Members of the Royal Canadian Air Force Band

Captain Chris Embree joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 1988 as a primary reservist with the King’s Own Calgary Regiment Band. In 1991 Capt Embree transferred from the Primary Reserves to the Regular Force after winning an audition on alto saxophone and was accepted to the Canadian Forces School of Music in Borden. After completing a year and a half of music training on saxophone, Capt Embree was posted to the Air Command Band in Winnipeg. In 1993, he was promoted to the rank of Corporal and a year later completed his Junior Leadership Course in Penhold, AB.

Upon completion of his course Capt Embree was released from the Regular Force as a result of the Forces Reduction Plan and transferred back to the Primary Reserves with the HMCS TECUMSEH Naval Reserve Band in Calgary. Capt Embree was promoted to the rank of Master Seaman in 1995 as a result of his previous Regular Force qualifications. During this time, he was active in the Calgary music scene performing in “Banda Fiebra Latina”, a favourite among the latin communities, and “Blues Land” featuring the Cold Sweat Horns that included performances at the Calgary Stampede.

In 1998 Capt Embree re-auditioned for the Regular Force and was posted to The Royal Canadian Artillery Band in Edmonton and subsequently promoted to the rank of Sergeant. In 2006 Capt Embree Completed his Intermediate Leadership Qualification and in 2008, After serving 10 years with the RCA Band and the Army of the West, was posted to the Naden Band of Maritime Force Pacific, and promoted to the rank of Petty Officer 1st Class. During his 2 years in the Naden Band, he was appointed Drum Major and Jazz Ensemble Leader. In 2010, he completed the QL7 Conducting Course, and was posted to 14 Wing Greenwood as the Bandmaster of the Brass & Reed Volunteer Band. After a short 11 months working with the 14 Wing Band, he was promoted to Master Warrant Officer and posted to The Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, as the Band Officer.

In 2012 Capt Embree was commissioned to his current rank and upon completion of the Music Officer Course in Borden, was subsequently posted to Canadian Forces Logistics Training Centre Music Division as the Officer in Charge. In 2016 Capt Embree was posted back to the Royal Canadian Artillery Band as the Commanding Officer and Director of Music.

Career highlights to date include performing in and leading the massed band as Drum Major at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic and Paralympic Games, twice leading the RCA Band as Director of Music for the Queen's Guard in London, UK, and Conducting the Sunset Ceremony at the 100th Anniversary Commemoration of Vimy Ridge in France. Under Capt Embree's leadership, the RCA Band received the Colonel Commandant of the Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery Unit Commendation, the 3rd Canadian Division Commander's Unit Commendation and most recently received the Colonel Commandant of The Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery Commendation for outstanding achievements in support of the Royal Regiment. He now proudly looks forward to taking over as Commanding Officer and Director of Music of the Royal Canadian Air Force Band.

Captain Embree has been happily married to his wife Jane for 23 years, and has a son Hayden, aged 13. In his spare time, he enjoys travelling, camping and the outdoors, and building and flying model aircraft.

Captain Chris Embree, CD

Master Warrant Officer (MWO) Curtis Bamford joined the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) in 2004 as a primary reservist with the Band of the Ceremonial Guard in Ottawa. He holds a bachelor’s degree in saxophone performance from the University of Manitoba and received his master’s degree from the University of Minnesota, where he studied with the legendary classical saxophonist, Eugene Rousseau. MWO Bamford proudly served with the Royal Winnipeg Rifles in the summer of 2005, before completing a component transfer to the regular force in 2006, becoming a member of the Air Command Band. After completing his Primary Leadership Qualification in 2007, where he received the LAC Gravel peer-nominated leadership award, he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant. At this time, MWO Bamford was very active in the Winnipeg music scene, serving as principal saxophonist of the Winnipeg Wind Ensemble, as saxophone instructor at the Canadian Mennonite University and the University of Manitoba, and as a regular performer with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, which included performing as a featured soloist in the 2010 New Music Festival.

MWO Bamford was posted to the Royal Canadian Artillery (RCA) Band in Edmonton in 2011. In addition to his musical duties, he completed the Winter Warfare course, Wilderness Survival training with the Canadian Rangers, and the Basic Parachutist Course. Appointed to Drum Major in 2012, MWO Bamford led the RCA Band in numerous ceremonial engagements, including the Calgary Stampede Parade, Okanagan Military Tattoo, and the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry 100th Anniversary Parade. Promoted to Warrant Officer (WO) in 2015, he attended the year-long French course in Edmonton before returning to the RCA Band as the Operations WO in 2016.

Returning to Winnipeg in 2017, MWO Bamford served as the Acting Senior Warrant Officer and Standards and Training WO. He completed the Warrant Officer Rank Qualification conducting course in 2018. MWO Bamford was promoted to his current rank and appointed Senior Warrant Officer of the Royal Canadian Air Force Band in September of 2020.

Throughout his career, MWO Bamford has been fortunate to participate in numerous national and international musical deployments, including the 90th and 100th Anniversaries of the Battle of Vimy Ridge in France, the 60th Anniversary of the Liberation of Seoul in South Korea, the Nijmegen Marches in the Netherlands, the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Beaumont-Hammel in France, and public duties in London, England. Most recently, he served as Drum Major for the CAF Composite Pipes & Drums at the 75th Anniversary of the D-Day landings at Juno Beach, France.

MWO Bamford is married to former CAF musician, and current High School music teacher, Sgt (Ret’d) Janine Brémault Bamford, and is a proud father of their son Drew. In addition to music and family, MWO Bamford enjoys hockey, personal fitness, home construction projects, and campfires in the backyard.

MWO Godere

Band members

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