1964 Canada & Northeastern U.S Tour

64QETheatreConcert

ABOVE: Pageant of Music at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on April 10th

This is was the last concert before the band left for their extended 6 week tour of Eastern Canada and the Eastern USA. Selections included Allegro, Adagio and Alleluia by Howard Akers, Drumsticks by Edwards, Trumpet Tango with soloists Rick Francis, Jeff McLellan, Jim Chow and Jim Albertson, The Traveler Overture by Coffield, Trumpet Voluntary by Henry Purcell, Blues and Badinage by Bennett, soloist Dan Lutz, Percussion Espagnole by Robert Price, Symphonic Prelude by John Cacavas, Seascape by Alfred Reed and Dixieland Festival.

JESTERS NIGHT: February 15th

Jesters’ Night turned put to be quite a success. A good turn out of of more than 400 people saw the majorettes present a nice variety of numbers with the assistance of several band members who added a great deal of enjoyment with special selected numbers. There was a spirit of gaiety in the show and all lot of hard work went into putting all together. It was the first presentation of this kind and we hope there will be many more. Thanks to all who donated candy and baked goods. The sale from these alone netted enough to pay for the hall.

ABOVE: PNE Parade with the Lion’s Cheerleaders

 ABOVE: Two photos of the Carnival Event held June 13th at Vancouver College to raise money for the pending trip! Ken Klakowich, Mrs. Williamson, Mrs. Lynch and Allen Lynch. Jean Wilson showing Mrs. Purves (Mothers Auxilary President) how to play the clarinet. ABOVE: With his Herald’s trumpet spanning a map of Canada, Vancouver Junior Band member Allen Lynch helps publicize the upcoming concert at the Q.E. Theatre tonight to raise money for the band’s across-Canada tour. The highlight of the trip is an engagement at the New York World’s Fair.

1963 October 23

ABOVE: Four members of musical family discuss plans for cross-country tour by Vancouver Junior Band. Barbara 14, left and Shirley, 9, are majorettes. Ken, 19, left, plays baritone, and Stan, 16, is a drummer. Their parents, Mr. and Mrs. William E. Williamson are helping raise funds for band’s expenses.

GARAGE BANDS:

Garage Bands were the rage in those days. Schools had sock hops and often put on dances throughout the school year. The Beatles made their first appearance at Empire Stadium in 1964. But local garage bands on Vancouver’s east side included The CFUN Classics, The Checkmates, The Viscounts, The Shamrocks and The Night Trains. A new band was set to launch as well called the V.I.Ps. One such dance was held at the Killarney Community Centre on March 6 and was billed as a Battle of the Bands. Over 668 attended the musical battle between The Shamrocks and The Night Trains. Not sure who won! Another such dance was held on April 3 so they were very popular. These dances at Killarney  were bi-monthly Friday night dances put on by the Shamrock Teen Club to raise money for the bands.

ABOVE: Photos courtesy of Linda Baker Williamson

There is always something grand about a band. In 1964, 56 members of the Vancouver Junior Band left on a six week tour of Canada and the northeastern U.S.A on June 18. They left as ambassadors of Vancouver to fulfill an official invitation at the Lions International Convention in Toronto and two days at the World’s Fair in New York City. With smart original costumes, shining instruments, trim discipline, well-regearsed routines, this band always set out to make it as grand as possible. They will participate in an international Band Competition in Toronto, summer festivals in Brockville, Ontario and Waterbury, New York, a half-time show with the B.C. Lions Football Club in Winnipeg, August 4 and concerts throughout Quebec, Maritime provinces and the New England states.

ABOVE: Photos courtesy of Linda Baker Williamson

They departed Vancouver on June 28th and their first concert was in Medicine Hat on June 29 sponsored by the Optimist Club. Next stop, Brockville, Ontario for their Summer Carnival Week. Concerts were played on July 3, 4 and 5. They played on Block House Island and gave a marching display on July 4th. Marched in a parade on the 5th and gave a concert in the afternoon in a shopping centre. Next stop, Toronto July 6,7 and 8. They marched in the Lions International Convention Parade followed by the BC Lions FC. They had to stay in a school gymnasium because all the hotels were filled. Drummondville July 9 and 10. they were given a tour of the city and refreshments at the Drummondville Golf & Curling Club. Lunch was at the Molson’s office. That evening they marched in a parade and gave a concert at the Civic Centre.

