• Kimberley Falk

Concert in Scarlets - RMC Series - Kingston East News past issues.

There was a spectacular show of red as the Royal Military College’s Concert in Scarlets stole the night, March 9, at the Grand Theatre. The hall was full of eager spectators who await the excitement and passion of this concert each year. “This is the first time that the Concert in Scarlets was performed at the Grand Theatre,” NCdt Wilson Ho, the officer cadet in charge of the concert, said in an interview. “The Concert in Scarlets has been performed at various venues around Kingston and at RMCC as well.” A lot of work goes into preparing for the yearly concert. “During the Concert in Scarlets, the first half is the Brass and Reed, Choir and other music groups, such as the RnB Band, [who] perform. The second half is the Pipes and Drums alongside the Highland Dancers. This year we had special performances by ALOY, the fencing team and drill team,” says OCdt Victoria Pierrot, who is part of the ALOY Program at RMCC. The ALOY program, known as the Aboriginal Leadership Opportunity Year, is a relatively new program at the college. “ALOY had three First Nations dancers and did traditional drumming and singing, while the fencing and drill team performed a choreographed routine with the band providing the music.”

The Concert is an exciting time for the band, the groups that partake, and the college itself. “It's a time for everyone to dress up in our highest order of dress at the college and show off our multi-talented musical sides! Our ability to put on such an exceptional tableau always blows the audience away, since we walk on stage ready to perform in a fraction of the time it takes professional bands to prepare for a concert,” says OCdt Eliza Rose Bruce, a member of the band who plays piano, clarinet and vocals. What she loves most about the concert is that “we all shock ourselves with our own performances in the moment, and the positive reception of our efforts afterwards!” On the significance of RMCC to herself, she remarks, “RMC itself is full of grandeur and heritage in its history and buildings, and brings with it a sense of pride, yes, but is also quite humbling when we consider what we are being entrusted with: the future leadership roles of the military.”

Montreal born Jeanne-Mance Brassard, who is training to serve as a marine surface and subsurface officer (MARS), says, “The one thing I loved most about the concert is all the team work and coordination it took to orchestrate such an event and to achieve such results. What I love most about RMC are the challenges I am faced with and how I have push[ed] myself to surpass them.” In French she adds, “Je suis constamment entourée et imprégnée des traditions et de la riche histoire du CRM. Je me sens extrêmement privilégiée de faire partie d’une organisation si prestigieuse.” She is constantly surrounded and steeped by the rich history and culture of RMC and is extremely privileged to be part of such a prestigious organization.

The Concert in Scarlets has been an annual Spring concert for decades and the band has been a dear part of RMCC culture since 1953, where it started as just a drum and pipes band. The band has grown exponentially over the decades providing the music for so many parades and functions on campus. Ho, a tenor in the choir, who has been singing in choirs since he was a child, will be going on to become the Cadet Wing Band Officer for next year. Being part of the band means being part of a project that needs hard work and determination to sound as one. The experience as part of the college itself is the same. Ho says, “We all enter RMCC as individuals, but we all leave here, commissioned, as a big family, as we all share experiences we all have been through.” He finished by saying, “RMCC has an amazing band made up of Cadets from first year to fourth year. They’ve all volunteered their time to partake in the band and it is an honour to be playing alongside them. We are making the Concerts that RMCC hosts more accessible to the general public of Kingston, so be on the lookout for our concerts next year!”