This page is designed for Members of Encore Band and ANYONE who is interested!
If you would like to post on this page, please email to Ivy at encorebandgroup @ gmail.com (no spaces)

Message from Richard Herriott to Encore Band members (posted March 6, 2020)
“Please give my sincere Love and Respect to everyone at in Band on Thursday.
May I ask you to please tell them , from me, how much I enjoyed my time with them in rehearsals, and how I so enjoyed our Rhapsody in Blue, and Slaughter on 10th Avenue last Friday.
John told me that he wanted this Concert to make me feel better.
Well ! John, and the Band did exactly that!
You lovely lot made me feel terrific both during the whole process, and the Concert, and I walk away having made wonderful new friends, and from having a most Artistically rewarding experience.
Please tell them that I enjoyed the 1st half tremendously and it helped me calm my nerves.”

Message from Tom Fleming Referring to Richard Herriott Benefit Concert (posted March 1, 2020)
“Today, in these troubled times, with the rise of populist politics and a trend towards an “I’ve got mine so let’s make sure no one else gets any” sentiment, it is a distinct pleasure to be associated with such a caring and generous group of people. You not only make my Thursdays special every single week but as I pointed out before, you make me exceedingly proud to be associated with you.

The fact that a group of people like ours could, at the drop of a hat and with such infectious enthusiasm, manage to come together and generate in the neighbourhood of $5,000 for a stranger who has suffered misfortune only because he shares with us a love of and a talent for music, is truly inspiring.

I said before that I was prouder of you than I have ever been and I never thought that I would be saying that I am even prouder now.

Thank you for making a cynic like me believe that there are still genuinely caring and unselfish people out there and that there is ample reason to believe that there is still hope for the future.

I love You Guys



Richard Heriott
Richard Herriott Benefit Concert is on Feb 28th at 8 to 10 pm @ 963 Pharmacy Ave.

*** Words form Richard Herriott: ***
“I’m so moved by this occasion.
We have begun our work on Rhapsody in Blue, and Slaughterhouse on 10th Avenue, and these Musicians are so much fun to play with, and work with.
I’m deeply humbled by the generosity of Spirit here, as well as profoundly honoured by the invitation to play.
This is a really marvelous Concert Band, with such a rich, and full sound.
At our 1st rehearsal, it was absolutely and abundantly clear that we all enjoy each other’s Company in making Music together.
I’m so honoured that they have asked me to play with them, and in a work that is so sacred to me.
In this Concert, I will also play Liszt’s 2nd Legend,
” St. Francois de Paule Marchant sur les Flots”, affectionately known as ” Frankie goes Surfing”.
The Band have an array of Fantastic Music including music from the” Harry Potter” Films, from the pen of John Williams.
Stuff like this is making a huge, and powerful, and positive impact upon my personal rehabilitation.


Congratulations to John Liddle, He just graduated with Second Degree Black Belt Karate !! (posted Dec 9, 2019)
John Liddle Karatel


Our Flutist are Amazing people! (posted Oct 2019)
Say Hello to Joan Andrews, Resa Kochberg, Kathryn Mosses, and Stephen Sandrin


Congrats to our Encore Band conductor, John E. Liddle, for the Paul Harris Fellows Recognition presented by Rotary Club, for his contribution to the community.
— posted on April 26, 2019



Nothing brings out the grinch in some like the early debut of seasonal music when the season hasn’t even started. Reactions can of course go the other way — people weep with joy at memories attached to a song from their past.

Whatever the reaction, music is powerful. Now, a small company in Massachusetts is trying to harness that power to help people with traumatic brain injuries talk again. And scientists say music is actually rewiring patients’ brains.
Read article


Niagara on the Lake Ice Wine Festival Band
Hey Ivy, I thought that you might get a good laugh at me and my band freezing and playing outside for a truly frozen festival.
John Liddle ❄️☃️🎺😉 (posted Jan 30, 2019)


Thank you letter from Timberbank P.S. teacher (posted Oct 26)

From: “Lai, Edith”
Subject: Encore Band – Thanks!!
Date: October 26, 2018 at 9:02:09 AM EDT
To: Doug Manning

Hi Doug,

Please pass on our appreciation to John Liddle and the Encore Band for a great event yesterday! I’ve received so many positive comments on the performance from the principal, teachers and students.

