A musical tradition continues ...
The Brockville Concert Band arises from a long tradition of community and military bands in Brockville. Civic bands provided entertainment at public venues such as community picnics and outdoor skating rinks. The Brockville Rifles Reserve Band entertained "on the green" in the 1930s and 40s.
Military band members returning from WWII formed the Brockville Civic Band. Re-organized as the Brockville Concert Band in 1974, the BCB inherited a musical tradition (and actual sheet music) from Civic and military bands dating back to the turn of the 20th century.
The Brockville Concert Band performs for various community functions and entertains at charitable fundraising events.
The Brockville Museum has accepted a number of Band items into their archives. The items can be accessed through the Museum’s online collections database.
Since 1995, the Band's musical director has been trumpeter/French horn player and (now retired) music/technology teacher Lance Besharah. Lance holds a B.A. in Music Education from St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, NS and an Honours Tech Specialist qualification from Queens University in Kingston, ON.
After graduation, Lance taught music in Nova Scotia, then returned to Ontario (Brockville) to work with the Alexander family business – Sam the Record Man. He taught private music lessons and repaired musical instruments. At this time Lance first joined the Brockville Concert Band - as a trumpet player. Finding no teaching jobs available in music, in 1980 he started a custom cabinet making business which he operated successfully for many years. When the musical director of the Brockville Concert Band, Lance’s lifelong friend Howard Alexander, was offered a job opportunity in Newfoundland, Lance took over as musical director of the Brockville Concert Band for the first time. Lance also taught a music history and appreciation course at St. Lawrence College for four sessions. As fate would have it, in 1995 his cabinet shop burned down and an opening for a construction tech teacher became available at Thousand Islands Secondary School. Within a few years, the music teacher position also became vacant and Lance now had the opportunity to marry all of his loves. His lifelong interest in the wood lathe developed into turning wood as an art and ultimately opening a woodturning school and gallery (Turning North).
Lance has directed numerous musicals for the Brockville Operatic Society, Thousand Islands Secondary School and jointly with Brockville Collegiate Institute. He has shared the stage with many other fine Brockville musicians and ensembles performing in the Hardy Park summer concerts, various churches and the New Year’s Eve concerts. He played trumpet and French horn for many productions of the St. Lawrence College Music Theatre Program.
Lance was inducted into the Brockville and Area Music and Performing Arts Hall of Fame in 2009 as a member (musical director) of the Brockville Concert Band and again in 2010 as an individual musician.