What made you choose to play the instrument that you play in the BCB?



  • What made you choose to play the instrument that you play in the BCB?



  • My brother is just a year younger than I and when it became apparent that neither of us I would be a great success at piano our parents asked if we might like to learn a band instrument. The Burlington Boys & Girls Band was up and running and a new class for beginners had just begun. ( There was no instrumental music in the schools at that time). We agreed that would be of interest and sat in on a class to see and hear the various instruments. I had in mind that trombone would be interesting but as the eldest I had nearly always had first choice in such matters said he should pick first this time. He picked the trombone! No matter, the trumpet was a close second so I went with that and never regretted it.
    Bill Jerome



  • In the 3rd year Winds Methods & Percussion - orchestration and arranging course - that I took in the B.Mus. music program at McMaster University, I was inspired by those young students who performed on their saxophone instruments. I graduated in 2003, and in spring 2004 I decided to take private saxophone lessons at Long & McQuade, Burlington . The only "rent-to own" instrument that was available at the time was a soprano sax; so I took that one up and pursued lesson with Buddy Aquilina, the teacher I was assigned to. After two years Buddy recommended that I switch to Alto in order - by his insistence and a "dare" - to join a community concert band in the future. In January 2008 I became a member of BCB and to date it is one of the best decision I have ever made in the quest for NEPD (never ending professional development) in my music education and performance career!



  • I wanted to play trumpet like my mom, but in grade 6 I was one of the few who could reach all positions, so I was voluntold to play trombone. Phew, dodged a bullet there! 🙂 Picked up the tuba in grade 8 when the band needed one but didn't revisit it again until grade 12 when I did as a new challenge.



  • When I was in 4th grade they asked us if we were interested in playing an instrument. When I came home that day I asked my parents if I could be in the band. I found out that my dad had a soprano sax from when he was a kid. So I started on the soprano sax and then they quickly moved me to tenor. It’s been tenor Sax every since. I had my dads soprano for many years. Sadly it got lost in a move about 10 years ago 😔



  • I started in music young! Coming from a musical family (My Father was originally a drummer and then Drum Major for the Regimental Drum and Bugle Band of the 1st Independent Signals Corps), I started singing as a toddler and graduating to instrumental music. After experiencing a variety of instruments (piano, violin, bell choir, recorder, guitar), I played violin (studying under Eva Braun) from grade 2 until high school, where I switched to viola (and the dreaded Alto Clef!!). I played flute as part of the elementary school program, then switching to clarinet for 3 weeks in high school until my music teacher found out ( I was in the string program until grade 11). I tried to learn oboe in grade 11 when the school orchestra had none, but I was still playing my flute. The story why follows...
    Well, I was in Grade 9 when I ran into Susan Cook (Geography - desk partners). To make a long story short, I followed her to a Wednesday night BTTB practice...and I was hooked. I joined (the section leader? Elaine Wisken) and loved the 8 years that I was a member. It is the reason why I quit the string program as the music teacher kept on calling the BTTB a bunch of spoiled brats, which I did not appreciate. After a talk with Mr. Allan, my decision was made.
    I worked hard, learning the marches and field shows, and performing....representing the City of Burlington...and never looking back. In 1988, Mr. Allan promoted me to piccolo.
    Anyhow, I have been playing these two instruments ever since. I rejoined BCB after a 23 year break (I was a member during my last few months of BTTB) and after a 30 year break...I am still marching!
    I love my instruments!



  • In a world where the number of trumpets in the Burlington Concert Band are in the mid-teens, one 30 year veteran trumpet player dared to be different and switch to french horn. Ewen McGregor played it. Samuel L. Jackson played it. But can Steven Hewis play it? Yes. Can he play Princess Leia's theme? Yes. Can he play Siegfried's call? Yes. Can he play the solo in Wicked?.......

    No. But at least it was better than that guitar player in ELO.


  • Programming Committee

    I did not start formal music training until grade 9. Knowing I would be taking the school bus to get to school, I thought flute would be a wise choice of instrument. Unfortunately, so did a lot of other “bussers.” As luck would have it, I drew the short straw and was moved to my second choice, trombone. That proved to be a good thing. Within months, I was playing in the senior band at school. I was also invited to join a different high school band that was doing a month-long trip to Europe. (This turned out to be the first of many trips to Europe over the years, some as a musician and some as a tourist.) By the end of high school I was also playing euphonium, which was handy because by the time I was in my third year at Western, one of the bands needed a euphonium player. Playing all the Holst Suites, among other euphonium heavy pieces, was so much fun!



  • Started piano at age 5 - a mandatory extracurricular for most immigrant children! So I'm not sure I chose it? But I did finish my Grade 9 RCM so I guess I liked it!
    For trumpet I got lucky - it was a lottery in Grade 6 for band instruments, and you got to chose three options, so thankfully I got my first choice (otherwise I would have been a French Horn, or Tenor Sax!). At age 11, my reasons weren't very complex - I liked the sound of brass instruments and loved jazz music.



  • We had our "Music Man" coming out from Calgary to tiny Morrin, Alberta to get a band started. I was probably 10. (I had piano lessons starting quite early, and they continued until my teens). Kids could ask to play a particular horn, but the conductor obviously needed a bit of a mix. He told my older brother he would bring a French horn for him to rent the next week; when the day came, all he had was a trombone, so that became my brother's instrument. I approached the conductor and asked what he thought I should play. He said: "You have buck teeth like me. You should play trumpet." I don't think we're allowed to say "buck teeth" any more. Neither my brother nor I had any regrets.



  • I learned how to play the E flat tuba in Grade VIII and carried on through high school until 1955. The only problem was I never owned one. Since I favoured the bass cleff I wondered what I could afford while in college. The trombone seemed to be the simplest and cheapest instrument so I bought one for $150. It's the one I play now.



  • I started the flute in Grade 9, many many many many years ago. I had already studied guitar at conservatory level and was a pro with theory, so when I got to high school, it was only natural for me to take music. Every instrument was taken except for the last lonely flute, so I nabbed it. I originally wanted to play bassoon, but my friend Stuart grabbed it before I had the chance. So I took to it like a duck to ice 😉 and that's the end of my story!



  • When I was a kid I was obsessed with Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker ballet. I especially love the clarinet lines throughout. When I was offered the chance to learn an instrument at age 11, I knew exactly which one I wanted to play...clarinet. I also learned to play saxophone and played in jazz bands when I was in school, but I have always come back to my original love, the clarinet.


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