Our teachers appreciated how the selection of songs was so well balanced in variety and included popular sections that were recognizable to the students. They thought that the bits of music teaching in between the songs were very valuable as well.

The students in the audience were thoroughly engaged. The band members had an amazing learning opportunity and we spent the bulk of our rehearsal debriefing what they had learned and observed. I actually had to cut our conversation together, or we wouldn’t get to playing – student after student wanted to share different things they learned, and we were going on for 40 mins of our 1 hr rehearsal!

I enjoyed playing along with the band as it’s been awhile since I’ve played with an ensemble – teaching in school and through my home studio has taken up most of my time. Most of all, I liked how the event came full circle for me, with seeing Jill Morrison (trombonist) who was my associate teacher 8 years ago!

Thanks for organizing all of this, Doug – great experience for all! We would love to do this again in future years, and if anyone would like to come in and work with our band students any time during the year, they are welcome!

Edith Lai
Timberbank Jr. P.S. – Music & Gr.5


Remembering Eddie Graf — From Len Graf
In loving memory of Edwin John Graf one year after his passing, words cannot describe how much I miss this truly remarkable man, fine musician, dedicated father, friend to all and of the most upstanding character, truly an honour to call him my father, my mentor and my friend.

Here is a link to the 10 minute memorial piece I put together last year. I still become emotional when I see it (especially the ending)
See video on Youtube

Len Graf (son)



Message from John Liddle, pictures provided by Marion Blachford. (posted on June 6, 2018)
Here are some pics of one of the original Encore band members, Dan Blachford He was great friends with Eddie Graf. 100 years old!
Please post them as there are still a few members who will remember him.
John L.


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Thurs May 3 – Bill Crothers Senior Band students joined us for our monthly concert.

See photos
Watch performances


Photos taken in March 2018, ” A Tribute to Johnny Cowell” Concert





Words from John Liddle…. Remembering Johnny Cowell (posted on March 28, 2018)
I thought that I would share the memory of Johnny Cowell. He was both a friend and mentor to me throughout my career as he was to almost all who came to know him. The Encore Band did a tribute concert to him in the early 2000’s.

I’m sending a picture from that as well. The first pic has Dorrian Forrester on Flute, Debbie Sander Walker , singer, and Sonya Sim on piano.
Pic 2 , Jens Lindemann on Trumpet , Sonya on piano.
Pic 3, is Jens and me.
The last 3 pics are the program of the celebration .
John L.







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Good Old Times…
Picture from the Encore Band ‘s Tribute to Johnny Cowell Concert (early 2000’s?)

The cast from left to right are, Trumpet Soloist Ross Turner
Composer,Arranger,Conductor Howard Cable,
Trumpeter Erich Traugott,
Special Guest Johnny Cowell,
Conductor, Trumpet Soloist John E. Liddle,
Professor of Music Trumpet Specialist U of T Steven Chenette ,
Trumpet performer and Educator,
Humber College Music Dept. Don Johnson,
Toronto Musicians Association Representative Murray Ginsberg

John Liddle


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Here is a message from Marcy Cowell, Johnny Cowell’s daughter: (posted March 5, 2018)
Marcy Cowell: Thank you so much John for an amazing tribute concert to my dad, Johnny. All the musicians did a wonderful job and you are very talented on the trumpet. My mother, my daughter and I enjoyed it very much


Once in a while, we would get a response from people who are viewing us from far away places thru Youtube. This one is from Iceland.
Hi Encoreband,
My name is Thorkell Hardarson and I am a member of Svanur Concert band in Iceland. I just saw your version of Let the good times roll on YouTube. Well done! This arrangement is the best I have found of this song so far. Could you enlighten me on how to obtain this version? I am arranging for our spring concert to have a blues theme.
Looking forward to hear back from you.
Best regards from Iceland,
Keli Hardarson

Here is a link to the video “Let the Good Times Roll”.


Message from Johnny Cowell, Canadian trumpeter and composer (posted Dec 12, 2017)
Hi John (Liddle),
It’s Marcy, Johnny Cowell’s daughter. He just watched you play Marcella’s Waltz on Youtube and really wanted me to tell you that it sounded fantastic!

