Music, Youth and the Navy

Lt(N) Bradley Ritson, Commanding Officer and Music Director of the Stadacona Band, directs the band during a recent concert.

Music, youth, and the Navy

By LS Matthew MacLean,
Stadacona Band of the Royal Canadian Navy

If you ask a young person in the Maritimes, “What does the Royal Canadian Navy mean to you?”, there is a good chance that the answer may have changed in the last few months. Your Stadacona Band has been hard at work in the Maritimes. Connecting with and inspiring young people is among the most important ways that the Royal Canadian Navy can invest in continuing its legacy. This is one of the ways that the Stadacona Band shines.

Many fond memories are shared by Maritimers of the time when the Stadacona Band came to their school. This month, the band is performing in nine schools in the Halifax Regional Municipality and reaching over 3200 students. In January, Stadacona Band travelled to PEI to host a workshop with the provincial grade 9 Honour Band and to Pictou, NS to perform a concert for students and families and raise funds in support of their local band programs. On February 10, the band performed a joint concert with the Nova Scotia Youth Wind Ensemble at Acadia University. As part of the Stadacona Band’s ongoing commitment to support Cadets Canada, it is performing a joint concert with the Tri-Service Cadets on April 7 at the Halifax and Region MFRC. The band is also hosting Air Cadet Sgt Alex Bessant as he works towards credits with his high school co-op program. He is joining the unit once a week, sitting in on rehearsals, and benefitting from hands-on experience with daily operational tasks, under the supervision of LS Marie-Neige Dupuis-Carbonneau.

These are a few examples of the support to Maritimes youth that the Stadacona Band is committed to providing on a continuous basis, and has provided for years; this year however, the band is working harder to do more. From among their ranks, the band has formed a brass ensemble, which performed at the Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts on February 16, in support of their Musical Scholarships Fund. This brass contingent will travel to Newfoundland in March. Their mandate will include a joint concert with the Royal Newfoundland Regiment Band, performances at public schools, as well as a concert at Memorial University of Newfoundland.

The Stadacona Band is uncompromising in its duties to the RCN, and can be heard on parade, at ship arrivals, and at a myriad of other military functions throughout CFB Halifax and 12 Wing Shearwater.