Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry Band

The Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry Band. Recruited in Toronto in 1919 under the direction of Capt Thomas William James and stationed in Winnipeg 1920-39.

Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry Band

The Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry Band. Recruited in Toronto in 1919 under the direction of Capt Thomas William James and stationed in Winnipeg 1920-39. It achieved prominence in 1924 at the British Empire Exhibition in Wembley, London, and gave a series of concerts at principal London theatres. It also broadcast a concert from the Savoy Hill radio studios. On returning to Winnipeg the band was honoured by a visit from Serge Rachmaninoff, who conducted it in a transcription of his Prelude in C-sharp Minor. When James retired in 1936 interim conductors were used until Lieut A.L. Streeter assumed direction in 1939, but the band was dispersed shortly thereafter because of the call to arms of World War II.

In 1950 the band was revived in Calgary (many members were newly recruited in England and Holland) under the direction of Capt A. Brown, and in 1953 it served in Korea and Japan. That year Capt F.M. McLeod became director of music and in 1954 the band appeared at the Empire Games in Vancouver. While on a tour of duty in Germany 1957-9 with the Canadian Brigade the band, under Capt Herbert A. Jeffrey (director 1957-64), appeared in the Netherlands in 1958 on the occasion of Queen Elizabeth of England's state visit to that country. In 1959 it visited the Gaza strip, performing for troops stationed there, and became the first Canadian band to participate in the Royal Tournament in England. Returning from Europe, the band was stationed 1959-68 in Edmonton under the direction of Capt George Naylor (born Scarborough, England 24 May 1930, d Edmonton 2 March 2007). The band relocated to Calgary in 1968 and amalgamated with the Lord Strathcona Horse Regimental Band.

In 1967 the band performed in the Grand National Tattoo in Victoria and Vancouver and at Expo 67 and made an extensive tour of Alberta. It returned to Europe for short tours in 1969, 1970, and 1973. The band has appeared regularly in the Stampede Parade in Calgary and was selected in 1976 along with the Royal 22nd Regiment Band to represent Canada in the Tournament of Roses parade in Pasadena, Cal. In 1978 it played at the opening of the Commonwealth Games in Edmonton in the presence of Queen Elizabeth II. During the early Calgary years the band was under the direction of Capt P.A. Medcalf 1968-9, Capt J. Dowell 1969-72, and Capt Leonard Camplin 1972-8, succeeded by Maj Jean-François Pierret (1978-80).

Under Capt R. Swaneveld's direction (1980-4) the band performed in Ottawa for the Changing of the Guard ceremony. Immediately after the arrival of Capt Jean Montminy, director of music 1984-7, the band made a tour to France and Belgium. Under the direction of Capt D. Embree (1987-90) the band also toured Europe, including a visit to Vimy Ridge. The highlight of Embree's tenure was a two and one half month tour of Australia as special guests of the Australian Army Tattoo to celebrate Australia's bicentennial. The band participated in Holland's 45th anniversary liberation commemoration ceremonies. In 1990 Capt D. Jones assumed the position of director of music and commanding officer of the band, which returned to Europe in 1991.


Further Reading

  • 'Regimental Band,' The Patrician, vol 20, 1967

    'Regimental Band: a brief history,' ibid, vol 26, 1973