By Lucas Redwood, Bandology staff
The Burlington Teen Tour Band is a famous local marching band open to people ages 13-21. The band participates in many performances each year and travels internationally.
I joined Teen Tour in 2013 and became a member of the drumline. On my first day of practice, I was welcomed by many of the instructors including Rob Bennett, Bill Hughes and the drum instructor Mike Peachy. I was very excited.
My first months of band came with a lot of learning about marching as well as learning the music. We rehearsed three days a week: Monday, Wednesday and Sunday. Practices consisted of marching practices and also perfecting the music. In order to participate in parades and performance, every member must do a try out to get their uniform.
My first performance was in Toronto and it was very fun to meet a lot of people in the band and experience what it’s like to be part of a band performance.
During my third week as a member of the band, Mike announced that there would be auditions to play in the snareline. I had started off by playing cymbals in the drumline, and really wanted to work my way up to being on snare. However, I wasn’t sure if I was ready since I had joined the band very recently. I asked my drum teacher if he thought I should try out and he said I should, so I decided to. This was my first big audition and I was super nervous, but was thrilled to successfully get the position!
A really busy time of the year for the band was Christmas parade season, which consisted of performing in multiple Christmas parades in many cities for several weeks. Although parade season was very busy, it was a great opportunity to hang out with friends, especially on the bus rides to and from the parades.
Teen Tour also participated in many international performances. While I was in the band, I travelled to the Netherlands and Hawaii to commemorate World War II events. We honoured the anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands, and went to Hawaii to perform at Pearl Harbour. These were both life-changing learning opportunities because we got to learn about some of the most important parts of the war.
As I entered my later years in Teen Tour, I started being more involved in the band. I helped some of the newer members by teaching them music. I also joined the percussion section of the concert band, and switched from playing snare to playing the quads.
Looking back, I really enjoyed my experience with the Burlington Teen Tour Band because it helped me learn the foundations of being a musician, and I made memories that I will never forget.