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The Independent Voice of
Central West Queensland since 1923
Central West Queensland


22 July, 2020

Longreach Band wants YOU

THE LONGREACH Town Band has bought a full set of new brass instruments and are encouraging locals of any age to uncap their hidden musical prowess to support the 128-year old society.

By Hamish Hart

Full-blown…Yvonne Wessling (left) and Lindy Rixon perform using the town band’s new cornet and flugel horn.

The not-for-profit organisation began as a men’s brass group, the Friendly Societies Band, in 1892, and has evolved into a decorated association.

Several accolades have been accumulated along the way including performances at multiple Anzac Days and during the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall’s visit to Longreach in 2012.

After receiving funding from the 2018 Gambling Community Benefit Fund and 2019 Multi-Purpose Group Grant, the band was able to purchase new cornets, flugel horns, and its first bass trombone.

Band secretary, Lachlan Rich, said Covid-19 had caused changes to rehearsal times and decreased the number of regular band members, a blessing and curse for the organisation.

“We stopped rehearsing together for some months, but we recorded tracks of ourselves at home which were spliced together by our amazing musical director, Tanya Lloyd,” Mr Rich said.

“Having to social distance made us shift our rehearsal time and forced us back into Sunday afternoon sessions in the town’s parks for the first time in a few decades, which has been great.”

Mr Rich believes the band will always hold a prominent position in Longreach while strong community support continues.

“A full contesting brass band has a team of 24 people playing together,” Mr Rich said. “We have fewer than that. It’s like trying to play rugby with 10 either side.

“Our mixed ensemble is much more flexible and people come and go. The community will see us downtown in small groups playing with four at a time, but with more people it would be easier to share the load of musically entertaining our community.

“People constantly arrive and leave Longreach, so we always have places for new members and learners. If it’s not for you, you can walk away. If you want to keep going, the band will be happy to have you.”

The band will be holding outdoor rehearsals at the Ilfracombe Memorial Park on July 19 which are open to the public.

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