Music in the Park tuning up for another season

This year's schedule is packed with regional artists and even a few imports, says organizer Raymond Masleck.

Summer is here and there is music in the air.

The Trail and District Arts Council and Kootenay Savings Credit Union want to share the sounds of local and visiting talent during this year’s Music in the Park series, showcasing what Kootenay artists can do.

Raymond Masleck, one of the organizers for this year’s events, says the schedule is packed with regional artists and even a few imports. One act is a recent add-on to the series schedule and will be playing on a special night before the Canada Day holiday.

“We have one addition to the schedule as of last week – The Sicilian Jazz Project (on June 30),” he said. “We are very excited about this because they are quite a top notch jazz group all the way from Toronto with Pilar, an Italian vocalist and a renowned American clarinetist named Don Byron.”

The Sicilian Jazz Project performance is still a couple of weeks away, but Music in the Park isn’t just about the tunes, says Masleck. The series also gives the city a chance to bring people together and show off Trail’s green space in Gyro Park.

“Every musician enjoys having a venue with a fairly large audience to perform for and … it is very popular with people of both limited income and mainstream income to have music in a nice setting in the park,” he said, mentioning that some people are surprised at how welcoming and lush the park is in the summertime.

“Particularly the performers that come from far away are very impressed with what a beautiful park we have here, especially when we are chided for not being the most beautiful place in the Kootenays, but it is quite a spectacular park.”

Organizers expect smooth sailing for the summer schedule, and hope to see the park filled with lawn chairs and hopefully, some new faces.

“Really, we are looking to rebuild our audience,”said Masleck, explaining that in previous years, the audience has been mostly comprised of seniors.

“Our current audience is elderly and it is starting to slip a bit, so we are working on a new addition for the end of the schedule, and you know, bring in some new people and sell them on the rest of the series. We try and program stuff that would be acceptable to our core audience, which is certainly over 50, or over 60, and at the same time, might be attractive to a younger audience.

“Our programming philosophy is variation and we are trying to represent a bunch of different fans of music.”

The first Music in the Park performance is on Thursday evening at 7 p.m. at the Gyro Park gazebo. For $2 spectators can see the Trail Pipe Band, accompanied by the Kate E. Shaw Highland dancers.

Next week, the Trail Maple Leaf Band will take the stage.

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