Cranbrook Girls Bugle Band, in search of a new beginning

The band was founded in 1941 by the late Pop Price, who was struck with the idea to form a group to keep young ladies from idle-ship. He wanted to create an institution that would give the girls a solid foundation into adulthood while giving them a sense of self-pride, teamwork, and embarking on an adventure as ambassadors of the Cranbrook community and Canada as a whole.

Pop Price c.1949
Pop Price c.1949

This nugget of wisdom resulted in the formation of a phenomenon that has lasted for over seven decades, almost a century. Price was dedicated to his girls and practices were once held on Tenth Avenue, in the Armories Building, which was destroyed by a fire.

He taught discipline, leadership, and a sense of fun and curiosity to the girls, while encouraging them to keep their heads held high as they mastered their bugles, marched to the tune of their hearts and showcased the best of Cranbrook. His attitude about "his girls" was evident in this statement.

"God bless you, every one of my girls."

Cranbrook Girls Bugle Band c.1989
Cranbrook Girls Bugle Band c.1989

Following Pop's command, Eddie Price (his son) took over the directorship, followed by long-running director Joyce Metcalfe (who led for an impressive 42-years). In 1996, Ronalds took over after having worked as Joyce's assistant for three years and as a band member of seven years.

Cranbrook Girls Bugle Band
Cranbrook Girls Bugle Band

The board of directors asked Ronalds to come home from the Maritimes, where she had relocated and to take the helm. She agreed.

The committed Ronalds took over with enthusiasm and has remained true to the band for all of these years, with membership running as high as 80 at one point. Crystal Stevely Muir assumed leadership briefly in 2012, but affairs took her elsewhere, and Ronalds resumed the directorship.