The Montfort Military Band has had a rich history, spanning over 50 years. Over these five magnificent decades, we have, from a humble bugle band, grown to become a military band that is known widely throughout Singapore.
Our inception in 1951 was due to a wild and bold ambition by the Holy Innocents High School Scouts Troop. The idea to set up a bugle band materialised with the purchase of about 5 bugles. Soon, the sound of the untrained players gave rise to the appointment of Mr. E.V. Smith, the superintendent of the Singapore Police Training School as the bands instructor. He was succeeded by Bro. Adolphus in 1953.
In 1953, a brass band was formed and the bugle band merged with this band to form the Holy Innocents Scouts Brass Band with about 20 members, providing music for school and public functions, increasing her popularity in Singapore. Under the baton of Brother Philibert, the band soared to greater heights within four years. In 1967, Mr. Krempl, a British professional musician, took over and the band continued to give numerous public performances.
From 1959 onwards, the Holy Innocents High School changed its name to Montfort School and Bro. Andrew shared duties with Mr. Krempl who had taken ill, passing away in 1963 and Bro Andrew took the lead. Under his leadership, the bands membership increased to 50.
Between 1960-1970, the School Band participated and won top positions at the Central Judging of Singapores School Bands, even receiving the highly coveted Mace of Honour in 1970 from the hands of Mr. Ong Pang Boon, then Minister of Education. Sadly, Brother Andrew left the school in 1971 and the band was taken over by different conductors until 1975 which saw the entry of Mr. Robert Toh as instructor.
Mr. Toh stayed with the band for almost 20 years until he was taken over by Mr. Nicholas Lim, an old boy of the school. In the year 1997, the band clinched a Bronze award at the SYF Central Judging of Indoor Bands under Mr. Lim. That year, Mr. Ng Eng Kee who entered as a music teacher in 1997, became the Bands next conductor, bringing the band to SYF 1999 where she clinched a Silver award. Mr. Ng also initiated the Montfiesta and A Little Christmas Music Concert Series in the same year, conducting the band at her first two Montfiestas at the Victoria Concert Hall and the first Christmas Concert in the school hall.
Due to Mr. Ng's transfer to the Ministry of Education as a Curriculum Specialist in 1999, the band was left to the leadership of Mrs. Arlene Chan, its Teacher co-ordinator-cum-instructor and music teacher in the school. In April 2001, Mrs. Chan brought the band to the Central Judging for Concert Bands, clinching a Bronze award. Later that year, unperturbed by a plethora of hurdles, Mrs. Chan led the band to a rousing Montfiesta 4. Sadly, after a momentous 2 years, Mrs. Chan left the school and Band to continue her quest of bringing higher music education to others.
In late September 2001, Mr. Tay Jiun Ngiap, a trumpet specialist and member of the Singapore Wind Symphony, stepped in as the band's resident conductor, leading the band to its most successful Christmas Concert. Mr. Tay later led the band to a rousing Montfiesta 5 at the Victoria Concert Hall in June 2002. After a highly eventful and productive one and half years, Mr. Tay had to take his leave of the band.
January 2003 saw Mr. Ng Eng Kee rejoining Montfort Secondary School as HOD of Aesthetics and once again taking the baton of Montfort Military Band. He led the Band to the SYF Central Judging for Concert Bands of 2003, where we received a silver award, as well as the well received Monfiesta VI at the Esplanade Concert Hall on 30th June 2003.
In 2004, he is appointed as HOD of Aesthetics and Library. As the Band Advisor and Conductor, he will lead the 100 strong ensemble for another busy yet fruitful year. "Montfiesta VII" will be held at the Esplanade Concert Hall on 5 July. Besides performing in the first N4 Arts Festival to held at the Kallang Theatre in Jun, the Band participated in the SYF Outdoor Marching Assessment in Apr 2004 and clinched a Certificate of Merit.
Mr. Ng Eng Kee left the Band in December 2004 and now the band is put under the baton of Mr. Darence Leng.
The band instills in its members for a love for music and promotes music as part of daily living.The band serves as a platform from which budding musicians can display their musical talents to the public.The band also aims to produce well-rounded leaders of tomorrow.