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Simcoe County Band leaps into space and hits the beach

Its Friends and Family Concert features music from 'Star Wars', the Beach Boys, and more
Simcoe County Band
Simcoe County Band. Source: Facebook

A short time from now, in a venue not far away, the Simcoe County Band will be lighting up the night at Collier Street United Church with what it calls its Friends and Family Concert. The 37-piece ensemble, under John Myers, will treat your ears to traditional concert band material, from Star Wars to material by the Beach Boys.

This group has been together since 2005, with Myers wielding the baton since 2006. According to the band website, the group “brings experience and talents from many fields as they have young working men and women, teachers, doctors, lawyers, retired Canadian Military personnel and other retirees.”

With Star Wars devotees set to begin their journeys into theatre line-ups to see the next in the series, Myers and his musicians will offer up a medley from the previous feature, The Force Awakens. Composer John Williams, who spent many years at the helm for the Boston Pops Orchestra, made his name with a number of film soundtracks, and this one should raise goosebumps among listeners.

From a galaxy far, far away to the warm California sun, the band also features a greatest hits selection from Brian Wilson, the reclusive genius behind the phenomenal success of the Beach Boys, climaxing with his reflective piece God Only Knows from the Beach Boys’ landmark Pet Sounds album.

But away from the more familiar climes of Jedi and surfers, and back to more traditional band music, the Simcoe Band features mid-20th century composer Karl King (1891-1971), whom Myers dubs “one of the more prolific composers in the history of band music.”

King, a march music bandmaster, composed close to 300 works in his time, and is “likely best known for his composition, Barnum and Bailey’s Favourite.” He’s been represented in Simcoe County Band concerts for his piece, Cyrus the Great.

Finally, to one of the younger composers of our time, Randall Standridge, only in his 40s and hailing from Arkansas is in demand as a composer, arranger, clinician, and designer. His pieces have been performed internationally, and numerous pieces have been selected to the J.W. Pepper’s Editor’s Choice list.

“His music,” says Myers, “is recognized as worthwhile literature for concert festivals and band concerts across the United States and throughout the world.” Standridge’s work, Imaginarium, will be featured.

The performance begins at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 21 at Collier Street United Church. For more information, click here.