Looking Back


Onoway's Band History at the Museum


Onoway area residents have always enjoyed and participated in musical events: witness the Christmas concerts in one-room schools, Search for Talent contests, trophies won at the Lac Ste. Anne Music Festival. It wasn't until the 1970s when Dave Thompson began teaching at Onoway Jr. Sr. High School that a formal instrumental music program began. It started with Music 7, 8, and 9 (recorder and guitar) and evolved into a full-fledged band program in 1974.

Roadrunner jacket
Onoway Marching Band
Dave Thompson (wearing his Roadrunner jacket) about to leave
on a road trip with the Roadrunners
Onoway Marching Band in Farmer's Day Parade

Dave took the Roadrunners on many band trips wearing the green Roadrunners jacket was a source of pride for many Onoway students. Reinhardt Piehl and Guiseppe Cianfione took short stints with the music program in 1979-1980, then Les Sadler came on as a full-time music (band) teacher in 1980. He arranged for purchase of marching band uniforms (second-hand, but the school colours of green and white). Les and Dave both taught band, then in 1985 Tom Saumer, a recent graduate of Onoway High School, returned as the band teacher. That summer he took the band to EXPO 86 in Vancouver.

Clarinet case
P.R. Clare Ensemble Trophy - 1986 winners
Diane Snider, Gail Stobbe, Rob Cook, Dave Miller
Onoway Mustangs clarinet case

Over the years the band competed successfully locally and nationally. The many trophies and plaques at the museum attest to the musical talents of students at Onoway High School. In 2016 Ellie Neufeld continues the fine history of the OHS band program.


Visit Onoway Museum to see the band uniforms, the bass drum, an original clarinet, and much more.


Toronto Music
OHS band competing in Toronto 1996


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 Last updated: May 20, 2016