Stratford Concert Band was born in 1907 when James Malone, a noted
Stratford conductor, founded the GTR Employees
Band. When the GTR was absorbed by the CNR in 1923, the musicians
became the CNR Employees' Band.
the early ’60s, after more than 50 years affiliated with GTR and CN,
the band began an association with the Royal Canadian Legion, taking
the name of the Stratford Royal Canadian Legion Concert Band.
Since 1992, the Stratford Concert Band has
been an independent group, and in 1994 it became a registered
The band has built a reputation as one of the best
community bands in
Ontario. At the 2005 Stratford Kiwanis Festival
of the Performing Arts, where it took first place in both the march
and concert competitions, the judge called the group “one of the
finest bands I’ve ever had the privilege of adjudicating.” The band
has a loyal following in
Stratford, regularly drawing several hundred
listeners to its weekly summer concerts in Upper Queen’s Park, held
every Wednesday in July and August at 7:00 p.m. The band also presents
several formal concerts each year, and performs frequently at civic
Stratford and the surrounding area. The band’s
range of styles is extremely wide. Its concerts feature standards of
the concert-band repertory, contemporary works for wind ensemble,
arrangements of classic symphonic pieces, popular music, jazz,
settings of hymns and other religious works, and, of course, marches.
The band’s outdoor summer concerts include “halftime” performances by
smaller ensembles drawn from the band’s membership, and it frequently
invites guest groups or soloists to perform at formal concerts.