The Festive Brass will perform at Knox United Church in Parksville on Dec. 17. (Submitted photo)

The Festive Brass will perform at Knox United Church in Parksville on Dec. 17. (Submitted photo)

Festive Brass to play Christmas show at Knox United Church Dec. 17

12-piece ensemble will be joined by Village Voices of Qualicum Beach

The Festive Brass will bring its big, brassy, bold and jazzy show to Knox United Church in Parksville on Dec. 17.

The 12-piece brass and percussion ensemble will play selections such as ‘White Christmas’, a Latin party-style ‘Feliz Navidad’, ‘Funky Little Drummer Boy’, a New Orleans-style ‘Frosty the Snowman’ and the band’s infamously twisted ‘Rudolph Variations’, according to a news release by Stevan Paranosic, founding member.

The band will set out on a six-concert Festive Brass Vancouver Island Holiday Horns Tour this Christmas season. It will be joined by special guests, the Village Voices of Qualicum Beach, for the show at Knox United Church (345 Pym St.).

“There is a biblical connection to brass,” said Paranosic. “Historically, the brass has been used for signalling. It is storied to have heralded the arrival of Baby Jesus and goes back to the early days of the Salvation Army and the playing of the carols at outdoor events.”

Festive Brass boasts a brass quartet and quintet library approaching 200 arrangements, with most written by members of the group, according to the release. It can play ‘Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer’ in approximately 10 different styles, including blues and polka.

“Our bass trombonist Robert Fraser has written an arrangement where he’s inserted the Rudolph theme into the Nutcracker!” the release read.

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Music, and a particular instrument, becomes a core part of people’s lives, a profession for some, in many different ways. For Paranosic, teeth had a lot to do with it.

“My mother thought my siblings and I should each play an instrument and she also believed that my pronounced front teeth as a 12-, maybe 13-year-old, would actually be pushed back so we wouldn’t need braces if I played something like a trumpet. Whether or not it was successful, we don’t know, but it was an interesting theory,” said Paranosic, who never did get braces.

It wasn’t until he joined the local marching band — his mother dragging him “kicking and screaming”, that he became excited about playing an instrument.

“That marching band put me in a social situation where becoming a better trumpet player and a better musician was a status quo, like joining the football team and wanting to be a quarterback,” Paranosic said. “It took off for me after that and it never really left me.”

Paranosic is the Principal Trumpet Player with the Vancouver Island Symphony, as well as a substitute band teacher in multiple school districts on the Island.

He is also one of the driving forces of the Vancouver Island Repertory Jazz Orchestra and played for many years with the Victoria Symphony. A lot of responsibility comes with playing the trumpet, according to Paranosic.

“It has so much carrying power to it and that has always been a major appeal,” he said “I tell my young students that we have ‘Weapons of mass sound destruction in our hands, but we cannot yield them like that.’ That’s the beauty of the instrument. It is capable of so much power but so much beauty at the same time.”

The music begins at 7:30 p.m. Doors open at 7 p.m.

Tickets are $39 and are available on Eventbrite, festivebrass.ca and at Parksville retailers Close To You Boutique and Fireside Books.

— NEWS Staff, submitted

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