In Leiden in 1902, a Roman Catholic music association formed, Sint-Gregorius (Saint Gregory), which existed with variable levels of success until 1917. From 1920, they performed as the R.K. Muziekvereeniging 'Perosi' (R.C. Music Association 'Perosi') which having survived the crisis years, came to an end shortly before World War II.
After the war, the catholics still felt a need for their own music association in Leiden and the R.K. Leidse Harmoniekapel (R.C. Leiden Wind Orchestra) was subsequently founded in 1949. The new association began with 35 members, a bakery as a rehearsal location and a strong need for good musical instruments.
Ten years later the R.K. Leidse Harmoniekapel became the second largest music association in Leiden, consisting of a marching wind orchestra, a drumband and a majorettes group with approximately 60 to 70 members altogether.
The R.K. Leidse Harmoniekapel has had their share of ups and downs over the years. In 1976, following turbulent discussions, the predicate 'Roman-Catholic' was abandoned. A conflict in 1981 led to the departure of the drumband and majorettes group. But in the 1990s, the current Leidse Harmoniekapel fortunately recovered. Today, the name is Leids Harmonie Orkest and it is a thriving association with approximately 40 active members.
Would you like to know more about the Leids Harmonie Orkest's history? Please contact our secretary and ask for our anniversary booklet (Dutch only) En Leiden stond perplex...! De Leidse Harmoniekapel 1949-1999 by Paul Martens and Jos van den Borne.
The association's archives from 1949 until 2007 are kept at the Regional Archives Leiden (Dutch only), where all material (Dutch only) can be viewed.