By Dennis Tupman
Jack Fellner, current director of the 100 Mile House Community Band, will be leading his final concert in Martin Exeter Hall on June 8 at 2 p.m.
Admission is by donation with excess funds after expenses being given to the South Cariboo Health Foundation.
The 100 Mile Community Band is made up of people from all walks of life and includes several who have not played in a band before. There are also a few young players from the Peter Skene Ogden Secondary School band who are also gaining more experience – some even in conducting the ensemble.
Jack has been with the community band for several years as its director. He has patiently developed this group from playing only very elementary selections to tackling more sophisticated concert and jazz band repertoire.
For a number of years under his leadership, the band has given many benefit concerts in the community.
Jack has deep cultural roots in German Lutheran musical culture, which he inherited from his grandparents. This background led him to studying theology along with his music.
He was born in Iowa, known for its bands, and subsequently worked and studied in Iowa, Nebraska and Mississippi to California.
He grew up in Davenport, Mississippi and took post-secondary courses for nine years, studying theology and a variety of other disciplines, and, of course, always music. Along the way, he trained to become a Lutheran pastor, a position he held for a number of years.
Over the years, he was a church pastor, youth pastor, a junior high school music teacher, a musical instrument repairman, a music store owner and partner, a professional saxophonist, music store operator, and other related activities.
One of his many passions was playing saxophone in a number of big bands, featuring the jazz big band music of Benny Goodman, Count Basie, and Glenn Miller, and many more.
He moved to Calgary where he taught school and operated a music recording business, among other interests.
Jack’s first wife, Charlotte, passed away a number of years ago.
Their two daughters, Deborah and Val (and her husband, Steve) are also appearing in this concert with the band.
Jack decided to join Deborah, in 100 Mile House, and soon met someone who was to become his new wife, Jean, on the Internet.
Jack Fellner has, in a short time, made a big contribution to the cultural life of our little community. He has been involved in making music for more than 80 years.
Dennis Tupman is a well-known musician in the South Cariboo.