Five generations in the same band
YOUNG Michael Whitaker will follow in his father’s footsteps when he marches as part of the Maryborough Brass Band at the Best of Brass competition this weekend.
In fact, he will also be following in his grandfather’s, great-grandfather’s and great-great-grandfather’s footsteps too.
Proud grandad Bryce Whitaker said the lad would be the fifth generation of the Whitaker family to play with the band since his own grandfather joined more than 125 years ago.
“My father Colin played trombone for years in the band, and his father Sam started out as a lantern boy in 1885,” Bryce said.
“Now Michael will be playing cornet — all in the one band.”
While Bryce’s son Glenn no longer plays regularly, he will be joining the band with his son for a special performance while Mr Whitaker Senior conducts.
“I’m very proud that we’ll all be able to take part together,” Bryce said.
But the multi-generational band members will not be the only talent on show — there will be 18 bands from all over Queensland, and close to 100 soloists.
Special guests, the Carindale Salvation Army Band, will perform at Station Square on Saturday from 11am, before opening the gala Queensland Brass Band Championships concert at the Brolga Theatre that night.
Because there are more bands than previous years, five bands the event will start at 7pm instead of the traditional 7.30pm slot.
On Sunday, there will be a street parade down Kent and Adelaide Streets before the musicians head back to the Brolga to continue with the competition.
Peter Walmsley OAM will be the chief adjudicator — after playing trumpet for the Sydney Symphony Orchestra for 34 years, Mr Walmsley retired in 2001.
He has adjudicated for competitions all over Australia and New Zealand, and was voted NSW Conductor of the Century in 2000.
Tickets for the event are now on sale at the Brolga Theatre.
For the day-time performances on Saturday, tickets are $5 or $10 per family.
For the gala concert at 7pm on Saturday, adults will pay $30, concessions $25 and students $18.
For Sunday’s and Monday’s day-time performances, tickets are $10 each or $20 for a family.