This is a page for brass players, of whom I am one, to exchange knowledge and advice.
October 10, 2012
I started playing the cornet in the Salvation Army band in Maryborough, Queensland, in the early 1960s, rapidly rising to the positions of Solo Cornet and Soprano Cornet. The band in those days had a full complement of players and had the respect of the other bands in the city. Maryborough at that time and for many years was the home of two national champion bands as well as other bands.
In Brisbane, I played with the Police Citizen’s Band for a short time when they won the D Grade section of the Queensland Band Championships, held at Stanthorpe in 1972.
Seeking a career in music, I undertook training in the french horn under Olwen Jones, a member of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra. After many gratifying engagements with the Queensland Wind Ensemble (a veritable orchestra in itself) and the Concert society Orchestra, I took the opportunity to avail myself of entry to Griffith University under adult entry provisions to study science. This culminated in the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in science and economic development and a career in the Australian Public Service in Canberra. During that time (35 years), unfortunately, I was sufficiently distracted by my work and other activities to not even touch a musical instrument.
On retirement and moving back to Queensland at Hervey Bay, I have resumed playing the cornet in the Maryborough Excelsior City Band this year (2012). Taking up the instrument after so long is like going back to the beginning in terms of developing the embouchere and endurance. Fortunately, the technical capability and recall of music theory returns much more quickly.
I was privileged to play the french horn in a production of “The Pirates of Penzance” (Gilbert and Sullivan) at the Brolga Theatre, Maryborough and performed tolerably well (independent comment on the result was very satisfactory to me).