Good results lead to good opportunities. Thanks to earning gold medals at the Whistler Cantando Music Festival last spring, the 20-year-old Whitehorse All-City Band Junior and Senior Wind Ensembles have been honoured to receive their first invitation to compete at MusicFest Canada, a national music competition in Toronto next May. The All-City Band Society now faces the challenge of coming up with the money.

Trips to music festivals are an annual event and one of the highlights of being part of the All-City Band Society, but normally they are a little closer to home. Band members are stepping up to cover most of their own costs for the trip to Toronto. The fundraising has started, with members selling Purdy’s chocolates and bagging groceries at various stores. Grants have been applied for and Air North is putting together its best charter flight package. In spite of all this, more sponsorship will be needed to get the approximately 80 band members from the Junior and Senior ensembles to Toronto. The All-City Band Society is now looking for local corporate sponsors to help out.

The All-City Jazz Band performing at the annual Dessert & Dance fundraiser, in February 2016

The All-City Band Society is a non-profit community band with a mandate to present an annual series of live wind ensemble and jazz concerts in Whitehorse and Yukon communities while delivering big-city music development and appreciation opportunities to Yukon youth and adults. The 180 members, ranging in age from 13 to over 70, play for 10 months of the year in one, or several, of the four bands. Youth are mentored by adults at both the annual Squeak & Squawk Night and the Grade 8 Band Retreat, as well as informally throughout the year.

“Playing in the All-City Band is very rewarding in many ways,” said Rhonda Horte, who is both a parent and an All-City Band Society percussionist.

“For me, the sense of community that it provides is the most enjoyable part. I started playing percussion in the band four years ago, after travelling as a parent chaperone with the band on a few trips. I have benefitted from the band by not only learning how to play the instruments, but also being able to watch our students grow musically and emotionally.”

Band trips provide our members with performance experience, exposure to new conductors and adjudication feedback. While on band trips, members are unofficial ambassadors of the Yukon and Whitehorse. Participants from other cities are always very curious about life “up north” and band members spread the word about the beauty and charm of the Yukon.

“Whitehorse is very rich in programs like music, art and dance so I think that this is a great opportunity to really show off what our little town has to offer,” said Kyla Trociuk, a recent Porter Creek graduate and All-City Band Society saxophonist.

“Being able to travel with the Band, representing the community of Whitehorse, and the Yukon in general, has given us all the opportunity to showcase our talent. And being exposed to other band participants, teachers, and adjudicators always contributes to our learning. It will be an honour to be able to go to Toronto next spring, to showcase our talent to the rest of Canada, and represent the Yukon.”

As part of the All-City Band Society, the All City Jazz Band has a mandate to spread music to the Yukon communities and last year went on tour to Carcross, Teslin and Watson Lake playing in the schools and for the communities.

Next April, the 20 member Jazz Band has applied for funding to go up north to play for the community of Old Crow. Again, we will be seeking local corporate sponsorship to assist with covering the $17,000 travel cost for the volunteer members.

The All-City Band Sponsorship Program details can be viewed at www.AllCityBand.com/Sponsors. Businesses are eligible for recognition in a variety of forms depending on how much is contributed. Any business or individual interested in providing sponsorship can contact the All-City Band Society administrator, Jennifer Ondrack, at 867-667-8044 ext 251 or by email at [email protected]