This year is a pretty big one for the Glenmore Temple Band as they are celebrating their 125th anniversary. Formed in 1892, the band has been providing Calgary with music at community events, seniors’ residences, worship services, the Stampede Parade, and at Salvation Army Christmas Kettles.
In fact, Glenmore Temple Band is the longest participating band in the Calgary Stampede Parade, having only been absent from three parades in 105 years. Today the band is made up of 37 volunteer musicians ranging in age from 13 to 80 years from all walks of life.
“It started as a way to get attention and draw people to the Church,” says Kevin Holroyd who is the band manager for Glenmore Temple Band. “It was seen as an opportunity to spread the gospel through music.”
The band has also become a way for families to connect through music. It has a number of multigenerational participants with one family that can trace its roots back through five generations of playing with the Glenmore Temple Band.
When asked what the future holds for the band, Kevin thinks that there is a subtle shift happening in the music that they play, as they begin to play newer hymns but the goal of the band still remains the same; to draw attention to the work that The Salvation Army does and to bring people to the Church through music.
“We will continue to do what we do best which is support the Christmas Kettles, our annual concerts, and participation in Stampede events. As long as the people of Calgary want to hear our music, we’ll continue to play,” says Kevin with a laugh.
To celebrate this milestone anniversary The Salvation Army’s Glenmore Temple Band is celebrating with two public concerts. Both concerts are free of charge, and everyone is welcome:
Saturday, July 8 on Stephen Avenue (between Centre St & 1 St SW) from 1–2 p.m.
Saturday, July 8 at Glenmore Temple Church (921 68 Ave SW) at 7 p.m.