Watch Johnny Cowell’s compositions on Youtube


Here is a radio interview FM 96.3 with John Liddle!! (posted on Nov 4, 2017)



Remembering Eddie Graf

Photos provided by John Liddle




Eddie Graf was the greatest! I played in the Eddie Graf big band for about 20 years and he played in the Encore Band for around 20 years as well. He was a great player , friend and mentor. When Eddie was playing it was sweet and swinging and as a person he was humble and kind.
One of my favourite Eddie stories takes place at the Key in Bala. It is still a concert dancing hall today! In 1995 the war had been over for 40 years and the Graf big band had been hired to play with Canadian legend Mart Kenney a sax and clarinet band leader. Just like Eddie. Mart was well over 80 at the time and Eddie treated Mart like a star should be treated. There was never a hint of professional jealousy or envy . I should say that we had backed Mart up on many other occasions, as our agent John Dimon ,(the greatest promoter of big band music in Ontario) , was on a mission to keep this music alive as long as possible. He was also the publisher of the magazine Big Band World.
As we got to the stage Mart needed a little help with the stairs, it was Eddie who helped him up and led him to centre stage. We had ” The West A Nest And You ” , (Marts theme song ) , ready to play. The radio announcer Jim Paulson turned to the audience and said, ” if you were here in 1945 dancing to Mart Kenney please make your way to the dance floor” . Now this is where the genius of Eddie Graf the band leader comes in, not only did he write the arrangement of Mart’s theme song , he always knew when and how to count the band in. Wow , to everyone’s amazement the dance floor was filled with those who had been there in 45. It was difficult to play with tears in your eyes. This moment is one of my most treasured memories. It is rare to have a moment like this , but with Eddie it seemed to be a daily occurrence. I have so many wonderful memories of Eddie and will share them till my end comes. Heavens gain is our loss , good bye old friend.

John Liddle

I found this picture of Eddie and me at the Canclone recording studio , December 2011.
He was recording the clarinet solo on Ciribiribin for my CD , Roller Coaster.

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Encore Band performed a song “Sandstone and Marble”, written and arranged by Adam Levowitz in March 2017.
Guess what we hear from Mr. Levowitz from New York?
Watch the song on Youtube

Message from composer, Adam Levowitz

Greetings from New York!
I just happened to stumble upon your video of Sandstone and Marble and had to reach out and say thank you and bravo! Thank you for finding my music and liking it enough to put in the time and energy to rehearse and put it on your program! It is very flattering and humbling to me anytime a group chooses my music. I am truly grateful

Secondly, bravo for a job well done. I know the piece is not easy and you all did a wonderful job. Double bravo to the soloist. I, too, am a trumpet player, or was many moons ago.

I composed the piece specifically for Chuck Seipp who was a career musician in the United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own”. After writing the first draft, I played through the piece on my own and promptly patted myself on the back for still having the chops to play a pretty challenging trumpet piece. I dared to daydream that if things didn’t work out with Chuck, maybe I could play the solo with the Army Band at the premiere concert.

I sent the piece for Chuck to review, feeling his equal on the horn, or almost. About a day later he called me, told me he loved the piece but wondered if we could speed the piece up and remove all the slurs from the fast section so he could really dig into the sixteenth notes. Well, at that point I knew that needed to un-pat myself on the back because there was NO WAY now that I could event attempt to play the piece. So faster the piece went and more fire and double tonguing went in the fast sections making the piece more exciting than I had first thought. Happily, I keep my feet firmly in place at the podium and let Chuck wow the audience.

And clearly you wowed your audience as the reception was tremendous. And kudos to the entire ensemble. I love hearing all the little details performed beautifully, the oboe solo, the warm trombone chords, the sweeping French horns line, the technical passages in the wood winds and the power of the percussion.
Once again, congratulations and thank you!

All my very best,

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Message from Cummer Valley Middle School regarding performance on May 11, 2017(posted on May 17, 2017)

Thank you for your support in making today’s concert a reality at Cummer Valley. Please share this message with John and the band. I have had a great deal of feedback from both staff and students and it has all been overwhelmingly positive. The programming was excellent, the musicianship tremendous and John Liddle is masterful in carrying us along the musical journey.
We are delighted with today’s concert.
Thank you very much.

Michelle Mayers

Cummer Valley Middle School


Pictures taken at St Basil-the-Great College School Feb 2017. Thanks to St Basil teacher for taking the pictures and sending them to us.

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Congratulations to our conductor, John E Liddle, for Etobicoke Community Recognition Award (posted Jan 6, 2017).

