Come hear the Upper Canada Village Brass Band perform this summer. You will be able to hear how music of the 1860s sounds when it is played on instruments of the time, talk to the performers, and get a closer look at the instruments being played. To find where the band is playing on-site, just follow your ears!
The Upper Canada Village Brass Band is made up of seven period and reproduction brass instruments from the 1860s. Along with a vintage side-action cornet, the band features 6 over-the shoulder saxhorns, a brass instrument invented in Europe in the 1840s by Adolphe Sax, the same man who invented the saxophone. The long vertical bell which rests on the players’ shoulder sending the sound of the music out behind them was developed for use with marching bands, but fell out of favour as brass instruments began to be used more and more on the concert stage. All seven of the band's instruments use rotary-valves instead of the piston valves commonly used in brass instruments today.
Brass Bands were common in small and large towns in the years leading up to Canadian confederation. Often municipal governments or private businesses would fund and sponsor a local band, buying instruments, music, and uniforms. These bands would then play for a variety of civic and social occasions such as garden parties, regattas, and holidays. The Upper Canada Village Brass Band is composed of members of the Ottawa-based Maple Leaf Brass Band and Upper Canada Village staff.