You could have knocked Terry Moon over with a feather when a stranger donated over 100 pounds of quality brass to his cause.
The After School Band, set up in the Trail Alliance Church, is gaining popularity with students but running short of instruments, said Moon, the program’s administrator.
So when a bridge worker from Abbotsford gave two professional grade tubas worth tens of thousands of dollars to the program – Moon became a little weak in the knees and somewhat short on words.
The man’s name is Mike Davidson and a tuba player himself, began Moon.
“He was in town working for the (bridge) contractor, inquiring about the Maple Leaf Band and wondering how he could get involved,” Moon explained. “Mike came by to have a looksee and as we were talking, we brought up the After School Band and asked if he would come and play with us.”
Work restraints kept Davidson from becoming a temporary Trail tubaist, but the story doesn’t end there.
“He said he really believed in what we are doing with the program and that he was willing to give us two of his three tubas,” said Moon. “He went home that weekend, picked up the tubas and brought them back to us – when we saw them we almost fell over.”
Moon, also a tuba player, was dumbfounded when he laid eyes on the grand brass treasures.
He was expecting two student grade tubas, not a pair of the real deal.
“My jaw dropped, I truly did not know what to say,” Moon shared. “These two tubas he donated just happen to come from England, happen to be professional models, and they are huge. But they are the real thing.”
It turns out Davidson comes from a long line of musicians, his parents, both tuba players, are teachers in the University of Saskatchewan music program.
“Mike is an extremely accomplished tuba player, and these two happen to be the ones his mom and dad gave to him,” said Moon. “To think this guy comes into our community as a worker on the bridge, hears about a program in our community and chooses to back us like this is truly touching,” he added. “I was awestruck. And I have since written letters to Mike’s parents thanking them for the donation as well.”
Another kind offering was made to the church program earlier this year, two woodwinds for the adult band.
A gentleman from the High River flood zone moved to Trail a year or so ago.
“He heard about the seniors program and donated an alto sax and flute,” explained Moon, mentioning the sax is worth upwards of $3,500. “So again, these people believe so much in music and in kids learning, that they will go that far to give us instruments of that value. They have no ties to the community but they believe in what the community is trying to do with these music programs – we are just the catalysts.”
About 30 musicians ranging from beginner to intermediate, ages 11 to 85, are members of the Trail Alliance Church band program. As musical interest continues to grow, Moon is on the hunt for more instruments – and that’s a sign of good things to come.
“We have now put six kids into the Maple Leaf Band and we have adults coming out who are getting better and ready to go,” he said. “So the program is turning out to be a whole lot more than just trying to get kids off the street.”