Former Bandmasters

Craig Lewis

Craig received all of his early musical training through The Salvation Army’s youth programs, but it was not until Don Giles introduced him to the trombone at the Halifax North corps that he really took an interest in music making. Craig was subsequently enrolled as a senior bandsman at Fairview Citadel on Easter Sunday in 1985. With moving to Southern Ontario Craig soldiered at Mountain Citadel Corps (Hamilton), where he was a bandsman, also holding the role of Bandmaster in 2011.

Appointed to the Canadian Staff Band in 1994, Craig had spent half his life playing first trombone with the CSB, including more than 15 years as the principal and trombone soloist with the band. Tours with the CSB had taken him from coast to coast in Canada, Bermuda, across the US and overseas to Brazil, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Germany and England. Craig was a 2nd generation staff bandsman; his father, Doug, played Eb bass in the band and later was also the Executive Officer. In addition, Craig had performed, recorded and toured with diverse groups such as the Canadian Forces (Europe) Band, the McMaster University Concert Band, Huronia Symphony Orchestra, Intrada Brass, Brass Sabbath, Weston Silver Band, Melody Shop Brass Quintet and Sophisticated Swing.

Craig was the founding Bandmaster of the Territorial Youth Band (TYB) for the Canada and Bermuda Territory, taking them on an inaugural tour to California to participate in the 2019 Tournament of Roses Parade. His work with young people had seen him as a conductor at music camps in Alberta, Quebec, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, as well as an international music camp in Los Angeles that involved musicians from Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the USA, and Canada.

Professionally, Craig had a varied background in commercial finance, including managing a $250 million aircraft portfolio, and held an executive position with an international Christian aviation organization where he was responsible for all aspects of fundraising, marketing and communications in Canada. In 2015, Craig was appointed as the Territorial Secretary for Music & Gospel Arts for the Canada and Bermuda Territory. Also in 2019, Craig became the Bandmaster of Heritage Brass; an active group of older or retired musicians committed to music ministry. Craig retired as Bandmaster of HB in June 2022 due to a change in Craig’s employment situation.

Bob Gray

Bob started playing the cornet at the age of 7 in the Lisgar Street Young Peoples’ Band. At age 10 the family transferred to the Earlscourt Corps where Bob was enrolled as a senior soldier and became a member of the senior band. Since then Bob has played cornet and flugel horn with the Scarborough Citadel Band, the Bloor Central Corps Band, North Toronto Citadel Band, Agincourt Temple Band, Yorkminster Citadel Band and the Canadian Staff Band.

Bob’s first leadership experience came while at the Scarborough Corps where he led the learners’ Band and the Youth Band. He has also served as Bandmaster at Bloor Central and Yorkminster Citadel. Bob also led the DYPD Blood & Fire Brass.

Bob was a music educator with the Toronto District School Board where he spent 38 years teaching music to literally hundreds of students. His education includes Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Education degrees from the University of Toronto and a Master of Arts in Music Education from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester NY.

Dean Westover

Dean has a long history of Salvation Army banding and musical leadership. He has provided leadership over the years to Y.P and Youth Bands, as well as Corps bands including The Guelph and Etobicoke Temple Senior Bands. At the conclusion of his time with Heritage Brass, Dean continued to give musical leadership to the Etobicoke Temple Band.

Ian Watkinson

After leaving school at 16, Ian joined the RAOC Staff Band and graduated from the Military School of Music, Kneller Hall in 1954. He continued at the principal cornet of the RAOC until 1961. He then joined the Tottenham Citadel Band and participated in their 1964 tour of Canada and the USA on soprano cornet.

Ian then immigrated to Canada following the tour and soldiered at Earlscourt Citadel Band as their soprano cornet player.

He was commissioned Bandmaster of the Dovercourt Citadel Band in January 1967 and moved with the corps to Etobicoke in 1969 where he completed over 12 years as Bandmaster. Following that, he became Bandmaster at Earlscourt for almost two years and then moved to Vancouver Temple Band in the late seventies for three years.

Ian was a founding member of the Canadian Staff Band and completed over 18 years, culminating with his recall to the band for the 2010/11 season, enabling him to participate in the ISB120 celebrations in England in June 2011.

During his 47 years in Canada, he had participated in music camps at Junior and Senior Divisional level in Greater Toronto and also Territorial camps.

