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

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

A cougar, or cougars, went on a killing rampage at a small Fruitvale farm. Photo: Thomas S. on Unsplash
Cougar euthanized after taking out small animal farm in Fruitvale

Wildlife interactions, poachers or polluters should be reported to RAPP at 1.877.952.7277

The Trail Smoke Eaters will open the 2021 season on Oct. 8 against the Cranbrook Bucks in Cranbrook, and will have their home opener the next night against the same Bucks. Photo: Jack Murray
BC Hockey League announces 54-game schedule to begin in October

Trail Smoke Eaters open season with home-and-home series versus Cranbrook Bucks

“The Spirit of Family” enhances the Beaver Valley both in the daytime and at night. Photo: Submitted
Family sculpture installed at the Fruitvale Memorial Hall

Locals are encouraged to swing by Fruitvale Memorial Hall to take a… Continue reading

In 1927, swimmers enjoyed a day in the water at the CGIT and CSET Camp in Summerland. While none of the people in this photograph have smart phones, there is some debate about whether a beach image from the United Kingdom in 1943 shows a man using a smart phone. (Photograph courtesy of the Summerland Museum)
COLUMN: The mystery of the time-travelling tourist

Was the man in a 1943 photograph checking his smart phone?

The flotation line at Gyro Park beach in East Trail, shown here during low water, is for emergency purposes only and does not delineate a safe swimming area. Photo: Trail Times file
City of Trail cautions beach users

Gyro Park beach questions should be directed to the roads superintendent at 250.364.0817.

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
VIDEO: Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

St. Joseph's Mission site is located about six kilometres from Williams Lake First Nation. (Photo submitted)
Williams Lake First Nation to search residential school site for unmarked graves

St. Joseph’s Mission Indian Residential School operated from 1886 to 1981

Tuesday’s Lotto Max draw went unclaimed. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Tuesday’s Lotto Max draw went unclaimed. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lotto Max jackpot goes unclaimed again

42 of the 64 Maxmillion prizes of $1 million were won, the majority were sold in Ontario

FILE - This July 6, 2017 file photo shows prescription drugs in a glass flask at the state crime lab in Taylorsville, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)
Contaminants in generic drugs may cause long-term harm to DNA: B.C. researcher

Scientist says findings suggest high volume overseas facilities require strict regulation

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., on April 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Labour shortages, closed borders major obstacles to B.C. restaurant, tourism restarts

Industry expert says it won’t start to recover until international travellers can visit

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Grace (left), a caribou that was born in a maternal pen north of Revelstoke, is alive and well said the province. It appears she even has a calf. Maternity pens aim to increase caribou calf survival by protecting them from predation until they are older and less vulnerable. (Contributed)
For the first time in years, caribou numbers increasing near Revelstoke

North herd growing but south herd still concerning

Most Read