Naden Band keeps Christmas Concert alive

Naden Band Christmas Concert at the Royal Theatre in Victoria in 2016. Photo by Cpl André Maillet, MARPAC Imaging Services

Naden Band Christmas Concert at the Royal Theatre in Victoria in 2016. Photo by Cpl André Maillet, MARPAC Imaging Services

Peter Mallett
Staff Writer

The show will go on for the Naden Band of the Royal Canadian Navy and their 42nd annual Christmas Concert.

Despite the cancellation of numerous holiday events across Victoria, the 34 full-time military musicians will continue their traditional fundraiser to benefit the Salvation Army Toy Drive. But instead of performing in front of sold out crowds at the iconic Royal Theatre, their festive musical montage will be recorded at the Chiefs and petty Officers’ Mess and will be broadcast on CHEK TV Dec. 19 at 8 p.m. The concert can also be seen on the Naden Band and Salvation Army Facebook pages, and can be found later on YouTube.

“Our annual concert is a huge event for us and a highly popular one on Victoria’s social calendar,” said PO1 Matthew McCrady, Naden Band Operations and Production Manager. “The band is trying to preserve as many traditions as possible and add a dose of normalcy to an extraordinarily abnormal year.”

Their performance is being filmed by local production company Roll.Focus. Productions, who recently filmed online performances by the Victoria Symphony. PO1 McCrady noted that the band and its contractors have adapted the program to feature its small ensembles to adhere to physical distancing and all other provincial regulations.

The musical line-up includes a selection of traditional Christmas carols, multi-cultural songs, including an Israeli song for peace, and a performance by the Drum Group that combines Naden Band members with personnel from the Defence Aboriginal Advisory Group.

“Even though our audience can’t be physically present with us this year, we really want to recreate the atmosphere and energy of a live show so that it feels like they’re there with us,” said PO1 McCrady. “When we perform we draw on the energy of the audience during our performances and that often pushes us to new places in our music making.”

The annual concert also serves as a toy drive for underprivileged children, with concert goers dropping off toys at admission. Since people can’t donate toys at the concert this year, the band is encouraging people to donate at the CHEK Christmas Drive-Thru event on Douglas St., Dec. 9 to 11 from 4 to 8 p.m. and Dec. 12 from 10 a.m. to noon.

More information about the concert and how to donate will be shared through Naden Band, CHEK TV, and Salvation Army social media.


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  1. Marilyn Bernays says:

    I absolutely love the Nader Band!, will be watching for sure and certainly will donate toys at the CHEK TV drive through in the name of both Chief Petty Officers MAX BERNAYS SR AND MAX BERNAYS JR. THANK YOU !!

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