Ian was promoted to glory in the Fall of 2012. He was married to Isobel (nee Skinner). They have three children and four grandchildren.

Brian Burditt

Brian Burditt served as Bandmaster of Heritage Brass for approximately two years (2009-2010). Brian was born and raised in Hamilton, Ontario. There, he was a member of the Argyle Citadel Corps where he was Bandmaster for 17 years.

Holding a Bachelor of Arts degree in music and a Master of Education degree, Brian was a professional music educator with 20 years of experience in vocal and instrumental music at the elementary and secondary school level.

After three years as Deputy Bandmaster under Major Robert Redhead, Brian assumed the role of Bandmaster for the Canadian Staff Band on August 1, 1985.

After relinquishing the baton, Brian played in Heritage Brass as a member of the cornet section.
Brian was Promoted to Glory May 4th 2018.

Geoffry Norton
2002-2009: 2013 – Jan. 2014

Geoffery studied brass band conducting and performance in the U.K. and was previously the Bandmaster of the Etobicoke Temple and Kitchener Citadel bands of The Salvation Army in Canada.

Geoff was a seven-year veteran of Heritage Brass who “played” the “stick” the whole time (2002 to 2009). He retired as Bandmaster of Heritage Brass on July 8th, 2009. He was a fourth-generation Salvationist and held local officer positions of bandmaster and Songster leader at various corps. The Norton’s soldiered at Northridge Community Church (Newmarket) and Geoff was a former member of the Canadian Staff Band.

Geoff re-assumed interim leadership of the band again in January 2013, wielding the “stick” until January 2014, then continued his membership with HB as a ‘playing’ member until his death.

Geoff was Promoted to Glory March 5th 2021.


Bill Burditt

Bandmaster Bill Burditt is now with the Lord but was a third generation Salvationist and a soldier of the Hamilton Temple Corps, where he was also bandmaster. Hamilton Temple Band was ranked among the top Salvation Army bands in the country! He later developed the Argyle Citadel band into an exceptional combination. He and wife Marguerite attended the Winterberry Heights Corps in Hamilton. Bill was also a member of the cornet section of H.B. and was a founding member of the band.


Ted Robbins

Ted quickly rose to become one of the world’s premier Euphonium soloists and bandmasters both in and out of the Salvation Army. At 18, he was invited to the Central Music Institute (CMI, in The Salvation Army Central Territory) to be their guest soloist and euphonium/baritone instructor. Two years later, at age 20, Ted entered the Air Force and quickly established himself as the Royal Canadian Air Force Band soloist.

In 1988, Ted was approached by retired B/M Vic Kingston (Agincourt) to play in the newly formed Toronto Reservist Band of which Vic was the founding Bandmaster. When B/M Kingston retired from the reservist band, Ted was asked to be the new bandmaster, a position he held until 1996. In 1995, Ted was recognized for his significant contributions to music by receiving the Pauline McGibbon Life Achievement in the Arts Award.


Vic Kingston

Bandmaster Kingston was an internationally known Salvation Army Bandmaster. He was born and educated in England and grew up in Leytonstone Corps where he obtained his grounding in instrumental and vocal music. He was married to his wife Greta at Leytonstone, London and over the years he served the Corps both as YPSM and Bandmaster. For a period of time, he was also Bandmaster at Ilford Corps, and Songster Leader at Tottenham Corps. Vic. was employed at The Salvation Army Publishing and Supplies Dept. (International Headquarters). He was a member of the SP&S Singers and the SP&S Band. He was also a member of the cornet section of The International Staff Band of The Salvation Army.

In 1951, The Kingstons moved to Canada settling in at North Toronto Citadel where he took up the responsibilities as Bandmaster. In 1958 he was commissioned as Bandmaster at Danforth Citadel, a position he held until he officially retired in 1967. Later, on two other occasions he carried on as interim Bandmaster both at Danforth and when the Corps became Agincourt Temple. Victor Kingston was a meticulous band trainer and had a great interest in young people which was exemplified through participation in divisional and national music camps.

After some years of retirement, Vic was asked to form a Reservists Band in the Greater Toronto Area and thus, he became the founding Bandmaster of The Metro Toronto Reservists Band which was the forerunner of what is now known as Heritage Brass. Vic molded the Metro Toronto Reservists Band into a musical unit of very high caliber before relinquishing his duties to Ted Robbins in 1992.