Lambton Concert Band conjures up 100 years of music

Musical director Tessa Catton leads the Lambton Concert Band in rehearsal for a show Thursday, Oct. 30. Glenn Ogilvie

Cathy Dobson

Some are seasoned musicians. Others are novices.

Whether 15 or 90 years of age, all are committed to ensuring a high-caliber performance, says Tessa Catton, musical director of the Lambton Concert Band.

“We use music that’s at a certain level,” says Catton.  “All of it is harder. We just have to push people and, all of a sudden, they rise to it and it’s amazing.”

The Lambton Concert Band has been around since the early 1990s, following in the tradition of community bands like the Petrolia White Rose Band and Forest Excelsior Band. In fact, it grew out of the former Sarnia Citizen’s Band conducted by the late Art Christmas.

That historical connection to the community is one of the reasons members wanted to celebrate Sarnia’s 100th anniversary with a special show, said Catton.

Band president Doug McLaren and past-president Greg Robbins suggested “Century Tunes” as a way to mark the city’s centennial.

“We’ve brought back the music from all the decades,” explained Catton.

The 1930s is celebrated with Cole Porter jazz; the ‘40s with a piece from the Steven Spielberg film “1941”; and the ‘50s and ‘60s are remembered with a medley of James Bond movie tunes.

“We’ve got disco and Michael Jackson from the 1970s, Raiders of the Lost Arc from the ‘80s, and theme music from video games like Halo in the 1990s,” said Catton.

Throughout the one-time-only show on Thursday narrator Bill Graham will talk about historical highlights drawn from Sarnia’s 100th anniversary book released this summer.

The Lambton Concert Band’s 50 members practice weekly and do four shows a year. This year’s Remembrance Day show was changed up to accommodate Century Tunes. However, one Nov. 11 tradition will be incorporated with the playing of the “Last Post.”

The music will be accompanied by a photo display assembled by Norm Sutherland to pay tribute to 100 years of community bands in Sarnia-Lambton.

Catton noted the Lambton Concert Band is always accepting new members.  Auditions are not necessary and musicians at all levels join, she said.

“Younger players get the experience and older members have a chance to share their knowledge.”

IF YOU GO:

WHAT: Century Tunes with the Lambton Concert Band, celebrating 100 years of music in Sarnia-Lambton.

WHERE: Sarnia Library Auditorium

WHEN: Thursday, Oct. 30, at 7:30 p.m.

HOW: Tickets, $12 adults, $6 children and students, available from band members or by emailing promotions@lambtonconcertband.com