Rob Bennett has been a member since 1977, when he joined the Peanut Band -- the feeder group for the Band (since renamed the Junior Redcoats).
In 1979, he moved up to the Teen Tour Band percussion section, playing cymbals, bass drum and triple drums until 1984. In 1984, he became one of the Band’s drum majors and served in that position until retiring from active membership in 1989.
From 1983 to 1986, he served three consecutive terms as president and past president of the Band executive. During this period, his contribution to the community was acknowledged by the Rotary Club of Burlington, which awarded him with a Youth Appreciation plaque. While serving on the Band’s elected executive he originated the idea of presenting commerorative rings to Band members with five consecutive years of service.
The ring presentation has become one of the highlights of the Band’s annual year-end banquet and dance.
In 1993, Bennett helped establish the Teen Tour Band Alumni Association.
His career as a Band instructor began in the early 1990’s, when he began to assist the Drum Majors and Section Leaders during marching practice. He also designed and instructed the drill for a Scarborough barbershop singing group of 75 members, which subsequently won an international championship in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In September 1998, Rob was appointed to the position of full time Managing Director of the Band and Music Programs Manager for the City of Burlington’s Parks and Recreation Department.
Rob was also the Chair of the Lt. Governor's Ontario Medal for Young Volunteers selection committee and in 2013 he was awarded the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal for his service to youth.
Francis Smith’s musical journey began at a young age when he first started playing the piano. At age 11 he turned his focus to studying the clarinet and saxophone, of which the latter would become his principal instrument. He holds a Bachelor of Music in Performance from the University of Toronto, and a Bachelor of Education from Nipissing University. Francis has taught Instrumental Music at both the elementary and secondary levels with the Halton District School Board since 2015, and is a member of the Ontario College of Teachers and the Ontario Music Educators’ Association.
Francis’ involvement with the Burlington Teen Tour Band began when he joined the Junior Redcoats in 1994. He moved up into the ranks of the Burlington Teen Tour Band in the spring of 1995. In 1998, he was promoted to Section Leader and in 2000 became one of the band’s Drum Majors, a position he maintained until his retirement as a band member in 2005. During his time in the band, he was a longtime member of the saxophone quartet, and served on the band’s executive in the Fundraiser and Vice President roles.
In 2007, Francis joined the Teen Tour Band’s instructional staff in the role of Woodwind Instructor. At the end of 2018, following the retirement of Sir William Hughes, he was appointed to the position of Interim Musical Director. In March 2020, Francis was formally named as the band’s new Musical Director and Associate Director of Bands and Music Services for the City of Burlington’s Recreation Services Department.
Francis currently lives in Burlington with his wife, two young children, and two longhaired miniature dachshunds named Wynton and Chet. Outside of his musical endeavors he maintains an active lifestyle that includes strength training, scuba diving, and a passion for really great coffee.
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