The Calgary Wind Symphony, presented by the Calgary Concert Band Society, is an organization which has been an integral part of the city’s musical landscape for over 60 years.
As stated in our bylaws, the objectives for the Calgary Wind Symphony are to provide a vehicle for the musical satisfaction of both the members and their audience. We strive to promote musical education, culture and improve the standards of music in the City of Calgary and surrounding area. We value your feedback and encourage suggestions while we endeavor to promote live music. We look forward to hearing from you.
The Calgary Concert Band Society traces its origins back to 1947, when well known Calgary band conductor W.A. Leggitt, formed the Calgary Musician’s Association Band. It adopted a cowboy uniform and during the ensuing years, the band appeared at the Calgary Stampede parade and presented numerous concerts in the parks. Norman Halling became Bandmaster in 1950 and the band assumed the name Calgary Concert Band. In 1952 they accepted an invitation to join 403 Reserve Squadron RCAF as the squadron band and functioned concurrently as a civilian band. The band was incorporated as a Society in 1956. The uniform of red jackets, black trousers, white shirts and black bow ties was adopted in 1960 and changed in 2002 to black jackets.
In 1963 Capt.F.M.(Ray) McLeod, former military band director with the PPCLI and Lord Strathcona Horse Regiment, took over as musical director. From 1989 to 1997 Stephen Franse, principal bassoonist of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, assumed the role of music director. Under his baton, in 1996 the band played in the Jack Singer Concert Hall to celebrate their 40th Ruby Anniversary. Dr. Jeremy Brown, Professor of Saxophone and Music Education at the University of Calgary, then became the musical director. During this time the band was invited to play at the Jungfrau Music Festival in Interlaken, Switzerland and the Mid Europe Music Festival in Schladming, Austria in 2004.
In November 2005, the band came under the musical directorship of Earl Paddock, Music Director at William Aberhart High School. In the summer of 2007 the band participated in the Festival des Anches d’Azur, La Croix Valmer, France and also toured and performed at various locations in London and Bath, England. Dr. Jeremy Brown returned as Music/Artistic Director in 2008 and the group had rewarding encore performances in Europe in July 2011.
In the Summer of 2012, the name of the ensemble was officially changed to the “Calgary Wind Symphony” operating under the Calgary Concert Band Society as the governing body.