The Courier

Master Warrant Officer Sylvain Beyries (at left) leads the 4 Wing Band at their Christmas concert in 2022 – File Photo

Master Warrant Officer Sylvain Beyries is taking a final bow as 4 Wing Bandmaster. The 4 Wing Band maestro is moving on to a new challenge as he departs Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Cold Lake for the City of Edmonton.

I was posted to Cold Lake in July 2020, and it was my first posting here,” explains Beyries. “It was also my first time being a Bandmaster. I had conducted a regular force band, but that wasn’t my full-time job.”

“I’ve been with the 4 Wing Band for almost 4 years and today I can tell you that the band is completely different. The musical level they have reached in so little time is very impressive. Also, the number of members has doubled since I started.”

He says several moments in his time leading the band stick out as memorable.

“One was the Calgary Stampede last year. The public showed their warm appreciation to us all the way while we were marching and playing. The reaction and dedication of the band members were priceless. They enjoyed it so much and shared their enthusiasm with me after.”

“I wasn’t conducting the band but rather in front as the Drum-Major. Every time we stopped people rushed to us to take photos. I think it felt good for them to feel appreciated for who they are, representing the RCAF, and for what they are doing as musicians.”

“Also, all Christmas and Spring concerts were very rewarding for the band members,” adds Beyries. “They were able to share with the audience their passion and hard work and, at the same time, be rewarded with their grateful applause.”

Beyries will soon make the move to Alberta’s capital city, where he will take on a non-musical role with the Regional Cadet Support Unit. He says that doesn’t mean he won’t have opportunities to make more music.

“I have the great opportunity to be a substitute for the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and, when it’s possible, I will take time off to join the orchestra for a few programs during the year.”

On June 5th, the 4 Wing Band performed a concert with the Cold Lake High School Band. A small ceremony took place, where Warrant Officer Adam Gaw was announced as the new 4 Wing Bandmaster. Before the first piece was played, Beyries received a special presentation.

“The Wing Commander and the Wing Chief Warrant Officer surprised me by giving me a promotion to Master Warrant Officer!”

“I have had the chance to meet dedicated and passionate non-professional musicians in my time with the band,” explains Beyries.  “As a professional musician, it was a big lesson learned of how to keep your passion that I must admit, sometimes, I unfortunately focused too much on performance rather than on what brought me there.”

“I can say that it has been a very rewarding experience and I’m so grateful that I’ve been the Band Master of this wonderful volunteer band.”





Share via
Copy link