For over ninety years the Royal Canadian Legion Concert Band has been playing for community organizations throughout Toronto, from seniors’ homes to park concerts and always with our special allegiance to the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 344, and especially the residents at Sunnybrook Veteran’s Hospital where we have had the honour of being part of the Remembrance Day Service for over a quarter of a century.
Our band began in the wake of the First World War when a cohort of musicians who served in the Great War came together to continue their camaraderie by sharing their love of music-making. They called themselves “The Originals” which indeed they were; not simply a military band and not quite a community band…. they served both constituencies.
As recently as ten years ago our repertoire consisted mainly of military marches mixed with the classics transcribed from the original orchestral compositions for concert band, and arrangements of traditional Broadway show medleys.
We are a mix of a few old-timers and a vibrant group of young musicians all of whom share the love of live music-making. While our repertoire retains a few of the traditional stirring concert band works, we now incorporate many exciting pieces written by a new breed of composers specifically for the unique instrumentation of the contemporary concert band.
Our members come from all walks of life; very few are or have ever been professional musicians. We are an assembly of men and women who share a love of live music and performing for live audiences. We cherish our relationship with the legion and what it stands for and mostly our ability to bring happiness and smiles to the community.