The Canadian Staff Band (Bandmaster Kevin Hayward) had a long day of concerts on 17 December 2004, with three engagements at two venues. Although there were some disturbances during the concerts, the overall effect was a positive one.
The first engagements were the annual St. Paul’s concerts (one performance at 1:00pm, the next at 3:00pm). This is the 26th years for this event. St. Paul’s has undergone extensive renovation work, and this year marked a return to service for the church organ, which could not be used at last year’s festivities because of construction. The concerts, led by Conductor Emeritus Giles Bryant, were enjoyable, although the second performance was interrupted when a member of the audience suffered a medical emergency and had to be transported from the scene via ambulance.
In the evening, the Staff Band participated in the a concert at the Metropolitan United Church in Toronto, joining with the Toronto Northern Lights Chorus. This was the second year for this event. The chorus is a barbershop-style group of 30 members, led by Salvationist Steve Armstrong of the Oshawa Temple Corps. Unfortunately, this concert was also interrupted, this time by a series of false fire alarms beginning during the chorus’ second item.
The Staff Bands contribution to the program included A Christmas Suite (Stephen Bulla), Three Kings Swing (William Himes), Kevin Norbury’s excellent arrangement of Il Est Né, the Christmas classic Sleigh Ride (Leroy Anderson) and a new composition from a Canadian composer, David Mills, entitled Amid Winter’s Snow.
Canadian Staff Band web site