Newspaper article Tweed Daily News (Tweed Heads, Australia)

All aboard Band Wagon; Looking Back with Di Millar

Newspaper article Tweed Daily News (Tweed Heads, Australia)

All aboard Band Wagon; Looking Back with Di Millar

Article excerpt

FROM the early days of colonisation music has been an important part of the social and cultural life of communities large and small located in country or city areas.

Early band music in the colony was provided by the military for public occasions when it was required and Sunday performances by regimental bands were popular attractions.

However throughout Australia in the 19th and early 20th centuries, brass bands were formed and the town band became an essential musical institution in the local community playing at all manner of public functions and even during funeral processions.

Brass bands were traditionally made up of 27 musicians who played a combination of valved metal wind instruments, trombones and percussion instruments.

Instruments included cornet, flugal, tenor and baritone horn, euphonium, tuba, trombone and drum, triangle and cymbal.

A brass band was established on the Tweed in the late 1880s and by the mid 1890s the Murwillumbah Federal Band under the guidance of bandmaster Mr M J Hogan was making a name for itself for its performances on the Tweed and in Lismore where the band was well received and enjoyed return visits to the town.

In 1901 a 12-piece brass band made up of mostly beginners was formed at Tumbulgum and made its debut at a social in aid of the local Church of England.

The rivalry between town bands when competing at music festivals was often intense. Murwillumbah's Federal Band travelled to compete in the Lismore Musical Festival with mixed success, but in 1908 the band, under conductor Mr John Raven (an engineer by profession), were winners over the Lismore, Grafton and Casino bands and claimed the thirty-pounds first prize money.

The victorious band members were H and W Sorensen, William Aked senior and junior, John Aked, Francis Lowes, Frederick Trute, H E Harris, C Negus, H Raven, Henry Martin, Frederick Bruce, A Wilson, Percival Higgins, Alexander Hunter, Ernest Newell, John Theyer, James Gubbins, G Lofts and G Kadnion.

In July 1909 Madam Nellie Melba and her company travelled by boat from Tweed Heads to perform in the Murwillumbah School of Arts hall. …

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