Community band
The Russell Community Concert Band will perform a free public concert to close their season on Thurs., June 28. The band will perform a wide range of song genres for everyone to enjoy.       Courtesy photo

Kalynn Sawyer Helmer
Villager Staff
RUSSELL – The Russell Community Concert Band (RCCB) will hold their final concert of the season on Thurs., June 28 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Russell Township Library. The concert will be on the patio should the weather comply but if rain comes, the band will prevail indoors.

The RCCB has been around for nine years and is a registered not-for-profit charity with the goal of sharing music with the community. For most of the season’s performances, the band plays for four local seniors homes including the Garden Villa in Chesterville, two Manotick seniors residences and Russell Meadows.

Including the Christmas and spring shows performed at the residences, the band also began participating in the Heritage Festival as of last fall, and will do so again in 2018. Band member, PR and concert booking co-organizer Natalie Briand said a performance of particular interest this season was for the Russell Girl Guides. The members were entertained by the band and later educated on the instruments.

Each season the band regroups after a summer break in early September or late August. The band meets at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic School every Thursday evening from 7 to 9 p.m. until the end of June. Currently made up of roughly 20 to 25 members, the RCCB is always looking for new members.

Many of the current members went years without playing after their high school careers, but with the formation of the band have rediscovered their love of music. One new member had not played for a long time but saw a poster for the 2017 June public concert and decided to attend. After seeing the concert she decided to join the group in September.

“We have very talented musicians,” said Briand. “There is a wide range of people and versatile people,” like original band member Peggy Vink; who also is credited with the formation of the RCCB nine years ago. Vink along with some others, can play multiple instruments and can change per year depending on the demand. Vink is joined by her husband Don and Briand as the last three original members.

For new members wishing to join, Briand said they accept musicians from Grade 10 and up. Students in high school who join can even earn some volunteer hours by helping tidy the STA music room after the Thursday practices.

While the band has won awards and competed at music festivals in the past, the important part is sharing music with the community. “It’s all about bringing our love of music to them,” said Briand.

The June 28 show is free for anyone to attend and will feature a range of music for everyone to enjoy.