— Located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada —
Our aim is to provide an exceptionally high standard of musical entertainment and inspiration for all ages.
The Encore Symphonic Concert band enjoys a reputation as one of the finest bands in Ontario. Associated with the Toronto Musician’s Association, we are a dedicated voluntary group of 40-50 active or semi-retired professional musicians.
We all have had decades of experience as club or jazz musicians, symphony orchestra members, or with dance, stage, concert and military bands. We have developed an extensive library of band music including big band swing, film scores, classical favourites, military marches. We also encourage new Canadian compositions and arrangements and regularly include in our performances new pieces composed by our band members and associates.
Whether we are performing at venues such as the CNE, Toronto City Hall, Roy Thompson Hall, or many local churches, schools and seniors’ homes, our aim is to provide an exceptionally high standard of musical entertainment and inspiration for all ages.
We are particularly gratified when we are invited to local schools to combine with young music students in joint performances of their current music program and specially selected music from our Encore library. Many young musicians have been inspired by the excellence of a joint Encore performance to continue development of their musical skills and make great music a part of their life, as it is ours.
A bit of history…. the band started around 1980, as an organization for retired and semi-retired professional musicians. It originally rehearsed at the Toronto Musicians’ Association building, and did so until the TMA sold its building. Through a chance meeting with Susan Baskin, an elementary school music teacher in Markham, the band was able to rehearse at Bayview Fairways School, in return for holding occasional concerts at the school and mentoring the young musicians. This was quite positive for both groups and the school’s bands did very well at Kiwanis competitions. During this period, the band played at various churches and schools, as fundraisers for these groups.
About 5 years ago, after a change in the school’s administration, the band had to find new quarters. Again, a chance recommendation from Nihal Fonseca (who occasionally, with his wife Caroline, sang light opera with the band) introduced us to the Wilmar Heights Centre. The location was looking for ways to expand its community reach, and thought the Encore Band would be a good way to do this. James Ramesbottom ,the centre’s administrator, was extremely positive about our mission and actively promoted our monthly concerts to the community and local seniors’ organization. Our Christmas program is especially well attended.