Almost everyone has heard of the Burlington Teen Tour Band. It started as an outlet for youth in Burlington to learn how to play musical instruments and to celebrate soldiers returning home from the battlefields of World War II.
The Burlington Teen Tour Band’s tradition of excellence began on December 15, 1947, when 75 nervous members of the Burlington Boys and Girls Band gave their first performance under the leadership of Elgin Corlett, the band’s founder and first music director.
The Burlington Teen Tour Band has represented the city of Burlington throughout the world and over the years – Expo ‘67, Japan, D-Day ceremonies in France, Ireland, Belgium, the Netherlands, the 70th anniversary of Pearl Harbour, and even the Tournament of Roses (Rose Bowl Parade).
The Burlington Teen Tour Band (BTTB) regularly returns home to Burlington as champions of first prize winners from internationally scaled competitions, as they did recently with the honour of ‘Best Band’ in the Gold Cup Parade in P.E.I.
Lawson Hunter, a long time Burlington resident, felt that it was time to give something back to the band and pay tribute to the hundreds of young musicians who, over the years, have become ‘Canada’s Musical Ambassadors’ and the Pride of Burlington. The Band has also become inter-generational in that sons and daughters of former members are now playing in the Teen Tour Band.
Mr. Hunter learned that the Band had no official piece of music to commemorate the 75th anniversary.
The idea struck Hunter that Ryan Meeboer, who publishes his compositions specifically for bands, through Eighth Note Publications, could write a piece to commemorate the BTTB’s 75th anniversary. The challenge would be the cost of commissioning a complex score (with 17 different instruments in the band), royalties, fees, publishing and printing of charts.
Funds were successfully raised through a Kickstarter campaign, reaching its $3,000 mark. “I’d like to thank all the community members who contributed to the campaign,” said Hunter. “This music will soon be available for the Band to play for years to come.”
Hunter made special note of two significant contributions. One, from the Bennett family who donated in honour of Marg Bennett. The other was from Steve Cussons, whose daughter is in the band. Cussons, a frequent supporter of community organizations, is the owner of Mini Giants, a business solutions company.
The hope is that the music will be completed and rehearsals will commence before the end of this year. “I, and many others, are looking forward to hearing this special piece of music,” said Hunter.