On July 11 they stayed in Quebec City. July 12 and 13 they were in Edmunston, New Brunswick and Fredericton on July 14. Truro, Nova Scotia was July 15th and Charlottetown, P.E.I. on July 16 and 17. St. John was on July 18th. In Augusta, Maine they were made honorary citizens of the State of Maine. They gave several concerts around town in Capitol Park and on street corners and marched up to the State House. They marched to the athletic field and performed a concert. On July 21st they were in Providence, Rhode Island. Finally they reached New York City where they stayed at the famous Hotel Knickerbocker from July 22 through 25. After a wonderful time in New York playing at the World’s Fair they departed New York for Waterbury, Connecticut on July 26. July 27 and 28 they spent in Oneida, New York. Here they saw Niagara Falls. Then it was back on the train and long ride back to Winnipeg for three days of concerts on August 2,3 and 4. They arrived back in Vancouver on August 7th at 8:am in the morning.

A letter was written to a Quebec newspaper, shortly after the band played in Montreal that summer. It was written by Maurice D. DeCelles, head of Music and Professor of Wind Instruments at Laval University and Music Co-ordinator of C.B.C.
“I was impressed with the serius manner in which this leader discharged his responibilties as an educator. We have seen a group without pretensions, but with such a discipline; a discipline accepted, not imposed. Everything about these young people shows professional honesty, distinction and accuracy. This group plays with a precision which is not common in junior groups, and the orchestral ensemble had a balance which is remarkable. The brass section always keeps a proper reserve, and the woodwinds have a particularly interesting quality. As for the horns and tubas, the players impressed me by their comprehensive yet properly subdued playing in the thankless role assigned to them.
Briefly – an exemplary group sustained by a leader whom I can criticize only for too great a modesty and effort. Knowing the limitations of their means, these young people and their director had not attempted to dazzle us by a spectacular production, but on the contrary have given us a sincere message seconded by a great honesty in the service of music. Bravo – young people of Vancouver; you have given us a recital which was culture. This Canadian culture we must develop and enrich by mutual contacts if we are going to be distinguished, on this continent, from the American “melting pot.”
I know that there exists in this country other similar groups, for I have often directed them in the English parts of Ontario and in Western Canada. Unfortunately, in our “Belle Province,” I know of no groups of this calibre. Only in those rare exceptions which one could count on the fingers of the hand could one make a certain comparison with the work and the results obtained elsewhere.
Why cannot all our local groups give a helping hand to start such an instrumental group as this Vancouver Junior Band. The upkeep and susequent progress of such a group could be sponsored by individual clubs, each in turn. We have here in our city everything necessary to establish as excellent youth group. Our young people are remarkably endowed musically, and competent teachers are not lacking. We have only to find material and financial support.”

ABOVE: Drumondville, Quebec and Augusta, Maine

ABOVE: Al Lynch’s photos of the trip to NY

64 Home Again!

ABOVE: HOME AGAIN!

ABOVE: Photo of trumpeters courtesy of Al Lynch (2nd from left). The other photos courtesy of Linda Baker Williamson.

Want to be in picture?

Three hours a week and six dollars a month. If you are an able-bodied boy or girl from 12 to 17 that’s all you need to become a full-fledged member of the Vancouver Junior Band. The band is the official marching band for the B.C. Lions football games and is looking for 25 or 30 new members – and you don’t need to be experienced. Band director Gordon Olson says the organization looks after all the instruction, for $6 monthly dues, and even supplies instruments for you. The group started in 1944 with 23 members, all beginners. Today it has about 125, an impressive number, especially when you see them marching in full formation, in the bright red uniforms which are the traditional garb of the British beefeater. On these occasions they are flanked by a corps of 30 baton-twirling majorettes, the Jesters, also in costume. They too are looking for new members, girls between 13 and 18. The band plays and marches in half-time shows at all B.C.Lions games, as well as putting on concerts both locally and nationally.

 

 

 

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