Summer concert series launches in Scottish splendour

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Memorial park was transported to Scotland on June 15, complete with brass, pipes, kilts and drums in the first of an outdoor summer concert series, Concerts in The Park.
Every second Wednesday in the summer months the Oshawa Civic Band will play at the band shell downtown. In addition, a different act will take the stage the next night starting in July.
Each of their concerts will have a theme and will feature collaboration with different musical groups.  And while the band played several numbers on their own, kilted bag pipers and drummers from the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 43 joined them near the beginning and end of the show.

Pipers and drummers from the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 43 played in front of the bandshell.

The benches at the park were filled with residents who came for a taste of Scottish culture and live music but got more than just that.
Along with marches and patrols the band performed a number from the Sound of Music and ended with a splash, playing their song “Beneath the Vigils” and the national anthem. This song was recorded and sold to raise over $14,000 for the Operational Stress Injury Clinic in Parkwood Hospital in London, Ontario.
“The pipers are fantastic,” said Carol Weeks. “There is usually a better crowd, but you can’t compete with the (hockey) game.” Weeks added that It’s good for a younger crowd looking to hear some diverse live music.
The game didn’t keep Marion Franklin, whose husband plays E flat horn in the band from the show.
“It’s good to see the facilities being used. When I was a public school kid this park would be filled with people,” said Franklin.
The pipers and drummers join the Oshawa Civic Band on stage for "Beneath the Vigils".

The band shell was a gift from Colonel Robert Samuel McLaughlin in 1942 and features rehearsal space for the band behind the stage.
According to trombone player David Newsink the band is working on collaborations all the time and are always looking for new members.
“There’s a heritage within this city. The band shell was built so there would be a place for music and it’s supported by the city.”
Newsink played in the band as a teenager and rejoined the brass and percussion ensemble six years ago. He says the band follows British brass band tradition of teaching young musicians alongside experienced, professional players.
The band is hosting a summer band camp for students 8-15 years old from August 3-10. For more information about the band or summer camp visit For a full listing of performances in the Concerts in the Park series click here.
Story and images by Nathan MacKinnon