Posted on February 15, 2019 by Cindy Edge

The Augustana Connection – The Camrose & District Community Band in Concert with Musical Guests, the Festival City Winds Intermediate One Concert Band from Edmonton On Sunday, March 24, the Camrose & District Community Band, under the direction of Tom Spila, will perform a concert at the Cargill Theatre of the Jeanne and Peter Lougheed …

The Augustana Connection – The Camrose & District Community Band in Concert with Musical Guests, the Festival City Winds Intermediate One Concert Band from Edmonton

On Sunday, March 24, the Camrose & District Community Band, under the direction of Tom Spila, will perform a concert at the Cargill Theatre of the Jeanne and Peter Lougheed Performing Arts Centre in Camrose. The concert begins at 2:00 pm and features musical guests, the Festival City Winds Intermediate One Concert Band (Wendy Grasdahl, Conductor) from Edmonton. There is no charge for admission and all are welcome.

Both concert bands will perform a variety of selections, from standard concert band literature and marches to jazz and movie themes. Highlights include Fall River Overture (Sheldon), Deep River (arr. Swearingen), and Songs of Old Kentucky (Karrick) presented by the Camrose & District Community Band, and Suite for Band “New England Sketches” (Milford) and Yesterday (McCartney, arr. Longfield) presented by the Festival City Winds Intermediate One Band. Augustana students within the Camrose & District Community Band will also perform a piece on their own, entitled Dance Episodes (Curnow). There will be light refreshments following the concert.

Since it’s inception in 1995, the Festival City Winds Society has grown steadily. The program now encompasses groups at a wide range of experience levels—from novice to advanced. The band you will see before you at this concert is the Intermediate One Band. Conductor Wendy Grasdahl is well known across Canada as a conductor, adjudicator, clinician, teacher and trumpeter. Her professional experience encompasses teaching at university and college levels, as well as military band work and private teaching. As an officer in the Canadian Naval Reserve, Wendy has conducted military bands in Alberta, B.C., Ontario and Nova Scotia. She is in demand as a clinician and guest conductor for school programs, as well as summer music programs and has won several prestigious awards. She’s appeared as a trumpet soloist and in professional ensembles across Canada and is founder, Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of Festival City Winds Music Society. Ms. Grasdahl holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the U of A and Master of Music degree from the U of C.

Formed in 1983, the Camrose and District Community Band was started by a group of 13 interested local musicians, under the baton of Tom Spila, for the purpose of providing a recreational adult band for the community. The original community ensemble, called the Rose City Band, was active in the 1960s, but later disbanded. The formation of the Camrose and District Community Band allowed former Rose City Band members, former school players and interested beginners to join together for an enjoyable evening of music every week and to acquire and improve skills many thought they might never get the opportunity to work on again. While the focus of the band is educational, the group provides a wonderful social outlet: members thrive musically and make new friends at the same time. Membership is open to anyone over 18 years of age and ranges from 18 years of age to 90 plus. The ensemble is governed by an elected executive with help from various committees. The band’s repertoire consists of a wide variety of styles. Performances include local trades shows and events, public concerts and festivals. The Camrose & District Community Band membership consistently totals over 60 musicians representing a wide array of occupations and people from all walks of life. For many years now Augustana students with experience on an appropriate instrument have been able to join the band as full members while receiving university credit for their work.

Conductor Tom Spila is a graduate of the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Education degree majoring in secondary music. He has recently retired after having taught music at the Elementary, Jr. and Sr. High School levels for a total of 44 years. The past 39 of those were spent at Camrose Composite High School where the music program consisted of concert and jazz bands, mixed chorus, chamber choir and vocal jazz, as well as beginner and advanced guitar. Student groups under his direction have been recognized at regional, provincial and national levels. He has been honoured by Alberta Education, by Alberta’s band and choral communities and locally. Mr. Spila has served on the board of the Alberta Band Association and is presently on the board of Choir Alberta. He has been the director of the Camrose & District Community Band since its inception in 1983.

Camrose and District Community Band rehearsals take place Tuesday evenings from 7:30 to 9:00 pm at Camrose Composite High School band room. The season runs from late September to late May. The band welcomes all newcomers so if you are interested, come out to the concert the afternoon of March 24 at 2:00 pm and feel free to talk to members of the band and the director and enjoy the sounds of the Festival City Winds Intermediate One Band as well. Please call 780-672-1051 for further information.


Sunday, March 24

2:00 pm 

Cargill Theatre, Lougheed Performing Arts Centre

Admission free of charge



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