4 Wing Band wows the crowd at 35th Anniversary concert

4 Wing Band 35th Anniversary Concert

The 4 Wing Band shone at its 35th Anniversary concert Saturday night.
Photo: OS Justin Spinello, Wing Imaging

Jeff Gaye

There was a celebratory mood in the 4 Wing Theatre Saturday night as the 4 Wing Band marked its 35th anniversary with a special concert. Thirty-seven volunteer musicians filled the hall with sound, performing a widely varied program of traditional band music.

“It was absolutely fantastic,” said 4 Wing Bandmaster WO Jeremy Duggleby. “We had a great crowd, and the band played exceptionally well.”
The band performs a lot – approximately 75 engagements a year – but WO Duggleby said Saturday’s special occasion brought out a little
extra magic from the players. “The lights, the stage, and the darkened house bring a little edge of nerves, and that lends a bit of spice to the performance,” he said.

The program included movie music from The Dam Busters, Band of Brothers and The Blues Brothers, as well as concert overtures, solo selections and traditional military marches. Audience donations for 4 Wing MFRC exceeded $700.

The band existed as a recreational club before it was officially established as a military band in November 1982. While the players are amateurs, the group is very much a working band. Its primary mandate is to support military occasions such as parades and mess dinners, and it also gives several public performances every year.

The players are military members and civilians who are united by their love of music-making, WO Duggleby said.

“Anniversaries like a 35th are really important to celebrate,” he said. “Especially for an institution like the band, that does so much in the community. It’s like a marriage, you have to celebrate your milestones together.”

“The band is like a marriage of the Wing with the community, and of the arts with the military way of life,” he said.

The 4 Wing Band can bask in the concert’s afterglow for a few days, and then they get back to work with their regular role. In the meantime, they are rehearsing for their annual Christmas concert which will be held on Sunday, December 17 at Cold Lake High School.