The Second Wind Community Band is preparing to present its 6th annual Spirit of Friendship concert, to be held at Cape Breton University’s Boardmore Playhouse on Sunday, June 13 at 2:00pm.
The concert is intended to raise awareness and support for l’Arche Cape Breton, a community where persons with developmental disabilities live and work together, along with those who choose to share life and work in solidarity with them. The local l’Arche community is part of an international federation of over 100 communities in 29 different countries, sharing a common purpose of helping each member play their own fulfilling role in society.
Second Wind will play typical concert band standards, from Classical arrangements to Broadway favourites and traditional folk songs. CBC’s Information Morning host, Steve Sutherland, will serve as MC for the evening.
The band’s co-director Laura Mercer described the Second Wind group as having matured remarkably over the seventeen years of its existence. Amongst its membership are students currently studying under the music program in local high schools, as well as university students and working people who joined the ensemble after being away from their instruments for years. While many members have a background of musical training from the local school system, others joined the ensemble “without having touched an instrument before,” as Mercer put it, and have developed to become skilled musicians in their own right.
After the presentation of music, there will be a reception with a cash Sundae Bar and the opportunity to meet members from the l’Arche community and the Second Wind Band. L’Arche members will also have some of their crafts and wares for sale, with all profits returning to their community.
Coles Bookstore will be on hand with books that can be purchased for donation to the Jeremy Harris Living Library at l’Arche. The library has special meaning for both l’Arche and the band. A beloved assistant at L’Arche and the son of two Second Wind members, Jeremy Harris passed away six years ago from injuries sustained in a car accident. The l’Arche community created the Jeremy Harris living library as a tribute to his memory and his contributions to the community.
Reflecting on the role of Second Wind in the local community, Mercer emphasized that the values of good musicianship and good citizenship go hand in hand. “For me, it’s all about the music; making music and doing the best we can. We have a lot of fun doing it. We’re a community group, and it’s in our mandate to help other groups and give back to the community.”
Concert Tickets can be purchased at the CBRM Recreation Department, at the Joan Harris Cruise Pavillion Box Office, l’Arche in Iron Mills, or from any Second Wind Band Member. Tickets are $10.00 for adults and $2.00 for children.