You are welcomed to attend the award.
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A letter from our audience, Cynthia R. on Sunnybrook concert: (posted Sept 8, 2016)
I would like to thank you for your recent appearance on September 3 at the Sunnybrook Veterans Centre. My dad, Donald, is in long term care there. He has recently had a hard time with memory and confusion. I took him to the show and was watching him and many of the veterans around me. Some appeared almost comatose and unable to keep their heads up but as soon as the music started, their heads came up, their eyes sparkled and they were moving their hands in time with the music and singing along. One gentleman with the personal license plate on his wheelchair that read “Georgy Porgy” was playing an imaginary set of drums including cymbals, and I wondered if he had been a drummer in his younger days. Dad has always loved music, especially big band. He so enjoyed your performance and his condition is much improved. Dad also got a real kick out of Eddie still performing and doing what he loves when most people would have long ago retired. It’s remarkable to see the healing power of music and how music can reach people in a way that nothing else can. Please know how much your commitment to perform for the veterans is appreciated and what a difference it made to those who attended. I hope you will be doing a return engagement sometime in the future.


From Heather Wardell (president of Markham Community Band) (posted June 27, 2016)
Thank you for playing at the Unionville Bandstand Sunday to kickoff our summer concert series! We created a short video from clips/photos of the show, and you can check it out at http://www.mcband.ca/check-out-the-first-show-in-our-concert-sundays-series/ if you’d like.


See the message below from the Brighton School: (posted May 5, 2016)
The concert was amazing. Thank you so much!!!!!! Everything worked liked clockwork!!!!!
Such an amazing event. Thank you so much! I just can’t seem to thank you enough.
Irene McRae
Head, Elementary Programs and Admissions
Brighton School


Letter from Colin Gibson of Alzheimer Society of Toronto on Eddie Graf story

(Oct, 2015)

Oct 29, 2015
Hello Mary and Ivy!As Stephe mentioned, I’m fascinated by this story and I’m a huge music lover. So I’m definitely going to the next performance. (Encore Band concert on Nov 5, 2015)Also I am writing up a post about this for our blog (planning to do that tomorrow)—I’m so glad there are people cataloging and collecting this work! I’ll let everyone know when our blog post is ready and scheduled.


Colin Gibson
Communications Coordinator
Alzheimer Society of Toronto

Oct 30, 2015
More from Colin Gibson:

Just listened to Trade Winds for the first time and I wept. Beautiful stuff. Eddie is a genius and the Encore band is wonderful and sublime. Thank you for pointing me toward the videos!

Colin Gibson


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A response from Stephen Perry of the Alzheimer Society of Canada to CBC Metro morning program, on beneficial effects that music has on stimulating people with dementia Oct 26, 2015

Hi Mary, (Mary Wiens is reporter for CBC Metro Morning)It is so nice to get a response back from you. I am a regular listener of Metro Morning and have heard and enjoyed quite a few of your stories. So the Eddie Graf story was interesting to me because the story talked about the power that music has with helping people with memory loss. At an International Alzheimer’s Disease conference that we hosted a few years back in Toronto we launched a video called the Power of Music that also captures some similar stories like the one described with Eddie. We have put it up a clip on-line at the Alzheimer Society at http://www.alzheimer.ca/en/We-can-help/Resources/Power-of-musicBut Eddie’s music was so beautiful and he composed these intricate pieces, which had even more impact when you hear about how he doesn’t remember them very well anymore. But it was inspiring to hear how the community group was rallying and performing his pieces with Eddie being involved. People with memory lose often get alienated from participation in events like this.

I have shared your e-mail with Tina Barduhn at the Alzheimer Society of Toronto who is the Director of Community Engagement. She sent me a quick response saying she was going to share the link through their social media channels, but she was very excited to hear about the piece when I told her about it on Friday. She has also asked some of her staff to look into making a blog with your story.

The Alzheimer Society of Toronto has a neat program called the I-Pod project, which is based on the beneficial effects that music has on stimulating people with dementia. They give out i-pods, the playlist can be customized and it works with today’s technology. Other societies across Canada have music therapy programs in their day programs but the i-pod project is very unique. I am not doing justice to their program and you can read more about it on their website at http://alz.to/get-help/ipod-project/

Thank you for getting Eddie’s story on-line so that others could hear it. I will also share this with the Manager of media Relations at the national office. Tina will be in touch with any updates on how your story gets leveraged. It was a beautiful piece.

Stephen Perry
Production Co-ordinator
Alzheimer Society of Canada


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