The not-for-profit organisation beganas a men’s brass group, the Friendly Societies Band, in 1892, and has evolvedinto a decorated association.
Several accolades have been accumulated along the way includingperformances at multiple Anzac Days and during the Prince of Wales and Duchessof Cornwall’s visit to Longreach in 2012.
After receiving funding from the 2018Gambling Community Benefit Fund and 2019 Multi-Purpose Group Grant, the bandwas able to purchase new cornets, flugel horns, and its first bass trombone.
Band secretary, Lachlan Rich, saidCovid-19 had caused changes to rehearsal times and decreased the number ofregular band members, a blessing and curse for the organisation.
“We stopped rehearsing together forsome months, but we recorded tracks of ourselves at home which were splicedtogether by our amazing musical director, Tanya Lloyd,” Mr Rich said.
“Having to social distance made usshift our rehearsal time and forced us back into Sunday afternoon sessions inthe town’s parks for the first time in a few decades, which has been great.”
Mr Rich believes the band will alwayshold a prominent position in Longreach while strong community support continues.
“A full contesting brass band has ateam of 24 people playing together,” Mr Rich said. “We have fewer than that.It’s like trying to play rugby with 10 either side.
“Our mixed ensemble is much moreflexible and people come and go. The community will see us downtown in smallgroups playing with four at a time, but with more people it would be easier toshare the load of musically entertaining our community.
“People constantly arrive and leaveLongreach, so we always have places for new members and learners. If it’s notfor you, you can walk away. If you want to keep going, the band will be happyto have you.”
The band will be holding outdoorrehearsals at the Ilfracombe Memorial Park on July 19 which are open to thepublic.