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The Guards Band

Kaartin soittokunta (The Guards Band) is the oldest operational orchestra in Finland, founded in Parola on April 1, 1819 during the period. It is an official representative military band of the Finnish Defence Forces. The orchestra plays mostly classical, military and march music in various official and public events. The band's most important annual concerts are the Töölö concerts (four free wind music concerts in Temppeliaukio Church of Helsinki), entertainment concerts in spring at Finlandia Hall and a classical concert in Helsinki Music Centre.[1][2]

As of 2013, Kaartin soittokunta consists of a chief (music major Jyrki Koskinen), a conductor (music captain Ville Paakkunainen)[3]) and 48 musicians. It is the only full professional symphonic wind band in Finland.

Different names[edit | edit source]

During its history the orchestra has operated under various names:

  • Helsingin Opetuspataljoonan soittokunta 1819-1827
  • Suomen Opetustarkk'ampujapataljoonan soittokunta 1827-1829
  • Henkivartioväen Suomen tarkk'ampujapataljoonan soittokunta 1829-1878
  • Henkivartioväen 3. Suomen tarkk'ampujapataljoonan soittokunta 1878-1905
  • Helsingin Torvisoittokunta 1901-1918
  • Pohjois-Pohjanmaan rykmentin soittokunta 1918
  • Suomen Valkoisen Kaartin rykmentin soittokunta 1918
  • Valkoisen Kaartin rykmentin soittokunta 1918-1919
  • Suomen Valkoisen Kaartin rykmentin soittokunta 1919-1940
  • Helsingin Varuskunnan soittokunta 1941-1952
  • Helsingin Varuskunnan soittokunta I 1952
  • Helsingin Varuskuntasoittokunta 1952-1990
  • Kaartin soittokunta 1990-

History[edit | edit source]

  • Founded in Parola on April 1, 1819 as the band of the Helsingin Opetuspataljoona (Helsinki Drill Battalion).
  • First the band had only three musicians but in the end of year it had grown to twelve with Josef Thaddeus Tvarjansky as the conductor.
  • December 24, 1824 the band, now with 21 musicians, nine trumpeters and two fifers moved with the battalion to Helsinki.
  • 1829 the battalion (and band) was named Suomen Opetustarkk'ampujapataljoona (Finnish Sharpshooter Drill Battalion) and received the rank of New Guards of the Russian Imperial Guard. It was more commonly known as Suomen kaarti (Finnish Guard) . Starting from this year, the battalion and band were stationed during the summer in Krasnoye Selo, near St. Petersburg, where the Tsar had his summer residence.
  • 1831-1832 Suomen kaarti took part in the quelling of the November Uprising in Poland. Before leaving to Poland the band had one conductor, 32 musicians, 9 drummers, 9 trumpeters and one drum major.
  • 1849 battalion took part in the quelling of the Hungarian Revolution.
  • 1861 an imperial decree established the instrumentation of the band as 1 conductor, 34 musicians, 12 students, 1 band trumpet major and 20 company fanfare trumpeters plus the band drum major, a pure brass wind ensemble.
  • 1874 first Finnish born conductor, Adolf Leander, was appointed to the band.
  • 1877-1878 battalion took part in the Russo-Turkish War
  • 1878 Suomen kaarti was given the rank of Old Guard and named as Henkivartioväen 3. Suomen tarkk'ampujapataljoona (3rd Imperial Guard Battalion of the Finnish Sharpshooters).
  • 1880 Imperial decree on the instrumentation and number of musicians in the band.
  • 1891 huge public concerts with 250 musicians to aid famine victims in Russia.
  • 1899 Aleksei Apostol, an orphaned boy adopted by the band during the Russo-Turkish war, appointed as the conductor of the band.
  • 1901 Aleksei Apostol established Helsingin Torvisoittokunta (Helsinki wind orchestra). Musicians come from the Guard Battalion's band and former Uudenmaan Pataljoona band.
  • 1904 first recording by a Finnish wind orchestra by the Band of the Finnish Guard. Conductor Albin Lindholm.
  • 1905 Henkivartioväen 3. Suomen tarkk'ampujapataljoona was disbanded. Many of the musicians transferred to Helsingin Torvisoittokunta which also received many instruments and sheet music from the band.
  • 1917 Finland gains independence.
  • 1918 Helsingin Torvisoittokunta performed in military functions of the Senate during the Finnish Civil War and was taken into active service as Valkoisen Kaartin Rykmentin Soittokunta (band of the White Guard Regiment).
  • 1919 name changed to Suomen Valkoisen Kaartin Soittokunta (Finnish White Guards Band).
  • 1924 Johan Leonard Linnala appointed as conductor.
  • 1926 visits to Riga, Stockholm and Tallinn.
  • 1932 Chief conductor of the Finnish Defence Forces, Lauri Näre, is also conductor of the band.
  • 1934 Arthur Rope appointed as conductor.
  • 1940 name changed to Helsingin Varuskunnan soittokunta (Helsinki Garrison Band)
  • 1952 name changed first to Helsingin Varuskunnan soittokunta I and then to Helsingin Varuskuntasoittokunta.
  • 1959 visits to Stockholm and Gothenburg.
  • 1963 visits Copenhagen.
  • 1964 Arvo Uro appointed as Chief Conductor of Finnish Defence Forces as well as leading Helsingin Varuskuntasoittokunta and adjoining Defence Forces Music School.
  • 1966 visits Lausanne.
  • 1967 Arvo Kuikka succeeds Uro in all functions.
  • 1972 visits Zurich.
  • 1976 visits Paris.
  • 1977 Teuvo Laine appointed as conductor.
  • 1984 Esko Juuri appointed as conductor.
  • 1990 name changed to Kaartin Soittokunta (Guards Band).
  • 1993 took part in the first nationwide Tattoo-tour.
  • 1995 Elias Seppälä appointed as conductor. Band visits Czechoslovakia.
  • 1996 visits Tallinn.
  • 1997 visits Germany and Tallinn. Tattoo'97 figure marching tour.
  • 2006 Sami Hannula appointed as conductor.
  • 2008 Elias Seppälä appointed as chief conductor of the Finnish Defence Forces.
  • 2009 Raine Ampuja appointed as chief of the band.
  • 2009 The first three-day Kaartin Soittokunta Festival in Suomenlinna.
  • 2011 Ville Paakkunainen appointed as conductor
  • 2011 visits Berlin Tattoo
  • 2013 Jyrki Koskinen appointed as senior director of the band
  • 2014 visits Norwegian Military Tattoo in Oslo

External links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Historia" (in Finnish). Kaartin Soittokunta. http://www.kaartinsoittokunta.fi/historia.html. Retrieved 6 December 2010. 
  2. "Home page". Kaartin Soittokunta. http://www.kaartinsoittokunta.fi/. Retrieved 6 October 2014. 
  3. "Kapellimestarit". Kaartin Soittokunta. http://www.kaartinsoittokunta.fi/kapellimestarit.html. Retrieved 6 December 2010. 

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