Mu­si­cal direc­tor in tune with Prince Harry

Balonne Beacon - - A SELECTION OF THE BEST STORIES FROM ACROSS OUR RE -

IT WAS a sea of lights out­side Syd­ney Opera House last week as thou­sands de­scended on the har­bour for the In­vic­tus Games open­ing and clos­ing cer­e­monies.

It’s a long way from a small coun­try town, as Chin­chilla born-and-raised Games mu­si­cal direc­tor Steven Stanke would know.

Lieu­tenant Com­man­der Stanke’s love af­fair with mu­sic be­gan at the age of 12 when he joined Chin­chilla Cit­i­zens Band.

Upon grad­u­at­ing high school, he de­cided to move to Toowoomba to pur­sue his pas­sion for mu­sic and hasn’t looked back.

Now the direc­tor of mu­sic for the Royal Aus­tralian Navy, the In­vic­tus Games is just his lat­est achieve­ment.

Lt Cdr Stanke said the road to pre­par­ing all the live mu­sic for the cer­e­monies had been in­cred­i­ble.

“I am ex­cited but tired, it’s been a long process and lots of weeks of re­hearsals,” he said.

“Even though the Games are Prince Harry’s idea, we re­ally wanted to take Aus­tralia to the world and present a very Aus­tralian flavour for the open­ing.”

For the cer­e­mony, Lt Cdr Stanke ar­ranged all the mu­sic and con­ducted a tri-ser­vice band of 38 mu­si­cians from the army, navy and air force.

“The at­mos­phere was fan­tas­tic,” he said.

“The best part for me was see­ing all the com­peti­tors come in sit­ting right in front of Harry.”

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

TRIB­UTES FLOW: Lach­lan Hughes (right), pic­tured with his fa­ther Philip at their prop­erty Heather­lea, was trag­i­cally killed in a work­place ac­ci­dent on Wed­nes­day.

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