John Liddle, our conductor

John Edward Liddle is Encore Band’s conductor. He is also the heart and soul of the band.

John brings a world of experience and diversity to Encore Band.

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John’s story starts like this…

Coming from small town Ontario (Carleton Place), not really a hotbed of raw musical talent and insight, John’s musical battle was uphill up the way. Let’s face it, hockey was the only game in town! In fact the high school started their music program in grade 12. Yikes!

Armed with only piano lessons and a stint with the Marching Saints Drum and Bugle Corps on g-f bugle, he was seen immediately as a musical prodigy by his new grade 12 music teacher David Ennis (fresh out of the University of Western Ontario). John was declared a natural trumpet player by Mr. Ennis, and was taken immediately to Robert Oades, one of Canada’s finest trumpet teachers, for lessons. Mr. Oades determined that John was the worst grade 12 trumpet player that he had ever heard but took pity on John and immediately took him to trumpet boot camp (one hour lessons of scales, drills, repertoire and the dreaded transposition)…and he only demanded 4 hours of practice a day. (“If you want to catch up to your cohort you must work hard!!!!”)

John’s hard work has paid off and he still carries that work ethic today. From playing the Last Post for the Carleton Place Legion (2 months after picking up the trumpet) to conducting and soloing with the Toronto Symphony, his enthusiasm on stage is electric.

After high school John chose a nontraditional route for his professional education, Humber College. The Humber College Music Department in 1979 was turning out the finest players in Canada and still is. While there he played solos for Howard Cable, Bram Smith, and Don Johnson (all very respected and well known musicians). He graduated with honours, one of the 35 graduates weeded out from the 300 students entering the music program.

John has been a prolific player: jazz bands (with leaders Steve Garrick, Paul Grosney, and Eddy Graff), classical groups (North York Symphony, Etobicoke Symphony), and 12 years with the 7th Toronto Regiment Royal Canadian Artillery. John has also had many solo appearances with The Chinese Symphony, The Etobicoke Philharmonic, and the Counterpoint Orchestra, to name a few. During his time with the Etobicoke Philharmonic John met and studied conducting with maestro Tak Ng Li. From there he became the assistant conductor for Mr Li, eventually becoming the interim conductor of the Chinese Youth Orchestra.

John’ s conducting career has been astounding and includes The Toronto Symphony, The Buffalo Philharmonic, The Etobicoke Philharmonic, and the North York Concert Orchestra. John continues to conduct several concert bands including The Encore Band as well as The North York and The Etobicoke Community Concert Bands.

John Edward Liddle is one of the most experienced and talented individuals on the podium today. He loves to have fun with both the music and the musicians and it is his great honour to conduct the Encore Symphonic Concert Band.

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