Who: Maple Ridge Concert Band
What: Annual Christmas concert
When: Nov. 27 at 7: 30 p.m.
Where: The ACT, 11944 Haney Pl.
Tickets: Tickets are $12.50/adults, and $11.50/students, children, and seniors (55-plus) at 604-476-2787, www.theactmapleridge.org, or in person at The ACT.
Ed Dumas meets a lot of adults who wish they had learned to play an instrument.
So a year ago, Dumas, the conductor of the Maple Ridge Concert Band and a music teacher at Maple Ridge Secondary, decided to start an adult beginner band, whose musicians have now morphed into an intermediate band, and in September, he started a new beginner band.
The two newer bands will complement the Maple Ridge Concert Band's annual Christmas concert this year on Nov. 27, playing in the lobby and during intermission.
When it comes to learning music, Dumas fundamentally disagrees with the old saw "you can't teach old dogs new tricks," and that's why the Maple Ridge Concert Band began the adult beginners concert band with "flatout beginners."
"Old dogs learn new tricks faster," he said.
Dumas meets many adults who regret not learning to play an instrument, and that inspired him to teach adult beginners.
"That's why we started - because so many people [said to me] 'I wish I had...'" Dumas said.
When he was growing up and going to school, there was a lot more musical instruction in the curriculum, Dumas said. He believes the current generation is growing up with much less musical exposure than previous generations.
"There's a lot of musically sheltered children," Dumas said.
The Maple Ridge Concert Band has been in existence for 65 years, and Dumas, who grew up in Maple Ridge attending Westview Junior Secondary and Maple Ridge Senior Secondary, took over conducting the concert band, which includes wind instruments - both woodwind and brass - and percussion, in 1990.
Robin Brinkerink-Johnson, a Grade 12 student at Maple Ridge Secondary, is one of a handful of musicians in the Maple Ridge Concert Band who aren't adults.
Brinkerink-Johnson, who wants to major in trumpet after graduating from high school this year, attended the Dal Richards concert on Remembrance Day at The ACT, and felt she was the only person under 40 at the concert.
"Their generation - jazz was the thing," she said.
The Maple Ridge Concert Band is gearing up for its Nov. 27 performance entited Traditions, which will include a variety of traditional tunes - from different traditions, some Leroy Anderson, the Alfred Reed arrangement of Greensleeves, and Ireland: of Legend and Lore. Other traditional music will include songs like Amazing Grace and Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.
There will a reading of The Night Before Christmas by MRSS vice-principal Chad Raible, interspersed with musical phrases.
At this year's Christmas concert, the adult intermediate band, which began in September 2011, will play before the concert in the lobby.
The adults who began this fall in the beginner band will play in the lobby during intermission, conducted by Nina Falcos. Anyone interested in joining the adult beginner band can contact Dumas at email@example.com.