ESTEVAN - Kyle Whitehead, who is the music teacher at the ECS, put a call out for southeast musicians of all kinds last week who are interested in starting bands.
With enough people, the plan is to form various musical groups in the Estevan area in the coming fall.
Whitehead said he's been looking into starting community bands for a few years, and now with a bit more time freed up, he decided to put the plans to work. When he lived in Flin Flon, Man., he was part of the group that started a band and it was nothing, but a positive experience, which he wants to bring over to Estevan.
"It was a tiny little group, but we had a lot of fun. It's been a while and teaching high school is good and rewarding, but sometimes it's nice to be able to perform and practise with other adults as well," Whitehead explained.
He hopes to bring together three different bands, including a full community band, a youth band and a jazz band. The full community band is planned to be comprised of wind and percussion musicians from ages 16 and up. The youth band will be for musicians under the age of 19 who have had at least two years of band experience. The jazz band will be made up of musicians aged 16 and up.
They are looking for musicians who have already played and had some experience. They may be rusty, Whitehead said, but they have some ideas in place to get everybody up to speed and ready to go.
Later on, they may open up the initiative to those who are just dreaming about being in a band but don't have any experience yet.
"In the future, we may look at doing some start-up as well for people that have never played before. But initially, we're trying to find those that already play and then work into building into some of those other ideas," Whitehead said.
Just a couple of days after the call-out was posted on social media, Whitehead almost had enough people to form a jazz band and there were musicians interested in joining other community bands as well.
"Our goal is to become a registered non-profit group. Presently, we are at the point of gauging community members' interest in forming such musical groups. Dates of rehearsals, location and membership fees will be decided once we have a strong sense of the numbers of those interested in the formation of these bands," Whitehead said in a Facebook post.
He also stated that there will be a discounted youth band rate for those individuals who participate in their school band programs and wish to enhance their musical abilities. Adult and student private lessons may also become a possibility if there is interest.
"What we're ultimately aiming to do is to get some people together, have some fun making music and then put on a concert," Whitehead said. "We're hoping once it's up and running, it becomes self-sustaining."
He added that joining a band is a great way for those who like playing music to put their talents and passions to work.
They are going to see what interest is there for about a month, Whitehead said, and hopefully have all three bands going in the fall.
"If you are interested, please fill out the brief survey and I will put you on a list to be contacted once we know we have enough to make any of the groups run. I look forward to hearing from you and getting a chance to make some music together in the coming months," Whitehead wrote.
The 20-second survey can be found on the Estevan Community Band Facebook group. If there are people that are interested, but they're not on Facebook, they can give Whitehead a call at 306-415-1222.