Location: Toronto, Ontario,Canada
Member: MUSIC DIRECTOR – LARRY SHIELDS
ASSOCIATE CONDUCTOR – ROBERT MILLER
Brad Norton ( Principal)
Laura Van Staveren
John Van Esterik
Weston Silver Band
The WSB began as The Weston Boys Band, founded in 1921 by George Sainsbury. Sainsbury began his musical life playing in a fife and drum band in his hometown of Fawley, England at the age of 12. Before emigrating to Canada in 1905, he founded his own fife and drum band which became a Brass Band in Littlehampton, England ( later to become the present day Littlehampton Concert Band ). Shortly after his arrival, he became bandmaster of the Weston Town Band. The outbreak of World War I brought civilian banding to a halt and Sainsbury took charge of the 220th Battalion Band and later, the Headquarters Band of Military District No.2
World War II saw the majority of band members enlisting in the armed forces and the band ceased operations for the first and only time in its history, becoming the official band of the Canadian Field Artillery, before reforming under Sainsbury’s baton in 1946. With instruments in poor repair and financial support a continuing issue, the band became incorporated as a non-profit organization in 1947.
Over the last 50 years, the Weston Silver Band has continued to provide entertaining and outstanding concerts to the public and a challenging and rewarding experience for its band members.
From its top place finishes during the heyday of band contesting at the Canadian National Exhibition Band competitions in the 1960’s and 1970’s to its entry in the North American Brass Band Association’s competitions in North Carolina and Indianapolis in the 1980’s, the WSB continued to represent the proud tradition of brass banding in Toronto and the province of Ontario.
In 1995, the WSB hosted the NABBA competition in Toronto which saw 15 bands from Canada and the US competing for top honours. Later in the year, Weston was honoured to be one of two bands representing NABBA at the Great American Brass Band Festival in Danville, Kentucky.
The past 7 years has seen a revitalization of the band and organization, building a reputation for excellence musically as well as organizationally and receiving great reviews. The WSB is currently ranked in the top 200 Brass Bands wordwide, and the top ten in North America in the very competitive world of Brass Bands. Presently, the WSB presents a concert series during the fall and winter season in Toronto at CBC’s Glenn Gould Studio, and maintains a busy performance schedule in venues throughout the GTA and southern Ontario in the summer.
Weston Silver Band has been the host to a number of internationally renown brass soloists and clinicians, including Doug Yeo ( Boston Symphony), Richard Marshall ( principal cornet, Black Dyke Band UK) and legendary Canadian jazz artist, Guido Basso.
Brass bands have a long and proud history in Ontario and the WSB honours its history of providing a valuable and unique contribution to the rich musical heritage of this province. Our thanks to our supporters and we look forward to many more successful years of brass banding!
Weston Silver Band Conductors
1920 – 1950 George Sainsbury
1950 – 1955 Horace Sainsbury
1955 – 1956 Arthur Burgin
1956 – 1958 Albert Dobney
1958 – 1966 Wallace Mason
1966 Ted Robbins
1966 – 1967 George Fitzgerald
1967 Percy Merritt
1967 – 1969 George Swaddling
1969 – 1974 Wallace Mason
1974 – 1978 Laurie Hiscock
1978 – 1986 Douglas Field
1986 – 1989 Robin McCubbin
1989 – 1991 Morley Calvert
1991 – 2002 Ron Clayson
2002 – present Larry Shields