The year 2000 was the year in which The Netherlands commemorated its 55 years of freedom. 55 years ago the allied forces chased the Germans out of the country. 55 years ago in hotel De Wereld the capitulation of Germany was affirmed on paper with which peace in Europe could start. The Second World War and a severe occupation period were over.
In the year 2000 a period of 55 years of freedom was commemorated in The Netherlands. This was enough reason for the board of the foundation Internationale Rijntaptoe (International Rhine Tattoo) to dedicate a theme to the Rhine tattoo. The marching band management was invited to form a special band exclusively for this occasion and for the program’s part labelled ‘Liberation’. The members of this band would be dressed in Second World War allied uniforms and play music from that same period.
35 especially selected and experienced musicians were approached. A large number of them were former soldiers who had experience in traditional military marching-music. This experience they got from several military brass and drummer bands. Music was collected and authentic Canadian battle dresses were found. And so The Band or The Liberation Army Band came into being. The initial intention was that The Band of Liberation would organise a one time performance during the Internationale Rijntaptoe, edition 2000, within the framework of the commemoration of the liberation.
However, the immense succes of the performance for the audience and the atmosphere during the rehearsals caused that voices were heard proposing to grant The Band of Liberation an existence of full value, because it made many former soldiers think back of their own term of service, whether or not it was filled with music. The repertoire had quite expanded in the meantime and did no longer confie itself to old marching music. Also music by Glenn Miller, Vera Lynn and many beautiful chorales were performed by the band, of course all of them in the style of the Second World War’s period.
Nowadays many organisations for veterans are aware of The Band that is much wanted on many events for veterans. Many veterans abroad and at home have warm feelings for The Band of Liberation. One remark remains vivid in the memory of the participants, which was made by a veteran standing to attention when The Band passed by during the march-past on May 5th a few years ago: “All bands here are fun, but you wear our uniforms and play our music. You are us!” A bigger compliment cannot be imaginable. This way the merits of The Band of Liberation have been largely acknowledged and it has become a regular phenomenon during the liberation’s march-past in Wageningen each May 5th for which the veterans each year anew request The Band of Liberation. The Band of Liberation participates in many small liberation events, commemorations and parades. One example is the huge parade in Western Brabant, october 2004, where next to The Band of Liberation also American veterans of the101st Infantry Division “Timberwolf” and 250 military vehicles of Keep Them Rolling participated. As such, The Band is a unique phenomenon in the Dutch music scene.
Today The Band of Liberation is still very much alive. The amount of members is growing steadily and The Band is a much invited guest to several parades, commemorations, tattoos, and alike. Beside its busy preparations in the framwork of 60 Years of Freedom, The Band manages to enthousiastically celebrate its jubilee year of 2005 by recording its own CD. This CD that was presented on April 23d, 2005, was entitled “Meet the Gang” and contains nostalgic music that makes especially the elder among us remember the time when the Canadians drove into the cities. It is music that makes “Meet the Gang” into a real treat. A next album The Band produced in 2008 was entitled;”Music for Veterans”. These unique CDs can be bought through this website.
One other absolute highlight in its history took place during the spring of 2008.
For the first time The Band of Liberation was in the programme of the German Tattoo circus “Musikparade”. Among several military bands from 7 different countries it was The Band that truely warmed the hearts of the audience and the organisation. The reaction were overwhelming and the organisation immediately wanted to book The Band for several week ends in 2009.
The whole of it is under the qualified supervision of major J.C. Dubbelaar and captain S. Dubbelaar. They make sure that everybody is concentrated in order to have each performance secured for its success.