Page 1028 - Week 04 - Tuesday, 15 March 2005

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accommodation services and tourism, the warm friendships built across the country through the club, all make a fantastic contribution to our local community.

Tuggeranong Valley Band

MR SMYTH (Brindabella—Leader of the Opposition) (4.31): The Tuggeranong Valley Band Inc currently operates two brass, woodwind and percussion band programs that perform regularly at community events in and around the Canberra region. The organisation is proudly sponsored by the Tuggeranong Valley Rugby Union and Amateur Sports Club.

This year is the Tuggeranong Valley Band’s 25th anniversary and members are excited about celebrating the history of their organisation and the many transformations it has undergone since its humble beginnings back in 1980. Known originally as the Erindale band, it began as a small “adults learn to play” class at Erindale College with Bert Ansell as the founding conductor. After several years, and dwindling numbers, some of the musicians—in particular Jim Batey, Chris Graham, Fred Salt and Jim Shelton—decided to form their own group and started rehearsing at the Wanniassa Community House. Three of these players are still with the band today; one left the band due to moving interstate. Their continuing dedication to the band over a 25-year period is outstanding. In addition to being a founding member, Jim Batey has also been an instrumental and driving force in the band during his many years as band president.

In 1987 the band changed its name to the Tuggeranong Valley Band and became the first community organisation to hire a room in the newly constructed Lake Tuggeranong College. In 1991, a junior division of the band was formed, providing a music avenue for young beginner players. The junior band has recently been renamed the intermediate band and expanded to include adolescents as well as adults. The Tuggeranong Valley Band continues to hold its rehearsals at Lake Tuggeranong College.

Both bands have seen conductors come and go. In addition to Bert Ansell, Peter Smith was also a conductor who played an important role in the earlier development of the band. Peter subsequently returned in later years for a second appointment as conductor. The current conductors are Rupert Williams for the intermediate band and Mark Biggs for the concert band. Both conductors are talented musicians who study at the Canberra School of Music and play in the Canberra Youth Orchestra.

Both bands have a varied repertoire including movie themes, jazz, classical pieces and big band music. At all times, the primary aim of the bands is to play together for fun and enjoyment while also striving to develop the technical and practical musical skills of their members. At present, there are around 20 members in the intermediate band and 35 members in the concert band and numbers are continuing to grow. The bands are well known for their performances at local events such as Floriade and the Lanyon Christmas carols by candlelight.

A special public performance to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the band will be held on 13 August. I will open the “Concert Bandstravaganza”—as they have called it—as I have agreed to be patron of the organisation. Plans for this big event are currently under way and full details will be provided to the community at a later date. The Tuggeranong

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