Making Music Fun!

The Cowichan Valley Concert Band has been making music for thirty-five years! Members range from teachers and professional musicians to those who just loved band way back in high school!

The six original members of the band played their first notes in the living room of founder and director Joy Ann Bannerman in 1984. These committed musicians gradually grew in numbers to about 35. Now numbering almost 30, we present concerts twice a year and continue our tradition of playing for a myriad of community events.

In every season, in almost every community in the valley, we have provided a musical backdrop to the special moments and events of the Cowichan Valley. In the early years the band participated in such events as the Duncan Easter Parade, the opening ceremonies of the BC Winter Games in 1991, the Cowichan Music Festival, Cowichan Bay Boat Festival, and Chemainus Days. More recent events have included -

  • Duncan Farmer's Market
  • Duncan Christmas Lightup
  • Maple Bay Canada Day celebration - 2009-2018
  • MS Fundraiser - Cowichan Valley Grape Escape Bike Tour - 2009-2015
  • Catalyst Paper Family Christmas Party at BC Forest Discovery Centre - 2011- 2018
  • Annual assistance with Cowichan Secondary Awards Night and Graduation walkup
  • Chemainus Music in the Park - 2013
  • Lake Cowichan Lake Days - 2011-2012
  • Queen's Diamond Jubilee Celebration in Chemainus - 2012
  • Ladysmith Concerts in the Park - 2010
  • Joint concerts with Cowichan Secondary School, Queen Margaret's School, Shawnigan Lake School
  • North American Indigenous Games parade route - 2008

The band has been directed primarily by Joy Ann Bannerman (1984-1996) and Ron McFarlane (1998-present) with short stints by Hugh McLeod, Tim Bullen and Garth Williams.

 

Director of Music - Ron McFarlane

While Ron earns his living as a professional engineer, his second passion in life is music (his first passion is his wife, Galia, and daughter, Dania). He started playing trumpet in elementary school. Throughout high school he was part of the school concert band and stage band. He also acted as the librarian and manager for these bands. At the same time he was also part of the local community concert band and stage band, and played electric bass in a dance band made up of students from the high school. After a seven-year hiatus to get an engineering degree at UBC, he moved to Victoria in 1983, joining the Greater Victoria Concert Band and the Island Big Band. For nearly 20 years he acted as both the lead trumpet player and Director of Music for the Island Big Band. In 1995 he joined the Cowichan Valley Concert Band where he was the principal trumpet. He stepped into the position of director of music for the concert band at the beginning of the 1998 season.