Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Music




Dr. Paul Green


The Waterloo Musical Society was established on January 27, 1882 in Waterloo, Ontario. It was formed in order to cultivate the musical taste of the Waterloo citizens and to promote the musical improvement of the brass band established by Henry Glebe. The formal establishment of the Waterloo Musical Society had its roots in this band which functioned in the early 1860s. Of the conductors who succeeded Glebe, few remained for any length of time as it was not uncommon for a band to change leadership frequent ly in those times. Other early conductors included Mr. Schroeder, Thomas Schmidt (1880), and Theodore Zoeliner (1881). In 1882, Noah Zeller, a native of Breslau, Ontario was engaged as the conductor of the newly-founded Waterloo Musical Society. Zeller conducted the Waterloo Band from 1882 to 1900 and under his direction the band won contests with such regularity that eventually they were barred from competition for many years. During Zeller's term, the band not only competed in tournaments in Ontario, but also participated in Sangerfeste (song festivals) both in Ontario and the United States. Mr. W. Philip, leader of the Waterloo Band from 1903 to 1910, was over sixty years of age when he came to Waterloo and was a leading Canadian musician at that time. W. R. "Fritz" Paul took over from Philip and was the first who brought the title of "Professor" to the Waterloo Band; thereafter all Waterloo bandmasters were called "professor." Mr. J. Pillar, from Hazelton, Pennsylvania served the shortest term as leader and organized the first Boys' Band in 1915. During the last two years of World War I, Mr. E. Trovarelli conducted the band.

C. F. Thiele, a New York cornetist was hired in 1919 from a group of one hundred applicants, and remained as bandmaster until 1951. Thiele had a most profound influence on the Waterloo Musical Society and extended this influence through founding of the Waterloo Music Company and the Waterloo Metal Stampings Company in Waterloo. As founder of the Ontario Amateur Bands' Association in 1922 and co-founder of the Canadian Bandmasters' Association in 1931, his personal connections with such groups enhanced the prominence of the Waterloo Musical Society. Thiele's contemporaries often referred to Waterloo as the "Band Capital of Canada." The Waterloo Musical Society sponsored the Waterloo Band Festivals which were started in 1932 and, with the exception of a few years, were held until 1958. The festivals attracted bands from Canada and the United States, and the Canadian Bandmasters' Conventions brought a number of important educators and musicians to Waterloo. These conventions, initiated in 1932, continued annually until the early 1960s. In addition the annual mid-winter meeting of the Canadian Bandmasters' Association was held in Waterloo and was organized by C. F. Thiele and his staff of the Waterloo Music Company. During his term as bandmaster, Thiele also initiated a programme for junior bands, and attempted to establish a youth band camp at Bamberg, Ontario. After Thiele's resignation in 1951, The Waterloo Band was directed by Fred Roy (1951- 1955), William Gallagher ( 1955-1961), and John Conrad Jr. ( 1962- ). The Waterloo Band, under Conrad's direction, remains an active amateur organization and in 1984 continues to perform in the Waterloo area.



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