Band Day brings back awards

Andrew Wagstaff
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Popular Parrsboro event scheduled for July 28

PARRSBORO – The town of Parrsboro will be alive with the sound of music on Sunday, July 28, as the Parrsboro Citizens’ Band hosts its annual Band Day activities.

Taking place at the Parrsboro bandstand, the day will feature music from five different groups, as well as an artwork display, food and beverages, and the presentation of several awards.

Back this year will be the John Philip Sousa Award for a Parrsboro band member who excels in music; the William B. Perry Memorial Award for a person’s dedication to Band Day; while the Bernie Burke Volunteer Award will be presented for the first time on Band Day to someone who “gives it their all.”

“The committee felt it was very important that this should be instituted again, and get back to the way it used to be,” said Patricia Burke, member of the event’s planning committee.

The committee of Burke, Rob Bentley and Lisa Ward has been meeting every month since January to plan the event. Among their ideas include “art in the park,” a display of artwork on the civic grounds during the performances.

It’s all part of the effort to make Band Day bigger, according to Burke.

“We’re trying to get it amped up, and more popular again,” she said.

She admitted the band is struggling right now, as some vital members have been lost due to age and health issues, making the success of events like Band Day even more crucial. Funds raised from the event go to expenses such as the purchase of new music and instruments.

Performing at this year’s event will be the Parrsboro Citizens’ Band, the Sackville Citizens’ Band, Pictou Brass and Reed, Elastic Big Band, and the Parrsboro Citizens’ Choir. See below for biographies.

Twitter: @ADNandrew


Sackville Citizens' Band


Sackville Citizens' Band directed by Paul Jenson is based in Sackville, N.B., has been a part of Band Day for over 30 years. The band was incorporated in 1902. Before that time it was an all brass band. After 1902 woodwind instruments were added, allowing them to be a concert and marching band. The band plays extensively, playing concerts in the summer at The Drew Nursing Home. Wine Festival, Rotary Club Camp Tidnish and enjoy playing in the Annual Band Day in Parrsboro, which will be held on Sun. July 28, 2013. This group has held close ties with the Parrsboro Citizens Band due to the friendship of Charlie Esterbrooks and Bernie Burke who were bandmasters of the bands at the same time. Come to Parrsboro on the 28th and listen to the wonderful sounds of the Sackville Citizens`Band


Parrsboro Citizens` Band


Parrsboro Citizens` Band is the host band for Band Day on July 28. This group is known as being one of the oldest continually operating bands in existence today. The band has suffered lean years and in spite of it all, then continue to provide music to the area. The band has been existence since 1870. Well-known Bernie Burke directed the group for over 50 years. New members are always welcome. The group sponsors spring and Christmas Concerts; provides music to a silent film during the annual film festival, Canada Day celebrations at The Ottawa House and concerts at the bandstand in July. Members in the band are faithful in keeping music alive in the area.



Pictou Brass and Reed:


Pictou Brass and Reed under the direction of Bob Pushie was founded in 1978 when a couple of guys ran a small ad in a local newspaper inviting adults interested in learning to play and form a community band. The first meeting was held, with over 50 attending. Thus, this is how the Pictou Brass & Reed was formed under the direction of the late Gordon Black. As in many other groups, membership declined to less than 10. The future seemed uncertain until Sept. 2009 when well-known musician and educator, Paul Barrett from Truro started a music class for adults under the New Horizons Program. A year later several of the musicians were invited to join our band, increasing our group to over 20 and is constantly growing. We play at Nursing Homes on a regular basis, seniors’ festivals and Veterans Services. Come to Parrsboro and enjoy the music of this wonderful group.



Elastic Big Band:


The Elastic Big band under the direction of Michael Fuller originates from Parrsboro, but has musicians from Amherst, Sackville, N.B., Truro, Springill, Halifax and they never know who will come in to play with them. The group was formed in 1994 by a few swing-driven musicians. The first rehearsal saw Michael Fuller, Krista Wells, Morris Canning attend. Over the next 15 years the group evolved, working off old dance charts from the ‘40s. The band reached a standard size soon after and also added 2 vocalists. The group performs all genres from swing to jazz or funk. The group provides music for the Ships Co. Gala opening, Band Day, Oktoberfest and the Annual Spring and Christmas Concert. Come on down to Parrsboro and hear this group who are guaranteed to entertain you.



Parrsboro Citizens' Choir:


Parrsboro Citizens’ Choir under the direction of David Towns. This choir has been in exsistence for  over one year. It was formed initially as a community choir to provide choral music for a gospel concert. The group has been accepted under the umbrella of the Parrsboro Band Association. The choir rehearses twice a month at “The hall.” The group has broken well away from Gospel and is now performing classical, pop and rock. The choir is always welcoming new members and is open to anyone who loves to sing and have fun. The choir has sang at the Gospel Concert, Spring and Christmas concert, bandstand concerts, Canada Day and Band Day. They will delight you with the wonderful singing during Band Day.

Organizations: Citizens', The Drew Nursing Home, Rotary Club Camp Tidnish Ottawa House Nursing Homes Veterans Services Ships Co. Parrsboro Band Association

Geographic location: PARRSBORO, Sackville, Amherst

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