The bleary eyes and weary faces which met at the Divisional Headquarters on the eleventh day of the tour told us two things, firstly that the previous day had been a long one and secondly that it was another early start. After saying farewell to yet another great set of billets we boarded the coach towards Mt. Gambier.
The five hours passed quickly for many in the band who managed to grab some much needed sleep. There was a brief bit of excitement as the coach made a right turn, on the otherwise straight road. The journey was also memorable as bandsman Nick, the walking band encyclopedia, Brill, comfortably recited the last twenty winning performances at the National Brass Band Championships, complete with conductor. We know how to have fun on the band bus! Also if Steven Ponsford is reading, can you please get in touch and let us know how many references to pieces are contained within Music of a Legacy….we managed to get 26!
A Mayoral reception at the James Morrison Foundation was kindly received and gave us the chance to speak with those gathered. Amongst the special guests was a certain Bill Broughton. The trombone section were particularly keen to speak to him and pick up any pieces of advice they could.
A quick stop off at the Mt. Gambier Corps allowed us meet those Salvationists serving their community, it is always special to see different expressions of our Army around the world and this was no exception. Despite having never met before we were made to feel part of the family and completely at home.
The venue for the concert was the Sir Robert Helpmann Theatre, which was another fantastic auditorium. The gathered crowd buzzed with expectation and we hope we duly delivered. The music and message was enthusiastically received, with Bandsman DarRen Willis stealing the show with a spectacular performance in the male vocal item, the stage was just not big enough for him! A highlight for many of the band as Bill Broughton conducted his own composition ‘Deep River’, as he stood he told us to ‘enjoy ourselves and have fun’, we certainly did that. His style of conducting demonstrated clearly his big band background.
With the encore of ‘Praise’ performed we again took advantage of handing out the ISB pins and chatted to the audience as they trickled away to their homes. At which point the packing away started, we must acknowledge the hard work that the various ‘roadies’ have put in helping us at the different venues, they have been truly fantastic and helped in so many ways. It has not gone unappreciated.
For those interested in our health and well being, I can report that today we had breakfast at our billets, a coffee and snack stop at a typical Australian roadhouse, a splendid lunch at a restaurant en-route, cakes and coffee at the Mayoral reception, a BBQ at Mt. Gambier Corps and a small supper of roast chicken at the motel afterwards. It’s a good job that airlines don't have a weight limit for passengers!
Written by Staff Bandsman Andrew Dickinson