Royal Regiment of Canada Band

Royal Regiment of Canada Band. Toronto-based volunteer militia band attached to the Royal Regiment of Canada (founded in 1862 as the 10th Battalion Volunteer Militia). The band received its first set of drums and instruments in 1863.

Royal Regiment of Canada Band

Royal Regiment of Canada Band. Toronto-based volunteer militia band attached to the Royal Regiment of Canada (founded in 1862 as the 10th Battalion Volunteer Militia). The band received its first set of drums and instruments in 1863. It is one of the oldest permanently organized bands in Canada and, reflecting the changes in the name of the regiment, has been known as the band of the 10th Battalion Royal Grenadiers 1881-1900, of the 10th Regiment Royal Grenadiers 1900-20, of the Royal Grenadiers 1920-36, and of the Royal Regiment of Toronto Grenadiers in 1936. It assumed in 1939 the name by which it continued to be known in 1991.

On 1 Jul 1867 the band presented a formal concert in Queen's Park, Toronto, in celebration of Confederation. Of the early bandmasters, Capt John Waldron, appointed director of music in February 1888, made a great contribution to the band's development; by 1904 it boasted 'complete double and single reed choirs, saxhorn and brass cylindrical sections, flutes, percussion instruments and string basses.'

From the early part of the 20th century until 1926, the director was Warrant-Officer Harold Bromley. Bromley was succeeded by Lieut Walter M. Murdoch, who remained until 1958. Under Murdoch the band's membership was increased to 60, and it won the Dominion Championship for Class 'A' bands at the CNE repeatedly 1927-31. The band played at Massey Hall in the 1930s, at the opening of Maple Leaf Gardens in 1933, for the 100th anniversary of Toronto's incorporation in 1934, and at the reception of King George VI by Toronto in 1939. It has played, in fact, for every reigning monarch from Victoria to Elizabeth II and for many world statesmen.

The band has been heard often at civic functions in Toronto and at that city's St James' Cathedral in Remembrance Day services. In 1967 as the official band for the Ontario centenary it played at celebrations in Queen's Park, toured Ontario, and commissioned The Royal Regiment Ceremonial by John Cook. The band performed in Cyprus in 1971 and at liberation anniversary celebrations in Louvigny, France, in 1974. In 1976 it appeared in Philadelphia in the RCMP's Musical Ride, as part of the US Bicentennial festivities. In 1990 the band played at Roy Thomson Hall in a salute to the Royal Canadian Military Institute, and participated in a dual recording of official marches for the armed forces for the same Institute.

The band's later directors have been Capt Stanley H. Clark 1958-68 and Capt E.J. Robbins 1968-72, succeeded by Capt (later Major) Gino A. Falconi who continued in that position in 1991. Recordings made by the band prior to 1980 were Cyprus 71 (Stereo Vintage Record SCV 120) and In Concert and on Parade (1975, Periwinkle PER 7328).


Further Reading

  • Goodspeed, Maj D.J. Battle Royal (Toronto 1962)