The Red Deer Community Band Society has been bringing music to the city for half a century.
The society, which operates a group of bands, including the Red Deer Royals Marching Show Band and the Red Deer Regents, is celebrating 50 years of performing in central Alberta.
Michael Mann, Royals director and Red Deer Community Band Society director, said he’s always impressed by the group’s longevity.
“It’s amazing how it keeps moving along,” he said. “Music is universal and people keep wanting to explore it. We give them an opportunity to create music in our community – both adults and youth.”
The society formed in 1968 and its first two bands – a senior and a junior – formed in 1969.
“We’re excited to have this milestone year and we’re even more excited for 50 more years,” he said.
Mann has held various titles with the society since 2004; he became director in 2012. He said there are several plans for the society in the coming year, including a 50th-anniversary gala in June.
“It gives us a chance to celebrate with alumni and the community,” he said, adding the Royals will travel to England and Ireland this summer to perform.
The Royals are made up of musicians between 11 and 21 years old, representing about 20 schools in the area.
After 48 years of shuffling between rehearsal venues, the Royals found a permanent practice facility in early 2017 at St. Joseph’s High School’s Kinsmen Fieldhouse.
Mann said the facility is serving them well.
“We absolutely love it there,” said Mann. “We’re blessed to be in there. The rehearsal space is fantastic, everyone has a place to rehearse and it’s nice not having to move instruments week after week.”
Mann said the society is still looking to raise about $600,000 to finish the last instalment of the building.
To support the Red Deer Community Band Society, visit www.reddeerroyals.com.