A Brief History
The Hamilton Concert Band had its beginnings in various local Hamilton military bands, whose main function was that of providing appropriate music for regimental parades, church parades, garrison parades and other military events. For special events, military bands presented concerts consisting mainly of military marches, waltzes, and music from operas and the classics. The military band was comprised of both brass and woodwind instruments, but has undergone a great deal of development as it evolved into the contemporary concert band. With additional instrumentation and a vastly expanded musical repertoire written specifically for the concert band, the musical format of the band has developed extensively. Government cutbacks began about 1948 with the disbanding of the 91st Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders band followed by the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry band and finally the Royal Canadian Airforce band at Mount Hope in 1962. A group of senior members of these bands discontinued playing, but a small group of younger members wanted to continue to play, and so they formed the original Hamilton Concert Band. This band carried on for several years, but due to the lack of funding and the inability to find a suitable conductor, it was temporarily discontinued. About 1 year later, the band reformed with the financial assistance of the City of Hamilton, and has been playing to receptive audiences since then.
The modern concert band plays contemporary music ranging from rock, jazz, and the pops to the classical as well as some traditional marching band music. From within the concert band, many musical formats are presented including soloists, duets, trios and other combinations, even up to the big band jazz band. Musical excellence is the hallmark of the modern concert band as it entertains its audience with a variety of music for all ages and musical tastes.
The object of the Hamilton Concert Band is to provide an outlet for local musicians to display their talents, and to make good concert band music available to the public. The band, which rehearses and plays concerts all year long, plays for many local events and institutions, and has its own feature concert series. In the future, the band will continue to expand its audience and this will be reflected in the expanded repertoire suited to various musical tastes.