Stadacona Band welcomes former Co-Director of Music

Terry Barnes was Co-Director of Music for the Stadacona Band from 1968-71. SUBMITTED

Stadacona Band welcomes former Co-Director of Music

By MS Blythe Heywood,
Stadacona Band of the Royal Canadian Navy

If you were ever curious about military bands, Capt (ret’d) Terence (Terry) Barnes would be your man. His journey started in Britain where military musicianship was an integral part of his family’s background – his father, and brother both played in military bands. Although Terry was too young to be sent overseas during the Second World War (he joined the military in 1941 as a French horn player at only 14 years of age), in 1951 he was sent with other band members to Northern Africa as part of the post-war peace efforts.

Terry Barnes as a horn player in the Royal Engineers Band in 1955-56.

After 12 years in the British Military, in February 1955 Terry, his wife and two young daughters embarked on their Canadian adventure. Arriving at Pier 21, they boarded a train and travelled 5 days across Canada where he joined his brother Roy at CFB Chilliwack as a horn player in the Royal Engineers Band. After 10 years, he attended the Esquimalt School of Music where he gained the qualifications to become a Director of Music (DMus).

This change of position from musician to DMus made for a lot of postings in a short time: 1966 DMus for the Guards Band in Petawawa, Ontario; 1967 DMus for Royal Canadian Dragoons Band in Gagetown NB; 1968 Co-DMus of the Stadacona Band alongside DMus Jack McGuire. This was following the unification of the military and military bands, and the Stadacona Band had recently amalgamated with the Royal Artillery Band. At that time it was still an all-male band, and had approximately 60 members – almost twice the size the band is today. During his four years as Co-DMus of the Stadacona Band (1968-1971), the band took trip to Lahr, Germany, which at the time was a regular exchange program of military personnel and musicians. Apart from travelling more frequently, the job was much the same as it is today (before COVID that is): parades, concerts, and special military ceremonies.

In 1971, Terry was posted to the Air Force Training Command Band in Winnipeg, MB for four years. His final posting, and a great way to go out with a bang, was DMus for the Canadian contingent of the NORAD Band in Colorado Springs. He describes this time as “a fascinating joint venture as we combined both Canadian and American musicians.”

Retiring to Vancouver Island, he continued to be engaged in the community by helping direct a local community band in Nanaimo. After 20 years of island life, he and his wife decided to return to Halifax to be closer to both their daughters. In 2018 he embarked on another adventure when Camp Hill became his new home. By chance, one of the first social engagements he attended was a performance by the Stadacona Band Brass Quintet. Both Terry and each member of the Brass Quintet remember chatting and realizing the Stadacona Band connection – what a small world!

Although we cannot perform in such a manner now nor foster connections mentioned above, we hope that you can join us virtually for our seasonal concert: Celebrate the Season with the Stadacona Band is available now to stream on the Stadacona Band Facebook page.

As the year of the Stadacona Band’s 80. Anniversary comes to a close, we shall leave you to ponder these words of Capt Terence Barnes: “The best times as a Director were the rehearsals where the musicians and I worked together to bring out the best in each other.”