Kingsville Essex Associated Band celebrates 80 years of music

Filed under: In Our Community |

KEAB-“The-Kingsville-Essex-Associated-Band-takes-to-the-stage-to-celebrate-80-successful-years”by Adam Gault

Friends, family members, and band alumni, going back decades, packed Migration Hall in Kingsville this past Saturday night to attend a special dinner and concert hosted in honour of the Kingsville Essex Associated Band’s 80th anniversary.

Over the past 80 years, the marching band has taken part in a wide-variety of parades and events in our county, as well as across our continent.

From local Christmas and community parades, to Expo 67, to performing for Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth on Parliament Hill in 1997, the band has left an indelible mark on all members past and present, which was further highlighted by the distances some traveled to attend the 80th anniversary.

“There are people here tonight from the band going back 50 years,” Peter Youngson explained, who is the Anniversary Committee Chairperson. He added a few former members had traveled from British Columbia to be a part of the evening’s festivities.

The band formed in 1937 as the Essex Boys Band under the tutelage of Essex merchant, Charles Maedel. He had a vision to direct boys in a positive direction in life, as well as teach them strong community values and music.KEAB-Memories-and-treasures-from-the-last-80-years-are-displayed-during-the-concert

Although the name may have changed, and the band is now open to everyone regardless of age or gender, the core principles of the band are stronger than ever.

“We’re a family. Once you’re a member, you’re always a member,” Youngson explained. “People love what the band brings to the community and to families.”

Those who might be hesitant to get involved with the band due to musical inexperience shouldn’t let that hold them back. Band members will teach anyone interested the many facets of the marching band experience.

“We’ve had grandparents and grandchildren in the band at the same time,” Youngson said, adding there have been younger and older members who have started with little to no prior experience.
During the evening’s concert, the band performed a wide-variety of popular and contemporary music compositions.

From movie favourites like John Williams’ Jurassic Park and Indiana Jones, to Send in the Clowns and Sweet Caroline, the night’s setlist showcased the wide-range and musical capability of the Kingsville Essex Associated Band.

“The next goal is to see 100 (anniversary),” Youngson said when asked of the plans going forward for the band. “The band has been through so many ups and downs over the years.”

Judging by the evening’s reception, it should be “ups” from now on as the band marches towards the future.