WEST TAMAR MUNICIPAL BAND INCORPORATED


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History






This band started out life as the Beaconsfield Brass Band.

A quote from the Examiner Newspaper, June 7th 1879 relates 'From our own correspondent...'
"The Beaconsfield Brass Band paraded the streets for the first time on Saturday night, and enlivened the township by playing a variety of popular airs. The young men composing this band deserve very great praise for the proficiency they have attained and no doubt when they have practiced a little more together, they will arrive even nearer to perfection than they have done at the present."
On Boxing Day 1880, the beaconsfield Brass Band led a town procession for the Beaconsfield Community Picnic. At this time, due to the gold rush, Beaconsfield was the third largest town in Tasmania.

On the 27th of December 1898, the band came 1st in the Intercolonial Band Contest (second class)
Their test piece was Schubert (arr. Round) and the conductor was Alf Davis.
On the 26th of October 1905, the band came 7th in the Australian Championships (B Grade)
The test piece was Mercadante and the conductor was A J Davis.


BEACONSFIELD BRASS BAND 1905

Throughout the years, the Beaconsfield Brass Band has continued to progress and as with all community-based groups has undergone its fair share of ups and downs and good and bad times. Over the years, there have been at least two periods of recess which saw membership dwindle. Yet in more prosperous times the band would be bursting at the seams with many local musicians ready and willing to take up their instruments and play. The band has, throughout its history, played at community and charitable events, whether they be regular weekend picnics in the early days at Inspection Head, Beauty Point or for Anzac Day services, Australia Day events or Carols by Candlelight at Christmastime. Performing for the community and entertaining the public was then, and continues to be, the primary motivation for the band's existence and central to its operating charter.


BEACONSFIELD BRASS BAND 1959



BEACONSFIELD BRASS BAND 1961


In 1993, to coincide with the change of name of the Beaconsfield Council to the West Tamar Council, the band also changed its name to the West Tamar Municipal Band and the incumbent Mayor was asked to be Patron of the band. The current Mayor Cr. Christina Holmdahl and the West Tamar Council fully support the band and we are very grateful for their ongoing interest.

Today, the West Tamar Municipal Band continues to regularly perform at events such as Music in the Park which is a community-based initiative of the Launceston City Council, held in the City Park Rotunda each January; Australia Day celebrations; Anzac Day ceremonies and the Woolmers' Festival of Roses each November. We also give numerous concerts in churches and halls throughout the West Tamar and Launceston areas. To meet the needs of clients who would like to hire the West Tamar Band but do not require the 'full complement' of 35 musicians, we have established an ensemble of players for such occasions as weddings, cocktail parties and private functions.

Over the life of the band, we have performed at events large and small, and in more recent times performed in and won several state titles at band championships. Whilst our roots may be local and home-grown, we have continued to perform around the state including Queenstown, Strahan, Richmond, Huonville, Hobart, St Helens, George Town and many more regional towns. In fact, in 2010 the West Tamar Municipal Band was officially recognised and honoured by being presented with the "Community Group of the Year" award. In 1996 we won the State C Grade Championship under the baton of Brian Ellis.

1996 TASMANIAN C GRADE CHAMPIONS, Launceston

In 2018, the band won the D Grade State Competition after having not competed for more than 20 years.


WEST TAMAR MUNICIPAL BAND, Hobart 2018

Recent years have seen a strong resurgence in The West Tamar Municipal Band and it has continued to grow in size and scope. The band now boasts an active membership of some 35 local musicians and continually strives to maintain its relevance in an ever-changing marketplace as it entertains audiences of all ages. Under the tutelage and guidance of Musical Director David Potter, ex-Royal Australian Air Force Band (French Horn) and piper with St Andrews Caledonian Pipe Band, the West Tamar Municipal Band continues to grow, evolve and prosper. As such, the music performed by the band continues to broaden both in genre and complexity as we seek to offer our audiences a repertoire that is entertaining, recognisable, relevant and captivating.

Contrary to what most people believe, most brass bands do not play just 'hymns and marches' any more. We have adapted to what we believe our audiences want to hear and include a varied and diverse spectrum of music to entertain all ages. We certainly play some traditional hymns and marches, but also everything from jazz to movie themes to pop songs. To achieve a sound that pleases everyone, we have added vocalists to our repertoire and they sing a variety of songs accompanied by the band. We also perform with St Andrews Caledonian Pipe Band on many occasions, as audience members love the stirring sound of pipes and brass together.