Bundy bands warm up for Festival of Brass

Bundaberg Festival of Brass
The Bundaberg Festival of Brass will host an ensemble of musical talent that spans across more than six decades at Riverfeast on 3 August.

The Bundaberg Festival of Brass will host an ensemble of musical talent that spans across more than six decades at Riverfeast on Saturday, 3 August.

The festival will be the Bundaberg Municipal Band’s biggest event of the year and they will be joined by four other bands and the local jazz club for an afternoon of entertainment.

At 75 years of age Bundaberg’s Fred Coleman is the oldest member of the Municipal Band after joining more than half a decade ago, and was also the conductor at last year’s Festival of Brass.

Fred started playing when he was eight years old and said he always had fond memories of his time spent with the other musicians.

Bundaberg Festival of Brass
Bundaberg Brass Band oldest member Fred Coleman

“My father was a conductor and when he retired he gave me his euphonium and I started playing – that was in 1961,” Fred said.

“I have always cherished it, it’s also known as a tenor tuba, and am glad to have followed in my father’s footsteps.”

Fred said he enjoyed conducting the festival last year and playing a musical instrument was good for your mind.

“You are never too old, if you have played an instrument once it stays with you – as long as you maintain your lip, one thing when you are in a brass band is to lip!”

“But it would be really nice to see more youngster getting involved in the band and the Festival of Brass would be a great chance for them to check out what’s involved.”

Perfect performance

Band president Toby Smith said after the success of last year’s event they decided to hold the festival again and said this year was looking to be great performance.

The band formed in 1935 and Toby said it was well received by the Bundaberg community.

Toby said there would be between 50 and 70 instrumentalist performing at the Festival of Brass with Maryborough Excelsior City Band, Sunshine Brass and Capricornia Silver Band travelling to the Bundaberg Region to take part.

He said the theme will just be about having fun and focusing on fan favourites. 

“We have the Bundaberg Salvation Army Band and the Bundaberg Jazz Club coming along also,” Toby said.

“There will be a focus on brass band music but there will also be music from Queen, with their song A Crazy Little Thing Called Love.”

Toby said the Festival of Brass was also open to previous band members to go along and take part in the festivities with the concert starting at 1pm.

“One big thing we would like to do is encourage any school students who play any instrument to come along and check it out, they’ll never know where it may lead them in the future,” Toby said.  

“It’s also an open invitation to any former members to contact me or just turn up with their instrument.”

Bundaberg Municipal Band will also host their gala concert on 15 September at Shalom College with tickets available at the door. For more information phone Toby Smith on 0439 693 436 or email bundybrassband@gmail.com.