For the Love of Music

Cliff Cummings playing the cornet
by juneli
Categories: Divisional News

By: June Li

Every Thursday morning, you can hear the tremendous sounds of The Salvation Army’s Heritage Brass Band filling the halls of The Salvation Army’s Divisional Headquarters in Toronto. Amongst all the music and melodies, sits Cliff Cummings, playing Solo Cornet. At 90-years-old, Cliff has become the oldest active bandsman of the Heritage Brass Band!

Cliff as a young child playing the cornet.

Cliff’s passion for music began at the young age of six, when his father, a Salvation Army Officer, taught him to play Alto Horn. Though Cliff wasn’t naturally gifted in music, his passion drove him to practice every day for an hour until music became second nature to him, “Learning and playing music is hard,” Cliff explained, “As a child, I practiced every night so that I could get the notes right.”

At the age of 17, Cliff joined the Danforth/Agincourt Temple Band where he is still actively playing. But his love for music doesn’t stop there. Earlier on in his life, Cliff was also a Deputy Bandmaster at the local corps, where he spent his time teaching children and youth how to play brass instruments.

“My time with the Heritage Brass has been eventful,” says Cliff, “It has given me an opportunity to serve in my senior years. I have enjoyed good health and enjoy the fellowship of this band. I’m the one who increases the average age just a little bit!”

Every night, you can still hear Cliff practicing his cornet, just as you would have heard him in his younger years.