This past weekend, the Nicola Valley Community Band visited some familiar faces in new places.
On an invitation from the Lieutenant Governor of B.C. and Merrittonian Judith Guichon, the band travelled to Government House in Victoria on Sunday.
The band travelled to the provincial capital to play at the Lieutenant Governor’s Garden Party, which celebrates the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s coronation.
The Royal Canadian Navy’s Naden Band, the Greater Victoria Police Pipe Band and the Friends of Government House singers also performed at the event.
Nicola Valley Community Band president Nancy Ellingsen said it was an important trip for their band.
“It was a big deal for the band, definitely, to go even on a road trip, let alone to Victoria to Government House,” she said, adding that band member Emma Martin described the experience as the most important day of her life.
It was a beautiful sunny day with an ocean backdrop as Ellingsen overlooked a sea of people dressed in old-fashioned hats who gathered for the event, she said, describing the experience.
“And the pipe band had piped in Judy,” Ellingsen said.
“Her honour,” she added after a short pause. “It’s hard to call her your honour when you know her.”
The Lieutenant Governor had been back in Merritt just a couple of weeks ago and got a haircut from Ellingsen, she said.
Ellingsen said it was a great experience just to be at Government House. Guichon took the band on a tour and even showed them the view from her bedroom.
The Lieutenent Governor and former flute player even put on one of the band’s red shirts and joined in on the music.
The trip had more than one stop. Reciprocating the visit the Langley Community Band made to Merritt last year, the Nicola Valley band visited Langley the day before playing in Victoria. They were treated to a tour around the city and a dinner with the Langley band.
As expected, the two bands made beautiful music together when they practiced at the Langley Community Hall and played a concert together.
“One of the highlights, definitely, was when we played together with them,” said Ellingsen, who noted that as ambassadors of the town, it was great to visit with the Langley band – especially for their younger members.
Next up for the Nicola Valley Community Band is their annual Friday Night with Friends concert at the Quilchena Hotel tomorrow.