’s not the end of the world. Most of the music will be playable for anyone that has some experience on their instrument.”

The band started several years ago when Gillett met with Jim Mitchell and the two asked Daryl McKinnon to direct the group. Since that time, McKinnon has remained the band’s conductor.

“He (McKinnon) was my band director for a couple of those years, and he taught a few people in the band too, so it’s kind of neat to bring him back.

“We started doing (the band) a few years ago just because a lot of people that I knew… really didn’t have an opportunity to play anymore, and we wanted to give everybody an opportunity to come together and do something like what we used to do in band at school,” Gillett said.

The Moose Jaw Adult Concert Band rehearses at Vanier but is separate from the school.

“Holy Trinity lets us use that band room as a rehearsal space. Every year we offer to pay rent to use it, and every year they say ‘Naw, it’s fine.’ They are letting us use it (for free) as their sponsorship for the band.

“I used to teach at Vanier, and I play in the band. The current band director at Vanier plays in the band as well, and the elementary band director from Holy Trinity plays in the band so we have a bit of a connection…”

The band now has an email list containing 80 individuals and anywhere from 30 to 50 members show up to practice each year.

The selection of musical pieces usually follows a theme. This year’s theme has not been determined. “Daryl might have an idea of what the theme is, but he hasn’t revealed it yet.”

Past themes have included scores from movie soundtracks and ‘Canadiana’, where Canadian artists and themes were exclusively chosen.

Registration for the band comes free of charge. In the past, a small fee of $10 has been charged to rent out a venue, and Gillett said that was the most that has ever been charged to participate. “(Registration) will be somewhere between zero and 10 dollars,” he confirmed.

To contact the group, email

“What I do is put their contact information into the email list, and that’s the best way to keep updated,” Gillett explained.

More information can be found on the Facebook page, ‘The Moose Jaw Adult Concert Band.’ Gillett said the page usually has the most important updates and forms an official channel to share other information and keep in touch.

Vanier Collegiate is located at 324 MacDonald Street and the Mae Wilson Theatre is located at 217 Main Street North.

Anyone needing an instrument can inquire about renting or purchasing a new or used instrument at John’s Music in Moose Jaw. If you have an instrument, supplies and maintenance items including reeds and oils can be purchased from the local business.

John’s Music is located at 37 Main Street North and can be reached at 306-692-0860.

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