WELLING­TON NEWS Mu­sic makes its mark through the ages

Dubbo Photo News - - Wellington News - By NATALIE HOLMES

FROM herald­ing the re­gion’s first rail­way ser­vice in 1879 to hon­our­ing Welling­ton’s war vet­er­ans, the town band has played an im­por­tant com­mu­nity role for 139 years.

Band mas­ter Re­becca Brine, who shares the role with long-serv­ing mem­ber Eric Smith, said the group has an im­por­tant place in the town’s so­cial fab­ric.

“It was cre­ated as a brass band and its first per­for­mance was for when the train came to Welling­ton from Syd­ney.”

Re­becca said they per­form at Anzac and Aus­tralia Day cer­e­monies as well as the Welling­ton Show and Vin­tage Fair events.

“We are still a march­ing band and fol­low that track still to­day,” she told Dubbo Photo News.

The Welling­ton Town Band has per­formed al­most con­tin­u­ously since its in­cep­tion in the 19th cen­tury.

“In 1942-1943, the band paused for the war. That’s the only time that they stopped.”

Th­ese days, the band per­forms at many lo­cal func­tions, ce­ment­ing their place as a lo­cal icon.

“We try to per­form in the com­mu­nity as much as we can – at Ro­tary mar­kets, com­mem­o­ra­tive func­tions and the lo­cal nurs­ing homes, along with ma­jor events. We have a strong link in the com­mu­nity.

“Part of this is how long-run­ning the group is in Welling­ton. It is like a fam­ily.”

In fact, some mu­si­cians are even fol­low­ing in the at­tuned foot­steps of pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tions.

“Kids are play­ing, par­ents are play­ing, it has a real fam­ily vibe,” Re­becca en­thused.

“One mem­ber’s great-grand­fa­ther even played in the band (Charles and John Tay­lor).”

As the lo­cal high school mu­sic teacher, Re­becca al­ready loves mu­sic and per­for­mance. Her place in the town band has re­in­forced that pas­sion.

“Mu­sic is my life, I love it, so it’s good to be able to use my skills else­where.

“It’s also im­por­tant for me as a mu­sic teacher to keep con­nected. See­ing the kids out­side of school has also been ben­e­fi­cial. It’s a re­ally good feel­ing.”

Re­becca loves the town and be­ing able to con­trib­ute in such a pos­i­tive way.

“I moved here five years ago. It’s such a won­der­ful com­mu­nity and be­ing in the band is a lot of fun.

“I can con­duct and play with the group as well. It makes you feel good to be able to share with oth­ers.”

Re­becca’s lat­est chal­lenge is work­ing on the mu­sic score of the up­com­ing lo­cal pro­duc­tion of “My Fair Lady”, to be per­formed by the Welling­ton Ama­teur Theatri­cal So­ci­ety.

She would also love to see some new members in the band.

“We are down on num­bers at the mo­ment. (Be­ing in the band) is a won­der­ful op­por­tu­nity to learn a new skill, meet new peo­ple and con­nect with the com­mu­nity.

“Mu­sic is ev­ery­where and ev­ery­thing and ev­ery­one should ben­e­fit from that.”

Welling­ton Town Band prac­tices at 5 Gis­borne St, Welling­ton each Thurs­day be­tween 6.30pm and 9pm. They are look­ing for new members, so con­tact band.trea­[email protected]­look.com.au for more in­for­ma­tion. Flute and Clar­inet: Re­becca Brine (flute), El­iz­a­beth Mor­ley, Su­san Mor­ley

The Welling­ton Town Band is look­ing for new mu­sic-lov­ing members. PHO­TOS: COLIN ROUSE

March­ing prac­tice up Gis­borne Street.

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