Canadian Staff Band needs B/M

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by craigster, Apr 28, 2006.

  1. craigster

    craigster Member

    Kevin Hayward, the 4th bandmaster of the CSB is finishing with the band at the end of the season. He has been plagued by heart problems requiring several hospitalizations over the last six months.

    It will be interesting to see who is appointed as his replacement. It should give a fair indication of how the SA in Canada feels about banding in the movement.
  2. John Brooks

    John Brooks Well-Known Member

    I heard that too Craig but, although my source was reliable, it wasn't "official" so I didn't post it. I was talking with Bill Burditt in Hamilton last Saturday and he didn't have any idea as to a potential candidate. His eyes lit up when I reminded him that Howard Evans might be available ;) Not sure how realistic that is, pure speculation on my part.

    Am I right in reading into your comment that the current leadership in Toronto is not exactly pro-band?
  3. craigster

    craigster Member

    Hi John:

    I don't know if the administration is pro-band or not. All of the exposure I have had too them, including when I played in the CSB, was extremely supportive.

    I just think this next appointment of BM will show how committed they are to the future of the group.

    Howard Evans was certainly one of the names I like, along with Keith Wilkinson just down the road in Ohio!
  4. Redhorn

    Redhorn New Member

    Len Ballentine?
    Bob Redhead?

    both tried and trusted!
  5. Cantonian

    Cantonian Active Member

    Obviously Robert Redhead has a 'pedigree' as BM (ISB). He is leading our band retreat in two weeks.

    By coincidence Len Ballantine led our last band retreat just before returning to Canada. He was particularly well known for leading the International Staff Songsters so we weren't sure what we were going to get. He was brilliant giving of himself both musically and spiritually almost to the point of exhaustion. The piece he based the week-end on was Redhead's Pastorale symphony and that weekend still lives in our memories after the years.
  6. John Brooks

    John Brooks Well-Known Member

    .......and before leading the ISB Robert Redhead was B/M. of the CSB for several years. Len is a terrific musician and is certainly well qualified but my personal impression is that he prefers vocal.
  7. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    People tend to forget Len Ballantine's pedigree in instrumental work, maybe because he is so good on the choral side. I recall when he led a weekend at Hadleigh he was speaking about the years he'd spent as a staff arranger with Canadian broadcasting, and regretting that he hadn't done more with bands.

    Whilst I'm sure Bob Redhead would do a good job, firstly it isn't generally a good idea to try to go back to where you've had great success in the past, and secondly I suspect he must be pretty close to retirement by now, so they should really be looking for someone younger.
  8. craigster

    craigster Member

    Robert Redhead is already retired and lives just over an hour north of Toronto in a place called Orillia.

    I know that Len is a great musician but he probably suffers from a lack of (or percieved lack of) band exposure here in Canada. He was the corps BM at Etobicoke corps in Toronto back oin the 80's.

    I just hope they pick someone with lots of energy and a strong vision for the future.
  9. Jules Cornet

    Jules Cornet Member


    Is there the quailty and strength in depth of players as there once was in the Toronto area to maintain and develop a vibrant band?

    I've always loved the CSB sound and especially the recordings produced over a number of years.

  10. craigster

    craigster Member


    It is tough for me to give some thoughts on this as I do not in any way want to come across that I have any issues with Kevin as BM (I did leave the band at Christmas after 11 years - eight sitting beside Kevin and 3 as his prinicpal trombone. My leaving had more to do with a one year old son and a new job). In fact I will be dep'ing with the band this coming week.

    The band has had a 50% turnover in the last 5 years and that has caused some problems with consistency and standard, but I heard the band play at a concert last month and they really did still have a great sound.

    With in two hours of Toronto there are still some good corps band programs and youth band programs are booming. There are still good players out there including several alumni under the age of 40 that I think could be persuaded to recommit.

    The bottom line is that there are still the horses, they just need to see that it will be a worthwhile investment of time.

    (BTW, I still think the best concert under Kevin's leadership was when we had your brother over a couple of years ago.)
  11. cujo_134

    cujo_134 Member

    Well it seems that all the mystery is gone. This was posted Friday morning - "Brian Burditt, who led the Canadian Staff Band from 1985 to 2002, has been re-appointed as staff bandmaster effective August 1" (source - Lets hope that they can get back to the playing standard that they had under him before.
  12. Redhorn

    Redhorn New Member

    Good luck to him! I agree that they were something special under him (had the privelege of hearing them a few times whilst over here- and meeting some of the chaps when I visited Canada). They were probably the 'best' staff band of the lot, under him!
  13. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    I'm glad to see things have been sorted out, and I'm sure Brian will do a good job. The CSB recordings under both him and Robert Redhead were usually of a very high standard.
  14. cujo_134

    cujo_134 Member

    Just an update, I was talking to someone today and apprently this is only a temporary appointment. This can't be confirmed definitely but the person I was talking to is a close friend of Brian's, so I'm geussing it is accurate.