1920 – 1940

The beginning: from foundation to the war ‘The Association aims to practice the music, to teach its members musical development and to promote the friendly spirit among the Tuindorp inhabitants.’ Thus the main point was the establishment of Harmoniecorps Tuindorp on December 8, 1922. The establishment of the music association was the initiative of a number of people who complained about the silence in their neighborhood at the permanent meeting place in cigar shop Smit. Tuindorp Oostzaan was a new neighborhood in Amsterdam-Noord, which had its first inhabitants that year, but which was pretty isolated; the connection with the city center was bad.

The music association had to bring some life into the brewery. Establishing an association is relatively simple, the follow-up is a lot trickier. That was soon behind Harmoniecorps Tuindorp (HCT). At the first rehearsal there were only ten members of the 24. That went on for several weeks until only seven members were left. The paid conductor Beerschoten had to be denounced, ‘Mr Bakker would continue to lead the association as a dilettante,’ according to the report of the founding of HCT. Due to working conditions, however, Bakker also had to drop out quickly, after which J.C. Breems became a conductor. “From the founding until May we have, as a union, a true agony behind us,” says the report. In May 1923, however, HCT ventures to hold the first march through Tuindorp on a Sunday morning. And that turned out to be a great success: “Almost every garden master came to his bedroom window to see if it was true that the future greatness of Tuindorp, the Harmonie Corps, marched through the Garden Village in merry tones. After this marching exercise the Board and some wiser members did not sit still, so that it was decided to go out and recruit donors. And, after a few weeks, the union was lucky enough to be able to boast about three hundred donors. That is our first victory. ‘

Marching on Sunday morning ‘A year after the founding we went out into the street, and we started marching: on Sundays from half past seven till half past nine, almost every week. As soon as you heard the bells from the church, it was over. That marching was greatly appreciated by the residents. You had a whole bunch of children behind you. There was simply nothing else to do then. “(Jan Rison) Shortly thereafter, HCT was able to purchase a complete inventory of musical instruments for 700 guilders from the Heemaf Association in Hengelo. The purchase was possible because an interest-free advance from the municipal authorities was obtained by mediation of the director of the Housing Department, Mr Keppler, who later became the patron of the harmony. With good instruments and a large group of donors, the future was seen with confidence.

Growth of the association In 1925 Harmoniecorps Tuindorp participated for the first time in a competition in Uitgeest. The many marches through Tuindorp paid off: in the march competition a first prize was won. In the concert competition (fourth division) a second prize was won. When returning to Tuindorp, people were black. The good news was HCT literally flown in the form of a carrier pigeon, which one of the members had taken to Uitgeest and quickly returned home with the result of the competition. In 1926 Breems was succeeded as conductor by Albert Meijns, also conductor of Ons Pleasure from Wormerveer. The instruments were gradually improved during those years, so that the mood of the orchestra improved. In addition, the number of LEDs increased. This resulted in good performances at competitions. In 1927 HCT won the highest number of points in the third division at a competition in Rotterdam. However, the financial problems in those early years were large. So great even that the conductor lets Meine know in 1928; it turns out that he still has 88 guilders in outstanding salary. After extensive consultation, they finally succeed in convincing Meijns to stay on. By means of tombolas in those years was tried to spend some extra money in the drawer. In 1928 it was proposed to appoint a ladies ‘committee for the organization of such a tombola, but this encounters objections: Mr. Silvester’ explains clearly why ladies should be kept from union affairs ‘, according to the report of the members’ meeting. In the years that follow, the negative influence women can have on an association is repeatedly discussed. Ladies’ committees later became a very important part of the association when organizing all sorts of events; women as a playing member of the association remained a big exception for a very long time.

1932: 10-year anniversary The 10th anniversary of HCT was celebrated in 1932 in the recently opened development building Het Zonnehuis, which also became a rehearsal room in this year. For this they had used the services of café boss Dral in Oostzaan for years, in whose building the weekly rehearsals were held. The termination of the agreement with Dral was met with fear: ‘King proposes when the Executive Board goes to Dral to tell the hall to take away a thugs team, which the secretary opposes, regarding the man us always friendly he will not treat us as a dog now. Whereupon the chairman asks a few old members to come ‘(report to members meeting 1932).

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