The Greater Windsor Concert Band (GWCB) celebrated 25 years of music on Sunday with a free concert at the Serbian Centre.
"I started the band because there was a need for a community band, and there was a need that musicians had to play in a band that was going to go out and play for the community," said Ric Moor, the group's music director.
The 28-member ensemble has played extensively in Michigan and was the first Canadian band to be invited to play at the Red Cedar Festival of Community Bands in Okemos, Mich.
The band also toured Eastern Canada in 2019, stopping in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.
Silver jubilee concert
The concert started with the national anthems of Canada and Ukraine before diving into songs featured in 2001: A Space Odyssey.
A musical rendition of four of Aesop's Fables were also performed. Bob Steele, former host of CBC Radio's Afternoon Drive, narrated the four fables while the band played behind him.
Music was featured from other movies, including Chicken Run and the Star Wars franchise.
Mike McNamara featured as a guest guitarist on two songs after the intermission, one of which was Thunder, better known as the NASCAR theme. Sunday's concert was the second time he has played alongside the GWCB.
"I've known Ric for a long time," he said. "He contacted me about doing something with the band, so here we are."
"I started playing when I had kids," said clarinet player Angela Manser, an original member of the ensemble. "Since then, we've played in churches, concerts and Christmas concerts. It was good exposure for my kids as well."
Meanwhile, flutist and longtime member of the band Karen Barnes said she admires the way the band hasn't hesitate in changing shape over the years.
"Different instruments, different people, different music," said Barnes, who also plays piccolo. "It's been wonderful."
Manser, Barnes and McNamara said the longevity of the band can be attributed to the group's commitment to providing live music to the community.
Although the band is always looking for new members, Moor said they have a particular need for clarinet and French horn players. Prospective members are encouraged to come out to rehearsals on Wednesday nights at the Optimist Band Centre.
The GWCB will perform at Tecumseh Mall on Saturday before playing at the Santa Claus Parades of Amherstburg and Windsor.
The band will finish the year with their Christmas concert on Dec. 11 at the Windsor Sportsmen's Club.