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The Band of Liberation (Holland)

The Band of Liberation - Army Band
Music for veterans - we will never forget the soldiers who gave their lives for our freedom

In 2000, the people of The Netherlands commemorated the 55th anniversary of the end of the Second World War. In 1945, the German occupation of the Netherlands ended by the signing of the capitulation in the 'De Wereld' Hotel in Wageningen, in the province of Gelderland. The Second World War had ended at last.

The Band of Liberation was founded by Simon Dubbelaar to mark the aforementioned commemoration held in 2000. The Band of Liberation, dressed as Canadian serviceman, play a repertoire of music originating from the Second World War. No less than 35 hand-picked musicians were asked to join the band. A large number of the selected musicians are former members of Royal Netherlands Army Bands and are therefore experienced in traditional army band music.

The Band of Liberation was originally formed to give a one-off performance at the Rhine Tattoo in 2000. The success of that performance, the appreciation of the audience and the congenial atmosphere during rehearsals made the musicians decide to stay together and, subsequently, the Band of Liberation was born. Since then, the repertoire has expanded by the inclusion of several more marches, remembrance hymns and popular songs from the Secong World War, ranging from Glenn Miller to Vera Lynn.

Since the first performance at the Rhine Tattoo in 2000, many veterans, organisations have become aware of the existence of the band. The Band of Liberation performs regularly at events organised by and for veterans. Many veterans from all over the world have seen the band perform and listened tot heir music. One veteran made a remark some time ago, during the annual Liberation Day parade in Wageningen, which really touched the musicians. The veteran saluted and said: 'Most bands are good, but you guys from the Band of Liberation are dressed like us and play our music. You Are Us'. That was a great compliment to the band from someone who we will never forget.

Since 2000, the Band of Liberaiton has taken part in a great number of remembrance ceremonies, events and parades. The band is a regular guest at the 5th May Liberation Day parade in Wageningen and at the Dutch Veterans Day, held annually on June 29 in The Hague. The latter event is the offical commemoration of all Dutch war veterans and has been held on HRH Prince Bernhard's birthday since he died in 2004. The band does not only play at official ceremonies.

Many other liberation events, parades and tattoos have been added to the list of performances, such as the Grand Parade in West Brabant in 2004 (to commemorate the liberation of West Brabnt in 1944) where the band marched together with veterans of the 'Timberwolf' 101st US Infantry Division along with 250 army vehicles from 'Keep Them Rolling', a Dutch organisation that restores and maintains Second World War vehicles. In 2008, the Band of Liberation was asked to perform together with army bands from all over Europe during the last weekend of the 'Musikparade' Tattoo Tour in Germany. All of this puts the band in a unique position in the army scene in the Netherlands.

We welcome the band to his year's special festival

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