Local students and music enthusiasts supplied the sweet sounds Tuesday afternoon when they banded together as the Trail and District After School Band. From the left; Darian Meunier

Community support helps band flourish

Trail and District After School Band acts as a major supporter of the school music program by providing additional training and structure.



Not all that long ago it was beginning to look like traditional music education, in the form of concert band curriculum, was going to be a thing of the past in the Greater Trail area.

School District 20 and the majority of local schools had cancelled in-school music programs with only Rossland Secondary holding on to it’s band class.

However, with the scheduled closure of the Rossland secondary program and students moving to J.L. Crowe, it looked like even that last bit of music education was in jeopardy.

Then fate intervened when one of the Trail city council members approached the Trail Alliance Church to inquire about the possibility of any kind of a program that might give youths in the area something to do.

“I’m so thrilled, the community got behind us,” said Terry Moon, a former band teacher at Crowe and now the music program administrator for the Trail and District After School Band. “It was needed and wanted and the grants and donations we’ve received shows the community doesn’t want music to die in this area.”

The church is supplying the facility, storage for the instruments, administering the program, and the congregation provides any needed additional support.

When Moon began the program in January, 2013 it faced an uncertain future but soon the people of Trail and area began offering instruments that had been sitting unused in their homes.

“There has probably been almost $50,000 worth of instruments donated and we’ve been applying for grants,” Moon said. “We’ve now brought in about $40,000 in grants and everybody who wants to play can.”

The After School Band began with seven beginner students and nine intermediates and has now grown to a total of 25 split between the two levels, with participants coming from Trail, Warfield, Fruitvale, Rossland, Genelle, and even as far away as Castlegar.

Rather than drawing potential music students away from the newly revitalized music program at J.L. Crowe, the After School Band is now acting as a major supporter of the school-based curriculum by providing additional structured music training and time to practice with their instruments.

“About 90 per cent of our students are in the Crowe band program,” Moon said. “We’re supporting them to learn their music for the school program as well as additional music with us.

“They’re getting music lessons from both sides.”

Another way that the community-based program is hoping to contribute to the musical life of the Greater Trail area is by becoming a feeder program for the venerable Trail Maple Leaf Band.

“A number of the players in the Maple Leaf Band are getting on in years and they don’t march anymore, they weren’t getting many young people joining up,” Moon said.

“Now they have recognized the After School Band as the Jr. Maple Leaf Band and four of our students are playing with them.”

The band held its first public performance for the Alliance Church’s Christmas concert last December, has been booked for the 2014 Warfield Days celebration, and is planning a spring concert in May.

Moon says the band is thriving and is extremely grateful to the community and many financial donors such as Kootenay Savings, Telus, Columbia Power, the Le Roi Foundation, Teck, the Columbia Basin Trust, and the local municipalities and RDKB but are looking to grow and are still applying for additional grants.

“We want to get the message out there that there is room for more kids,” he said. “We can handle about 25 more and can provide one instrument per student minimum. But we’re looking for another $25,000 to cover consumables and repairs.”

The band holds practices every Tuesday afternoon and anyone interested in joining the After School Band can contact Terry Moon through the Trail Alliance Church.

Just Posted

Pedestrian killed on Highway 22 Saturday evening

Police say 51-year-old man died after being hit by car

UPDATE: DriveBC says highway re-opened after accident

Highway 22 closed for seven hours on Saturday

Forestry workers set to begin job action in Kootenays

Operations in Castlegar, Cranbrook, Galloway, Elko, Radium, Golden may see job action this week.

Métis Flag flies in Trail on Louis Riel Day

Area students, officials and public attend flag raising at Trail City Hall

Early Trail borrowed a couple of names from the U.S.

Place Names: Connection between Trail and Butte, Montana

Saving salmon: B.C. business man believes hatcheries can help bring back the fish

Tony Allard worked with a central coast First Nation to enhance salmon stocks

High-end B.C. house prices dropping, but no relief at lower levels

But experts say home ownership remains out of reach for many for middle- and lower-income families

Worker killed in collision at B.C. coal mine

Vehicle collision occurred at approximately 10:45 a.m. this morning

B.C. asking for tips on ‘dirty money’ in horse racing, real estate, luxury cars

Action follows a Peter German report on money laundering in B.C. casinos

Canadian dead more than a week after plane crash in Guyana: Global Affairs

Global Affairs said it couldn’t provide further details on the identity of the Canadian citizen

Children between 6 and 9 eligible for $1,200 RESP grant from province

BC Ministry of Education is reminding residents to apply before the deadline

Victoria spent $30,000 to remove John A. Macdonald statue

Contentious decision sparked controversy, apology from mayor

Privacy concerns over credit card use for legal online pot purchases

Worries follow privacy breaches at some Canadian cannabis retailers

NEB approves operating pressure increase to repaired Enbridge pipeline

The pipeline burst outside of Prince George on Oct. 9, now operating at 85 per cent

Most Read