St. Peter’s may be more known for hymns, but this Friday, the Anglican church is jazzing things up for a cause.
Continuing its fundraising through 2 Saints + Friends, the church is hosting a benefit concert to raise money to sponsor two refugee families, one from Syria and the other from Eritrea. The concert will feature music from the Chief and Petty Officers Band and Simply Brass, a five-piece brass group.
“It started off using the Chief and Petty Officers Band as a group that would play,” said Janet Holland, who performs with both bands. “We were looking for another group to fill the other half of the concert and I said, ‘Oh, I also play in a brass quintet.’”
Holland and some of her Simply Brass bandmates will be pulling double duty throughout the show, serving as part of the 20-plus member Chief and Petty Officers Band.
“The band was originally established in 1987 as an alumni band by retired military band members,” said Mike Dominy, director of the Chief and Petty Officers Band. “In the last couple of years, we’ve changed it to being a community band for members of the military community, their families or anybody that wants to support them.”
The show is slated to have a variety of music, ranging from typical military songs to more modern yet recognizable numbers. Old favourites such as Puttin’ on the Ritz and Londonderry Air are among some of the more popular tunes expected at the concert.
“There’s obviously some military marches, and one of the pieces we’re playing is called Fantasy on American Sailing Songs,” said Dominy. We’ll have a couple more contemporary tunes, showtunes, a few folk songs. It’s a good, eclectic mix to appeal to everybody.”
Additionally, Rev. Bruce Bryant-Scott – one of the South Island’s leaders in refugee settlement since the Syrian crisis broke – is scheduled to address the audience about Canada’s progress in bringing in refugees with a look to the future.
The concert is the second public event for 2 Saints + Friends, the name of the refugee sponsorship fundraising group between the St. Peter’s and St. David-by-the-Sea Anglican churches, as well as the community.
“We’re approaching our first $10,000 mark now,” said Julie Poskitt of the Anglican Diocese of B.C. “I think we’re gaining momentum and we hope to keep pushing forward.
“We’re seeing really what I would call quality support. We’re seeing people who will come and come back, and I like that.”
While the group hasn’t yet secured a Syrian refugee family, Poskitt said they’ve found an Eritrean family, but are looking at a 71-month wait before they reach the Island.
“They’ve been waiting since before the Syrian crisis,” said Poskitt. “What we’ve realized is the money isn’t the only thing we need to be working on. We need to get them here faster.”
The organizers hope to pack the church for the Friday evening performance. The show starts at 7:30 p.m., with the doors opening at 6:30 p.m. Admission is by a suggested donation of $20. St. Peter’s is located at 3939 St. Peter’s Road.