The Canadian Staff Band (Bandmaster Kevin Hayward) made the journey to the Mississauga area to participate in the 25th anniversary celebrations for the Erin Mills Corps. This was the Staff Band’s second visit to the corps in two years, the previous one being in June 2003. The Erin Mills Corps is commanded by Captains John and Kim Walter.
The Staff Band arrived on Saturday afternoon, immediately taking part in a rehearsal with the younger musicians of the corps. The junior music program at Erin Mills is growing at a great rate, from just seven musicians in 2003 to over 30, in three groups, the Y.P. Band, Stepping Stones, and Learners. The Staff Band also presented an outdoor concert in a local shopping area before returning to the corps for the anniversary dinner, with music provided by a Staff Band ensemble. Among the attendees at the dinner were retired General and Mrs. Bramwell Tillsley. The General, although suffering from health concerns that prevented him from participating fully in the weekend, spoke at the dinner, recalling that he was the Divisional Commander when the Erin Mills Corps was commissioned in 1979.
The Erin Mills hall was crowded for the Saturday evening festival by the Canadian Staff Band, which began with To a God Like This, followed by Deputy Bandmaster Steve Brown showing his trumpet technique on the solo Joshua Swings the Battle. Other Staff Band items in the first part of the program included Endless Praise and a vocal item, Goodbye, World, Goodbye.
The Erin Mills young musicians also got the opportunity to join in the festival, with the Y.P. Band joining the Staff Band in a rendition of Fall Afresh and helping to accompany the Stepping Stones, who played Classics in Brass and the Learners, who presented the delightful Muffins Rhapsody.
Following the intermission, the festival continued with In Good Company (Dudley Bright) and Gaelforce (Peter Graham). The Staff Band’s Executive Officer, Lt.-Col. Merv Leach, presented devotional thoughts, with the band providing support with a vocal performance, Shine On Us. The final item of the evening was The Power of Your Love, followed by a benediction pronounced by General Tillsley.
The Staff Band also participated in the Sunday morning worship service, providing musical support for the meeting which included an enrollment of junior and senior soldiers. The meeting was concluded with the band and congregation singing Clare Benediction (John Rutter) together as the celebrations drew to a fitting end.
Canadian Staff Band web site