By Sgt Meaghan Allen, Central Band of the Canadian Armed Forces –
Keeping in line with Canada’s new Defence Policy, “Strong, Secure, Engaged”, the Central Band of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) embarked on a National Capital Region (NCR)-wide high school concert tour at the beginning of February. During the four days of performances, the band performed for and engaged over 1000 students with a highly entertaining program featuring some of the band’s spectacular talent. Students who were unfamiliar with the CAF were given a glimpse into what a life in the CAF could offer. Furthermore, all students had the chance to grab some promotional material provided by the local Canadian Armed Forces Recruiting Centre, giving them the opportunity to contact a recruiter if a career was of interest to them.
Under the direction of Captain John Fullerton, the Central Band tackled a highly challenging program to the delight of the students and teachers. “It’s amazing to be able to have a free, professional concert and have our students be exposed to such high quality wind band music” declared Ms Bourdages of l’École secondaire catholique Béatrice-Desloges. At École Publique de la Salle, band students had the opportunity to play their competition piece with the Central Band (see photo). Featured on the program were several musicians, including the band’s new French Horn player, Corporal Patrick Cauthers, who performed the first movement from Strauss’s First Horn Concerto. The percussion section -Warrant Officer Ralph O’Connor, Sergeant Scott Latham and Sergeant Steve Gallant- also took centre stage in Night on Fire, making a very challenging piece sound (and look) easy. Additionally, the band performed a beautiful arrangement of Irish Tune from County Derry (London Derry Air) and John Williams’ March from the movie ‘Midway’.
The Central Band supports over 500 engagements every year, from solo buglers to full band performances, and are the first call for all Governor General, Government of Canada and CAF musical requirements in the NCR. With the incredibly high, and constant op tempo, the opportunity to perform and interact with young people is always an honour. For most of these students, the band is their first exposure to the CAF, which makes these performances more meaningful for the members. Highlights for the band every year include the RCMP sunset ceremonies, Fortissimo, We Will Remember (Remembrance Day performance) at the Canadian Aviation and Space Museum, and the holiday concerts at Centrepointe Theatre. If you would like to learn more about the band and keep up to date on its activities, follow us on Facebook.
Photo submitted by the CBCAF
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