Band concert brings student a step closer to performing with dad

The Second Chances band performs songs from the movie Guardians of the Galaxy at the Florence Simmons Performance Hall in Charlottetown on Oct. 18. Letre Sweeting photo.

By Letre Sweeting

Oct. 28, 2016

Charles Carey was excited to show off his talent, but he wished his dad was on the Island to see his first band concert.

He learned to play the trumpet at age seven from his cousin, though he got inspiration from his father, who played and taught the trumpet.

When he started playing his dad stopped, said Carey.

“He was a teacher and he didn’t have as much time to practise. When I learned how to play there was no reason for him to play anymore.”

Carey’s dad is also a pastor at First Word Ministries in the Bahamas. Carey’s goal after graduation from the music performance program at Holland College is to perform with his dad at church.

“I would like to play with him one day.”

Though his father couldn’t be with him physically, he encouraged Carey before the show Oct.18.

“He told me good luck and wished me the best.”

Carey joined the Welshmen Community Band at Holland College on Sept. 27 after seeing the group on Facebook. He was a trumpet player in the Bahamas All-Stars Band, a recreational youth band started in 2010.

The October concert was organized by Christine Blanchard, the band director for the Welshmen who came up with the idea, and Sharon Keller, the events coordinator for hall.

The band played along with the Second Chances band in Charlottetown before about 300 in the Florence Simmons Performance Hall.

Christine Blanchard became the director of the Welshmen in 2015.

This is her second year performing with Second Chances and she is excited, she said.

“For the first time this year we were able to have joint practices before the show, so I got to see and hear them… it was amazing.”

At the concert, both bands played songs from popular movies, shows and musicals, she said.

“We wanted to collaborate early in the year so that it would sort of be a kick-off to the season and we thought, why don’t we do something that’s very accessible musically like movies and shows, so we each did a few tunes.”

Rowan Fitzgerald is director of the Second Chances. He enjoyed the concert, especially because he had a chance to sit back and watch a part of it this year, he said.

“I hadn’t heard the Welshmen play in a while, so the second half of the concert, it was pleasing to sit in the hall and listen.”

He loved what he heard, said Fitzgerald.

“One of the motivating factors that musicians thrive off is the feedback.”

Second Chances has another collaborative concert with the Queen Charlotte band in Charlottetown in November.

Collaborative concerts are done at the beginning of each school year and the two bands have collaborated for over 10 years. They plan to continue for many more. Both bands have over 50 members.