The original Schoolboys' Band
The Edmonton Schoolboys' Band, a forerunner of the Edmonton Schoolboys' Alumni Band, was organized in 1935 and presented its first concert the following year. Mr. T. V. Newlove, the director, continued in this position for the entire life of the band. Mr. Newlove was later assisted by Mr. Oliver Murray. A forerunner of the Edmonton Schoolboys' Band was the Edmonton Newsboys' Band.
The Schoolboys' Band played hundreds of engagements until May 1969, at which time the Edmonton Public School Board placed its support of music programs in the individual schools throughout Edmonton. After the breakup of the Schoolboys' Band, many of its members continued with their musical interests through involvement in other musical organizations in and outside Edmonton. A large number, however, put away their instruments and gave up playing.
The Alumni Band
In 1996, more than 400 former members held a reunion to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Schoolboys' Bands. Before the reunion, alumni got together to rehearse: the plan was that if the music was recognizable, they would perform at the reunion. It was--and they did. The result was a concert performed by 45 members who had come from all over Canada and the United States. The concert was directed by Mr. Ray Friedman who had been a member of the original band. He continued as director until 2000.
After the reunion, 35 of the Alumni Band members decided to continue as a band. Since then, members have held regular practises and have played numerous concerts in and around Edmonton. In 1988 and again in 2000, the band recorded CDs and audiotapes under the direction of Mr. Friedman. Ray later moved to Lethbridge, and Mr. Armand Baril became the band's conductor until his retirement in December 2013. Taina Lorenz took up the conductor's baton in January 2014.
After several years Taina decided to work towards her doctorate in music so could not continue with us. Happily Roy Townend stepped in to lead us for the next two years until June 2019. Currently Graeme Peppink is conducting the band on a temporary basis.