The North Battleford City Kinsmen Band is about to start another musical year.
At a press conference for local media, president of the North Battleford Kinsmen Band Association Inc. David Dekker said the North Battleford City Kinsmen Band is a community band with a mandate to provide training on band instruments. Members range in ages.
Dekker introduced new director Michael Alstad. Alstad comes from Washington State, where he worked in community music and as a school band director.
Alstad worked as director of the North Battleford City Kinsmen Band from 1992 to 1999.
“When I came here and had the opportunity to work in a community setting,” Alstad said, “it was something for me that was really different.”
Alstad he enjoyed seeing “the fruition of what happens as children start in school and gain skills” and “what happens as they become adults and what they do with those skills.”
Alstad last ran a community music school which featured bands along with choirs, orchestras, theory classes and jazz improv classes.
The renovated space, Alstad said, could allow residents to “really think about this as a centre of music for the community.”
Dekker said Alstad will also be managing the facility.
Alstad is taking over the director role from Jackie Kroczynski and Gene Aulinger.
Band programs run from September to May.
There are three bands: beginner (which teaches how to read music), intermediate and senior. Annual costs for the bands are $100, $150 and $200 respectively.
Another band is the student band, featuring students from the established high school programs in North Battleford.
Registration this year will take place at Sept. 10 at 7 p.m. at the band hall. There will also be representatives from the music stores Long and McQuade and St. John’s Music in Saskatoon, who will bring instruments and give registrants the opportunity to lease or buy. Dekker said it would offer a good opportunity to “take up a new instrument.”
Dekker also said a new fundraising program has been established and is “looking for donations from the community.”
Donations of $1,000 or more will be recognized on a large plaque in the hall.
Dekker acknowledged renovations of the band hall were made possible by donations from Margaret Salmon, friend of Norm Lehman.
Dekker also wants community members to know the space is available for rentals.