In a rare display of football-related cooperation, alumni of the Queen's Bands recently joined with their counterparts from Western and Waterloo to form Argonotes, the Toronto Argonauts Band. The group, started by former University of Waterloo Warriors Band leader Steve Hayman, supports the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League at their games at the Skydome.
Members of the group range from recent graduates of the three schools, to seasoned veterans such as euphonium player Doug Shanks, Engineering '51. "I almost sold my euphonium two years ago", he reports. "Now I'm very glad I didn't!"
"Finding a mixture of tunes that will appeal to the wide variety of people in this group has been a challenge", Hayman says. "So far, it seems to be working. The Argos are 2-0 in games attended by the band, and 0-3 on the road when we weren't there. Obviously the team's perfect record is a reflection on the presence of the band."
The group has around 30 members at the moment, and is always interested in recruiting more. "We can certainly use more Queen's alumni", Hayman says. The group rehearses once per week on Wednesdays and performs at all the Argo home games. "In the beautiful, climate-controlled Skydome", he adds. "We're not exactly a marching band, but we do move around the stadium before, during and after the games to make sure that everyone gets a chance to hear our dulcet tones."
"It's been a good time for me this summer - it's just nice to play again!" says clarinetist John Empey (B.Ed '84), a Special Education teacher for the Scarborough Board of Education.. Queen's Bands alumni who are interested in finding out more about Argonotes are welcome to call John at (416) 362-1517, or the band's treasurer, ex-Queen's flautist Julie Duke (B.Ed. '92) at (905) 821-4364.