A Brief History of the WVYB Society
WVYB has been in continuous operation since 1930. It is the longest standing Community Youth Band in Canada. Today the WVYB has close to 200 non-auditioned members in four levels of band and three string ensembles. Musicians receive excellent music instruction, numerous performance opportunities, and exposure to top-quality instructors, composers, and conductors. The WVYB is a community service organization providing support to the district and many community groups in need of a performance.
The Kitsilano Boys Band visits West Vancouver to perform and the West Vancouver Youth Band is formed.
The new West Vancouver Boys Band gives its first performance under the direction of Arthur Jordan. It was a difficult beginning for the new band starting as it did at the edge of the depression, but 20 students began that season. Founders Mr. and Mrs. J.E. Condon handled the business affairs of the band. Jack Condon was Principal of Pauline Johnson School at the time.
The band receives a technical education grant from the school board.
The band's first “trip” was to Keats Island. The students camped in donated army tents and rehearsed outdoors. Several of the boys from that first trip later served Canada in World War II. Some of those boys lost their lives overseas and today’s band members honour them each November 11th when they parade in the West Vancouver Remembrance Day Service.
Director Arthur Jordan leaves and is replaced by renowned bandleader Arthur W. Delamont. Under Delamont's direction the band grows in size and scope and achieves great success winning many awards and traveling throughout North America and Europe.
The school board revokes the technical education grant. The band became a non-profit organization under the Societies Act. It has remained independent and self-supporting, driven by a board of directors of band member parents.
The Band celebrates its 25th anniversary with this booklet of photos and stories, and a message from the Reeve, J. Richardson. Advertisers included Woodward's, Black Ball Ferries, Eaton's and Ward Music.
Arthur Delamont retires after a year that saw a fabulous four-month tour across Canada and on to Europe where they won the World Title at Kergrade, Holland.
Cliff Bryson becomes director
The National Film Board produces a short documentary featuring the band, titled "Boy Meets Band". This is a wonderful slice of West Vancouver life. You can buy a copy at the National Film Board website, www.nfb.ca
D'Arcy Mossing directs the band.
Len Whiteley (1965-1970) takes over as Band Leader.
The band finds a new home in the basement of Irwin Park School. Parents banded together to construct the room. The band had spent most of its time in the Community Centre but had outgrown the space for the reason that other groups needing the un-soundproofed centre had to be booked a reasonable distance away from the young musicians.
Roy A. Cornick becomes Band Leader (1970-1978).
The baton is passed to Jeff Kenyon who leads the band for three years (1978-1981).
The Band's 50th anniversary. Steve Toren becomes band leader (1981-1987)
The Band's 50th year is celebrated with this pamphlet of photos, a wine and cheese party, a parade including graduates, and a dinner-dance at West Van Secondary School. Student and adult bands perform and former directors Delamont, Bryson, Whiteley and Cornickparticipate in the show.
"On the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of the West Vancouver Band's existence, it is proper to say that no other organization eclipses them in their place in the fabric of our community." - Derek Humphreys, Mayor
David Suomi-Marttinen leads the band (1988-1993).
In August of 1993, Douglas Macaulay became the director and is the longest serving director in the WVYB's history. In September 1993, just 39 band members registered, split between four band levels. Macaulay reorganized the band into three levels and began a rebuilding process. With the help of the talented and dedicated band parents, the band has built to over 190 members in four levels: Beginner Band, Junior Band, Concert Band and Symphonic Band and now three strings programs.
Mayor Mark Sager and Council proclaim the West Vancouver Youth Band “The Official Youth Band of West Vancouver”
Mayor Ron Wood presents the band with a beautiful English horn, made in Paris by the famous F. LorÃ©e Company.
The band celebrates its 75th anniversary. An evening social reception was held at the Kay Meek Centre, followed the next morning by the Community Day Parade and concert where alumni joined the current band in a wonderful celebration of music.
The Beth Rickman Memorial Scholarship is established in honour Beth Rickman who had been the West Vancouver Youth Band's Assistant Director for the last 12 years. Beth was also a WVYB alumni and a respected teacher at Vancouver Technical Secondary. She believed strongly in the value of music and the arts in the lives of all children.
March 28th marked the opening of the new Recreation Centre including the band's new home: The Community Music Hall
The West Vancouver Youth Band added the WVYB String Ensembles program.
July 2011 – During one of the Band’s semi-annual tours of Europe, the Band had the special highlight of playing in front of the Vimy Ridge Memorial.
NIck Urquhart became the strings director for the two levels of strings.
2016 – The band has grown in leaps and bounds and has 180 musicians. There are four levels of band, Beginner, Junior, Concert and Symphonic. There are now two levels of strings, Concert and Symphonic Strings
Mar 2018 WVYB Symphonic Band with the Spakwus Slulem (Eagle Song Dancers) of the Squamish Nation world premiered The Gathering of Eagles. This cross-cultural event featured the 1st movement of the Squamish Symphony by Bob Baker and Robert Buckley.
Jun 2018 we celebrated Douglas Macaulay 25 years commitment as the WVYB Principal Conductor and Program Director.
Sept 2018 - Genevieve MacKay joined us at the begin the WVYB Debut Strings level program.
Nov 2018 - Introduced our first WVYB Magazine publication
Mar 2019 WVYB Symphonic Band with the Spakwus Slulem (Eagle Song Dancers) of the Squamish Nation world premiered the Wolf Song. This cross-cultural event featured the 2nd movement of the Squamish Symphony by Bob Baker and Robert Buckley.
Nov 2019 - Introduced our second 2019-2020 WVYB Magazine
During this challenging time in Spring 2020 the WVYB sessions are held online to continue the music program during COVID 19
In keeping with our tradition, we are engaging our musicians until we can resume rehearsals, we have in place online lessons and at-home music skill programs. Supporting and continuing to engage our musicians during this difficult time is our highest priority.