Bathurst City & RSL Concert Band Member Spotlight
Instrument: 1st Trumpet
Service in Band: 30 years
About Me: I started with the RSL Brass Band when I was about seven along with brother Geoff, Peter Freestone and others on a Tuesday evening with the junior learners with Charlie Robinson, the bandmaster at the time. When I was good enough to go on to third cornet I moved into the senior band alongside Dad (Jim Denmead), Robin Keen, Debbie and Cheryl Robinson, Lenny Bennett – and others during the 70s. This is as much tuition as I ever received, the rest has been learn as you go. I continued to play with the RSL Brass Band until it folded, and then again when it re-formed as a concert band under Victor Grieve, then Geoff Simm. Played along side some great players through those years including Wendy Jenkins (our current conductor). Most memorable piece from the brass band years was winning the eisteddfod with “The Lonely Mill”, we worked hard on that. Also loved marches such as “Victoria” and “Invercargill”.
So I went off to St Stanislaus College, and was heavily involved in all things musical: band, brass ensemble, recorder group, choir and chamber choir and some musicals. This is where I met Trish doing a show called “Johnny Fabulous”. Trish was singing on stage and I was the unknown trumpet player in the pit. I sure thought she was fabulous and after a bit of chasing she eventually thought I was fab too and the rest is history. After school I continued in the band as well as playing in the orchestra for Carillon Theatrical Society productions alongside Dad, Bill Deveson, Robin Keen and others, and also played trumpet in the Debonairs Jazz Band. After getting married I ended up at Uncle Bens on 12 hr shifts so gave up the band and pretty much all music for 17 years until making a comeback around 2005. Took a bit of getting used to playing again but soon I was back in the swing and haven’t looked back. Started doing musicals with Carillon around the same time, bit of a family fun thing and have been lucky enough to land a few lead roles here and there. Have ventured into jazz and swing again and still do a bit here and there, most recently with the jazz men at Abercrombie house.
Favourite type of music played in the band: It is hard to pick a favourite piece of music from the concert band, I am happy playing pretty much anything but I would say that I am over “Trumpets Ole’!”
Most Memorable band moment: Most memorable moments would be the honour of playing “The Last Post” on Anzac Day for the last few years, and singing at Carols with the band accompanying me. Another time, was playing for the Queen’s visit in the early 80s. Personally, a very important part of my participation and memorable moments is having family members in the band with me. Dad up until recently, Elyssa (daughter) on trumpet for a while, Trish (wife) on clarinet who is self taught, Paul (son) on trumpet and Geoff (brother) on tuba.