‘Everything in Amsterdam and in the country looks at us. We are a healthy, lively association that enjoys a reputation, but that reputation will have to be maintained. This is not easy, but worth the effort to fight for, ‘wrote former Secretary P. Storm in the annual report of 1961. People were proud of his association, but they also realized that a flourishing association was not something that was without the support of the NDSM was a big plus for the financial policy of the association. However, the debt of 10,000 guilders to the NDSM dating back to 1951 also had to be repaid. The revenues of HCT came from the contributions of the members, contributions from the donors, paid cooperation and from collecting old paper. The latter was a source of income that HCT certainly could not miss, but which remained a problem child over the years. The biggest difficulty was the fact that there was no clubhouse for the storage of the old paper. A warehouse was rented, but due to the fire hazard this was a big risk for the person who did this.
Flood and 40-year jubilee
In January 1960 the flood disaster in Tuindorp Oostzaan took place. HCT was hit hard by this. The entire music library and part of the archive were lost. For the repair of instruments an amount of 7077 guilders was required; HCT received this amount through the insurance and the disaster fund. Only on 1 April could the first rehearsal of that year be held. There were only 25 musical collaborations in 1960; the previous years there were about forty per year, with an outlier of 1954 in which no less than 54 collaborations were recorded. In this difficult period, the solidarity of other music associations, which gave musical pieces or donations for the purchase of instruments or music, became apparent.
1962: 40th anniversary
In 1962 HCT existed for forty years. To get the necessary money a lottery was held and from June 29 to July 2 at the Plejadenplein a Flemish fair was organized in a large tent, a sort of fancy fair.
The highlight of the jubilee celebration was on December 15, when a reception was given in the afternoon and the gala concert took place in the evening. The association was buried under the gifts. The gala concert was a great success; During this concert a piano concerto was performed by the then secretary P. Storm, about which Jan Vermaak, conductor of music association Amicitia, who wrote in the North Amsterdammer at the time: ‘It was a revolutionary idea to perform a piano concerto. That this thought would become an act is already a special merit. The Warsaw concert by Richard Addinsell was performed by Mr. P. Storm, the orchestra arrangement was provided by Mr. A.P. Kwakkestein. This arrangement testified of craftsmanship, because the assignment was difficult to get a transparent whole. The arranger has completely succeeded in this. The soloist performed this concert technically excellently. We were struck by the fact that the orchestra was responsive and did not drown out the solo game. ‘
Kwakkestein as arranger
The arrangement of the Warsaw concert, for which Arie Kwakkestein received so much praise in the North Amsterdammer, was just one of the many arrangements of the second conductor and clarinetist of HCT. He even arranged a march for the Baseball Federation, the baseball march, which was recorded for radio in the Zonnehuis. His qualities as a clarinettist are underlined by a beautiful anecdote. During a competition, the jury praised the es-clarinet. But HCT did not even have an es-clarinet. The part of the es-clarinet, very high, was played by Kwakkestein on his berry-clarinet.
Highest musical top
The growing quality of HCT translated in 1963 into a resounding result at the KNF music competition in Aalsmeer. With 110 points and praise from the jury, HCT promoted to the highest department, the Banner Department; together with yet another corps, this number of points was the highest in the entire country throughout the year. Another highlight in 1963 was the participation in the Airborne walking tour with a trip to South Limburg for two days.
The years after, HCT managed to maintain its musical top with verve. In 1964, a march race took place in Wormerveer, where HCT achieved the highest number of points for all associations throughout the year. When participating in a competition in Hilvarenbeek, the orchestra maintained itself in the Banner department: a first prize was won with 103 points, which also included the handing over of the Federation flag. In 1964, the final repayment of 500 guilders was paid to the NDSM and was contributed to the honoring of the Tuindorp cyclist Jaap Oudkerk, who became world champion behind the motorcycles in that year.
In 1965 a first prize was won with 100.5 points during a competition in Krasnapolsky in Amsterdam; as a result, a pennant was added to the Federation banner.
In 1966 both drum band and orchestra won the first prize at a competition in Loon op Zand. Also in 1967, HCT easily maintained its position in the Banner Division by winning a first prize of 105.5 points at the Heerewaarden competition. In 1967, the 100th launching at the NDSM to which HCT cooperated was: at the baptism of the tanker ‘Neverita’ was conductor Brouwer presented to princess Margriet and the association received an extra gift from the NDSM of 1000 guilders.
The great successes of HCT took place under the direction of conductor Koen Brouwer. From 1951 to 1985 the musical direction was in his hands, with a break from a few years in the early fifties. Brouwer was also a solo clarinettist in the Politiekapel. However, on the background of these successes, a number of developments occurred that were a precursor to the more difficult period in which HCT would later end up. The membership slowly declined. In 1954 there were still 61 playing members in the orchestra and 42 in the drum band, in 1968 this had decreased to 39 members of the orchestra and 31 members of the drum band.
Moreover, the position of the NDSM became less rosy.
At HCT it was realized that the support of the NDSM would not be eternal and that one would have to draw more from another important source of money, the paid cooperation. However, the number of collaborations was also slowly but surely declining.
A financial windfall in those years was the beginning of the so-called ‘grant concerts’ in 1967: the Amsterdam Association obliged the associations to give a number of concerts each year, for which the association would receive a subsidy. In 1967, HCT received 2000 guilders for this.