Henry Vander Linde
Written by Natalie Weg and Amelia Waalkes
Edited by Laura Anthon
Henry P. Vander Linde served as the Holland American Legion Band’s longest-standing band director. Beginning his directorship in 1966, he led the local band for 4 decades. Over these years, Vander Linde developed the definition of what it meant to be a part of a community while doing the things he loved most: service and music.
Passion for Community
Vander Linde focused on building multi-generational participation from the community, both on the part of the ensemble and of the audience. A passionate educator, Vander Linde worked as the director for Holland Christian High School band for 36 years, retiring in 1986. Therefore, he focused on the younger crowd in the Holland community throughout his years as a teacher and beyond. Because of his background working with students, he would encourage high school and college musicians to participate in the summer concert series. He realized the potential that the students could achieve when playing alongside Legion band members who may have decades more experience.
Vander Linde’s Legacy
Vander Linde was a caring director who encouraged the members to enjoy themselves while they played. For his entire involvement in the Legion band, Henry worked to improve the quality of the band as a whole and the members’ individual participation. When asked to describe Henry Vander Linde, several members settled around a similar theme: his passion for making the band a fun and enriching environment.
Vander Linde stepped down from his position at the podium in 2006 due to failing health. In the months leading up to his retirement from the band, he had Thom Working step in as an assistant director. Vander Linde lived out his passion of music through his deep dedication to the Legion band and the community of Holland. He passed away on April 4, 2008. His obituary stated,
Henry was an exceptional man who lived an exemplary life devoted to his God, his family, his students and his community. Whether directing a band, choir, or leading hymn-sings, he impacted all those with whom he came in contact.
The band and the Holland community experienced a huge loss after the passing of Henry Vander Linde. His legacy will carry on through the evidence of the hard work he poured into the Legion band and the positive impact he had on the members he led.