It was a short notice affair – a couple of busloads of musicians and gear rolling up to the Brilliant Cultural Centre on October 21.
The 64-piece brass band – representing the Lich Germany Fire Department – had done shows in Vancouver and Seattle before doing another couple in Central Washington State. A Castlegar show was arranged with a phone call from the band’s conductor Andreas Moeschl to local fire chief Gerry Rempel and the date was hastily set. The two had first met when a Moeschl had brought the band to Castlegar in 1994. Only Andreas and two others present on Sunday night were with the 1994 group.
Not a lot of lead time was available and the sparse turnout was the likely result. All the same the well-oiled unit put out a great effort, greatly enjoyed by the fifty or so who had shown up.
Donations from music lovers are to be sent to Ronald McDonald House, a well-known facility in Vancouver which provides a sanctuary for families with kids facing serious medical issues.
The band’s arrival had been held up by a motor vehicle accident near the Paulson Summit, but it was amazing to see how quickly they were organized, tuned-up and performing. They were well into their first number in under ten minutes from the time the buses pulled in at about 7:05.
The show was a mixture of well-loved numbers… polkas and waltzs, etc, plus a great assortment of more widely recognizable material including American traditional and pop classics.
Moeschl told the crowd the group makes North American visit about ever three years… here’s hoping they may make another local appearance sometime around 2015 with a little more time for promotion so more people can enjoy their expertise.