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NDL News article 24/04/2017 Tamworth RSL Sub Branch


Tamworth RSL Brass Band celebrates 20 years marching on Anzac Day


By Jacob McArthur - April 24, 2017

THE tunes of the local brass band can be heard as the soundtrack of Anzac Day right around the country.

For the Tamworth RSL Brass Band, it’s a community within the community, bringing together families and friendships while paying respects to service men and women.

This year marks 20 years since the Tamworth RSL Brass Band was formed and it has been a real family affair for the musical group over the decades.

It’s never been uncommon to see mums and dads playing alongside their children in the brass band. “It’s a family organisation,” cornet player and publicity officer Julie Roy said. “I joined the band because of my kids starting to play music, so I hadn’t played for 20-odd years.”

Ms Roy moved to Tamworth from Narrabri two years ago and said the band offered her a great way to meet people. And now she will be marching alongside her 16-year-old son, Samuel Hannan, who will be playing the Tuba.

Euphonium player Stephen Sullivan is founding member of the Tamworth band and said the group was born out of necessity. “The band was formed, possibly, two years after the Police Boys Club band folded,” he said. “The RSL brought on a meeting to form a band because they needed a band to play with the diggers. “That’s how the band formed, from that meeting.”

Mr Sullivan has previously served as president of the brass band and said it had a family significance too. “I actually started playing because both of my grandparents were in the army and they used to take me to the dawn service every year,” he said. “I used to hear the Last Post and Reveille and that’s why I picked up a trumpet when I was younger.” Working closely with the sub-branch over his years in the band, Mr Sullivan said bringing the younger generation into the Anzac Day tradition was one of the best achievements.

“We have junior kids who are willing to march with us and show the respect to those guys, it makes [the RSL] pretty proud as well,” he said. While there are a number of events throughout the year for the brass band in Tamworth, Anzac Day is by far the biggest. Starting with the dawn service, band members then make their way to services at Somerton, Gipps St and also Kootingal, all before coming back together for the march in Tamworth and service at the town hall.

It’s a big task, but the band is always up for it. “Any gigs for the RSL we put before anything else,” Mr Sullivan said.


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