About the City Band

Well, way back around about 1905 ...

It all started with William George Iles who emigrated from Birmingham England in May of 1905 and almost at once set up the local Owen Sound Salvation Army band. By the end of the Great War, William was leading this unit as well as the Owen Sound Regiment Band and the Legion Band, and shortly after the new town's incorporation in 1920, he combined all three units to form the official Owen Sound City Band - the news was covered in the local press with a single line to say William Iles was granted $500 by order of council, July 20, 1920.

William continued to lead the combined band for another nine years before handing the baton (literally) to John Cowie who then lead the band for 25 straight years. The tradition has continued without interruption through to the present day, making the Owen Sound City Band arguably the oldest community concert band still owned and funded by its namesake city!

The Owen Sound City Band is an all-ages ensemble that plays a wide range of concert band music, from Bach to Burt Bacharach, Dixieland to Disco, Neal Hefti to The Beatles, and much more. John Cowie's grandson remembers playing in the band when he was 7, and our present band has regular members almost as young and nearly ten times as old. Rehearsals are school-day Monday evenings from 7:30 to 9:30 from Sept to June at the old OSCVI (music room 121) and in the summer months we can be found same time at our bandstand in Harrison Park. Everyone is welcome!