Concert Band of Cobourg

The Concert Band of Cobourg is celebrating their 180th anniversary this year with a video featuring their history and relationship with the Town of Cobourg.  The video does a good job and includes many interesting historical photos. Their Directors of Music Roland G. White from 1970 to 2000 and Paul Storms since then are mentioned but there is no mention of other notable individual band members.  Even long time Drum Major Tom MacMillan is not mentioned. (More below).  Another omission is the spin-off of the New Ventures Band in 2014 which, if I remember correctly,  was envisioned as a way to groom new players for the aging Concert Band.  Perhaps the omissions are because it would be impossible to mention all the band members but I’d like to briefly mention three members.

Diana Storen

Concert Band - 1 July 2011
Concert Band – 1 July 2011

As MC for the Band, at Band concerts, as well as playing her bass clarinet, Diana introduces each number, often with an anecdote.  She is one of two announcers for the video.  Diana is also very active in the Town although she generally prefers a low public profile.  However, she deserves recognition.

Chris Devlin
Like several other band members, as well as performing in the Concert Band, Chris also performs in a totally independent band, Madman’s Window. Chris plays multiple instruments, notably including the trumpet. Chris is the second of the two announcers for the video.

Tom MacMillan
Not only was Tom the band’s Drum Major for 32 years from 1980 but he was also Cobourg’s Town Crier starting in 1990.  Photo shows Tom leading the band in 2011. He passed in August 2013 and is remembered by a stone memorial outside Victoria Hall which was unveiled on 10 May 2014.

The band provides weekly summer concerts in Victoria Park, marches in all of Cobourg’s parades and performs at many major events.  For their effort, the Town provides some cash to cover expenses – $20K per year but band members are not paid for their services.

Below is the video produced by the Band and first made available on 11 October 2022. The band’s motto is Tradition, Duty, Honour and Family and the video covers each of these aspects.

Much of the information on the early years of the band was taken from the book Journal of a Band by Robert Irvine, which was published in 2017. The band is represented in old photographs and early footage, as well as more current recordings of band performances. These were compiled over the summer by Producer Charlynne Jourard, who also wrote the narrative which is voiced by the band’s concert MC Diana Storen and Chris Devlin. Directing and editing was done by Gregory Jourard, who recently graduated from Durham College in the Broadcasting – Radio and New Media program.


Cobourg Blog posts featuring Concert Band.

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Old Sailor
1 year ago

Not to dominate the comments on the Concert Band, BUT, we have a Concert Band member/Royal Conservatory licenced teacher, teaching me Adult Piano (what a chore, but successful) and teaching my good wife – The Old Doll – advanced clarinet skills for her role in the the New Ventures Band. The Concert Band is so full of talent, available for the asking, Cobourg should make every effort to support it. We even engaged a few Concert Band members put on a one hour concert in our back yard for a large group of friends. What a treat.

1 year ago

I was in the Cobourg Kiltie band as a teenager back in 1971 (played the clarinet) — I actually was able to catch a glimpse of my 17 year old self in the video in the front row (at about the 2:13 spot). Lots of fun and I remember playing in the Remembrance Day ceremonies — nearly froze my fingers off! What a wonderful video and great way to remember my youth

1 year ago

What a wonderful video! Sure makes one proud to be living in Cobourg! We moved here in 2014, just a year after Tom MacMillan passed ,but were very glad to have his wife Alberta, as a friend and to fill us in on his many accomplishments.
Lets hope there are many youths that will ‘pick up the torch and run with it’ and keep the Cobourg Marine Band strong and vibrant!

Old Sailor
1 year ago

The Concert Band of Cobourg is a “gift” to Cobourg. Band members play at a professional level. Concert events like the Tuesday night concerts in the summer at Victoria Park are very well attended. The Town should give the Cobourg Band whatever support they need to continue the role they have fulfilled for so long.

Phyllis Brown
1 year ago

It’s a 15 minute video so everyone couldn’t be mentioned. Why do people look for the negative things these days. My husband was a band member and very proud to still be part of the family. It is a wonderful video