Having not been able to perform throughout the pandemic, the Foothills Music Society Concert and Jazz Bands will be letting the music out at the supermarket on July 24.
“I'm very much looking forward to it. It’s been 18 months of not being able to share music live with friends,” said Kathie Van Lare, concert band director with the FMS. “It will just be fun to see people, quite honestly, and we have a pretty darn good community band in Okotoks."
Listeners can expect a variety of familiar tunes, Van Lare added.
“It’s going to be on the lighter side for sure, so movie themes, some popular tunes like Bohemian Rhapsody and Star Wars,” she said. “Just some fun stuff, tunes that people will know."
Having performed at the store the year prior, the supermarket's management were all too happy to have a repeat.
“I approached the manager at Walmart and he said ‘We would love to have you.’”
While she expected to play on the outskirts of the lot, she said the manager had asked them to play front and centre,, between the two main entrances.
“He was very supportive. He was very keen on having us do that,” she added.
The pandemic has taken a toll on the musicians.
“We’re just looking forward to getting together and playing together—there’s nothing like sitting down and playing music with somebody else,” Van Lare continued.
“A lot of our members have commented on how difficult it’s been to find the motivation to practice, because it’s different when you sit down and play with somebody.
“There’s some very strong musicians in our part of the world.
“People just love to play and we have a wonderful group of people and just wanted to get together and share music.”
The FMS Concert Band, conducted by Van Lare, and the Jazz Band, conducted by Martin Kennedy, will also be joined by members of the Sherwood Community Band out of Calgary.
The FMS will put on another performance, on Aug. 21 at the Olde Towne Okotoks Plaza.
Being in public spaces, the concerts will be free, but the FMS is encouraging donations to the Okotoks Food Bank.
The Walmart concert on July 24 and the Olde Towne concert on Aug. 21 will both begin at 2 p.m.