These prolific performers have been providing a soundtrack to southern events since 1976.
The jury is still out on who has more fun, the Onkaparinga City Concert Band or its audiences. Anyone who’s lived in the district longer than two minutes has likely heard the band around the traps. Featuring everything from jazz standards, classical pieces and movie tunes, to contemporary pop and belters from the likes of The Eagles and Toto, the band’s setlists always surprise and entertain.
Formed in 1976, the band has about 55 current members aged from their teens to their 80s. Under new musical director Terry Bickley, it has so far exceeded its 2019 goal to perform at least once a month, at nursing homes and retirement villages or community events, concerts and cabaret nights.
In late July, the band was named reigning B grade champion at the 2019 State Band Championships. It comprises brass and woodwind sections and several percussionists. The Hopgood Wind Ensemble is a secondary band for developing or less experienced musicians. It was named in honour of veteran concert band member Don Hopgood, who joined six months after it all started, 40 years ago.
There is no audition process; musicians of all abilities are welcome and can sit in on a rehearsal (confirm your attendance first via firstname.lastname@example.org).
There’s a real social aspect, with an annual band camp and lots of laughs.
“We do it for the community, for friends, for the chance to get together and have a common cause… probably even more than the joy of music which is obviously part of it as well,” says Joseph Neave, the band’s publicity officer (photograph 2).
The City of Onkaparinga provides financial and non-financial assistance, including marketing support and hire of the Arts Centre at Port Noarlunga.
Rehearsals are held most Fridays at the Aberfoyle Park Primary School’s Performing Arts Centre, corner of London and Budapest roads, Aberfoyle Park.
Hopgood Wind Ensemble: 6.30–7.30pm (no rehearsals during school holidays).
Concert band: 7.45–9.30pm
The city’s concert band rehearses most Friday nights throughout the year.