Originally called the Richmond Secondary Schools Representative Band, it was formed in 1976 as an honour band with a six week season. The band continued through 1977 and in May 1978 performed for Richmond’s sister city twinning ceremonies in Wakayama, Japan. In September 1978 the band became a permanent fixture in the Richmond fine arts community, changed its name to RYCB, and grew into its current format of a full concert band with jazz ensemble. The RYCB has enjoyed the directorship of music educators Ken Hackwell, Earl Hobson, Len Kay, Garth Bowen and its present director, David Fromager.
In the early years, the RYCB travelled to Britain and the Northwest Territory. Now the RYCB stays closer to home and has taken part in numerous festivals in the British Columbia Lower Mainland and has shared the stage with the Richmond Orchestra, Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s Wind Symphony, Delta Youth Orchestra and Richmond Youth Orchestra.
The RYCB has always been involved in the community, performing at various venues such as senior centres, community events (Steveston Salmon Festival and Santa Claus Parade, Rick Hansen’s Man In Motion Run), Expo’86, and most recently the Richmond O-Zone for the 2010 Winter Olympics.
In 2008 the RYCB celebrated its 30th anniversary. This was also British Columbia’s 150th anniversary. The RYCB was fortunate to have the support of the provincial government and was able commission music to celebrate the event.
The Richmond Youth Concert Band is not part of the Richmond School District’s Fine Arts Program. It is a separate entity and relies on membership fees, fund raising events and various grants to fund its program.
Supporting the Community
The RYCB supports its community by providing opportunities for the band members to raise funds for other community organizations. Over the years the RYCB has been involved in fundraising events for the development of Gateway Theatre in Richmond, Tsunami Relief, Richmond Family Place and our ongoing partnership with the Richmond Food Bank. We also support the Rotary Club in their annual Winter Wonderland event.
The Richmond Food Bank Society is the recipient of the RYCB’s community support. The premiere concert of each season is the Food Bank Benefit Concert. Admission to the concert is a donation (in cash or non-perishable food) to the Food Bank.
In the spring the RYCB holds its Musical Gala. This event is a dinner, concert and silent auction. The band members work very hard preparing for the performance and the parent association works equally hard organizing the event and gathering items for the auction. The Richmond Food Bank Society is the recipient of a large portion of the funds raised at this event.