Thiele, Charles

Charles (Frederick) Thiele. Publisher, bandmaster, cornetist, composer, arranger, b New York 1884, d Waterloo, Ont, 3 Feb 1954. He was a solo cornetist and the director of several New York bands before organizing and directing the Thiele Concert Party, which included his wife, also a cornetist, and their daughter Carolyn (Mrs Wilfred Bender), a saxophonist. The party performed at band festivals and toured extensively on the Lyceum and Chautauqua vaudeville circuits. Moving to Waterloo in 1919 as director of the Waterloo Musical Society Band, Thiele founded the Waterloo Music Co and the Waterloo Metal Stamping Co for the manufacture of music stands, drums, and non-musical hardware. He was the editor 1928-33 of Musical Canada. He was an organizer and the first president, 1924-48, of the Ontario Amateur Bands Association, which administered the CNE band contests, and a founding member in 1931 and president 1934-5 of the CBA. He was named an honorary life-member of the American Bandmasters' Association. In 1932, on the Waterloo Musical Society's 50th anniversary, he organized the Waterloo Band Festival, for many years (1932-40, 1946-58) Canada's foremost annual band competition. In 1946 he established the Waterloo Music Camp for Boys, naming it Bandberg (a play on the name Bamberg, Ont, a nearby community). Thiele's subsequent illness curtailed the camp's development. Noted for his unconventional programming, Thiele composed marches, notably Chatham Kilties, and made band arrangements of such works as Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. His publishers were Belwin in the USA and Waterloo in Canada. He also compiled and arranged The Pocket Dictionary of Musical Terms published by Waterloo Music (no date). It includes a short section on the rudiments of music. James Reaney's play I, The Parade/The Story of Professor C.F. Thiele is based on Thiele's career and was performed at the University of Waterloo in November 1982.