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Jun6FriFestival in Toronto honours alumni and members who perished in Empress of Ireland disaster. June 6, 2014
The Canadian Staff Band (CSB) held its 45th anniversary festival at Scarborough Citadel in Toronto this May. The group honoured its alumni members this year by featuring three former soloists and two former bandmasters.
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Robert Venables (cornet) and Robert Miller (euphonium) presented The Heavenly Light and The Better World, respectively, while Deryck Diffey, one of the CSB's founding members, presented a beautiful arrangement of Someone Cares. Former bandmaster Kevin Hayward conducted Brian Bowen's My Comfort and Strength, and Colonel Robert Redhead, who led the band from 1976 to 1985, conducted the group in his own composition, Quintessence. Video greetings were given by Lt-Colonel Norman Bearcroft and Brian Burditt, two previous bandmasters who were unable to attend.
The program featured a wide variety of music including the premiere of a major new work, Judgment Day, by Canadian composer Marcus Venables, and a light-hearted rendition of the Gowans and Larsson song Down the Street featuring staff bandsman Bill Way. A devotional message was given by Colonel Mark Tillsley, chief secretary. Video presentations throughout the night honoured the memory of CSB alumni members now deceased, as well as members of the original Canadian Staff Band who perished in the Empress of Ireland disaster 100 years ago.