The Eric Ford Music Scholarship

A Brief History

Eric Ford began his musical career on the violin at the age of 8 years, changing two years later to the cornet. By the age of 15, he was playing professionally as a cornet soloist at Toronto’s Massey Hall.  Studying at the Royal College of Music in Toronto further enhanced Eric’s training.  In 1947, Mr. Ford joined the R.C.A.F. Band as a trumpet soloist and arranger under the direction of Lt. Col. Cliff Hunt (past director of the Burlington Concert Band). In 1963, Eric became chief arranger for the Canadian Armed Forces. One of his accomplishments in this position included composing and conducting the fanfares for the official opening of Expo ’67 in Montreal.

Retiring from the Armed Forces in 1968, after 28 years of service, Mr. Ford moved to Burlington and became Supervisor of Music for the City and the Music Director of the Burlington Teen Tour Band, a position he held until 1977. During his time as a music instructor, numerous youngsters received invaluable instruction from a man of great experience and talent. Many of his students have continued in his tradition by becoming music instructors or playing professionally.

The Top Hat Marching Orchestra was founded in 1982. Eric Ford became the first Music Director establishing our unique sound. Eric continued to direct and arrange music for the Top Hats until the late 1980’s. It was with great sadness that Mr. Ford, a true friend of the Top Hats and the music world, passed away in 1992.

In 1993, the Top Hat Marching Orchestra established the ERIC FORD SCHOLARSHIP FUND to assist in the training of young band musicians, in the tradition that Eric would have liked.  This scholarship is awarded to young, promising musicians with the intent of furthering their technical ability as well as enhancing the students’ love and appreciation of music.