Yesterday was the Valley Winds Music Association’s 25th Anniversary concert at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity.  From one man’s dream 25 years ago to connect people around music, the movement has grown to include a Concert Band, a Big Band, and a Choir, which has spawned two sub-choirs.  The membership includes people of all stripes and walks of life, musical ability and experience.  We have  professors, pilots, nurses, vets, physiotherapists, Olympic athletes, high school students, service workers, labourers, doctors, teachers, environmental biologists, provincial and national parks employees, childcare workers…. Current active members of this Association were born in eight different decades.

During the concert yesterday I stood in the wings of the Eric Harvey Theatre while my co-director led the choir through a beautiful piece called “I Dreamed Of Rain”.  I looked out at the faces of the singers and had a little moment.  These amazing people, from so many different walks of life – some who have moved to our little valley in the Canadian Rocky Mountains from vastly diverse places – have all come into my life because of music.  I likely would not know most of them otherwise.  As they joined voices in lovely harmonies, I thought about how fortunate I am to have each of them in my life and it’s music that has brought us together.

That may be really sappy to express, but it was a true and honest moment – I was blown away.  I get some element of the same feeling every single time we gather as Guitar Mamas or the Brotherhood of Strings.  Community around sound.  I am so thankful!

If you’re reading this and want a piece of this experience, I can help you with that.  The Valley Winds Music Association is winding its season down but will begin again in September – I can get you information or you could check out the website.  I have space for adult guitar students and I’d love to plug you into the GMS or BoS Collective, if that interests you.  (you could do one of those without the other, or do both)  And I’ll be running a guitar retreat in the fall specifically for beginner women who want to play guitar. (registration will open soon)  No prerequisite for ANY of those options.

I encourage you to get involved.  Something happens when we make noise together that creates a bond I’ve never experienced any other way.  Jump in.  Make some sound and some eye contact.  And shine on!

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