The Delta Music Makers are making the most of their enforced hiatus.
Conductor Curt Jantzen has sent out a COVID Music Challenge to his band members to use music to celebrate health care workers. Jantzen suggests they go out their door and play O Canada every night at 7 p.m. on their balconies and front porches.
In fact, Jantzen has extended the challenge to all Delta musicians: “Step outside your door and play O Canada in the key of concert Bb. That is, trumpets and clarinets start on E, alto sax on B, flutes and trombones on D. Drummers, just beat the heck out of the rhythm.”
Following Jantzen and his wife singing and playing O Canada at 7 p.m., he plays one more tune for the neighbourhood, such as Amazing Grace, Somewhere Over the Rainbow, Tijuana Taxi, Fly Me to the Moon and more.
The Delta Music Makers are eager to rehearse again, but only when the all clear is given and the schools are open for their Tuesday evening rehearsals.
As for Ladner Bandfest, scheduled for June 6 and 7 at Memorial Park, the committee will make a decision about cancelling on May 1. This event is organized and hosted by the Delta Music Makers.
Jantzen said the committee is reluctant to cancel it too soon as it is exactly the kind of event the community will need when isolation comes to an end. However, he said it is sadly aware that early June is not looking very likely at this time, so it will take its advice from Delta City Hall and provincial officers.
Jantzen also teaches, along with Margaret Behenna, a group called “Band-Ex” at Hawthorne Elementary on Thursdays after school. Their 95 elementary school band students are receiving practice suggestions by email from the two long-time Delta teachers.
They also extend to their students the COVID Music Challenge, suggesting they perform O Canada at 7 p.m. every night.
“This is not only to celebrate our health care workers, but also all first responders, grocery workers, the truck drivers, funeral homes, bus drivers, restaurant take-out services, those who work to keep our water and sewer systems operating, BC Hydro, bank employees, and all essential services who go to work and put themselves at COVID risk every day,” said Jantzen.