You might have seen the Geraldton City Band out and about. Whether at Shore Leave Festival, under the dome of the Cathedral, or in one of their fierce competitions.
There are a lot of moving parts to those performances, and the band wants you to be one of them.
Wednesday night’s rehearsal was put aside for a come and try night, where everyone from seasoned trombonists to complete amateurs like me were invited to have a go at being in a brass band.
“Even people that are already playing an instrument, to transition to playing one of these in an ensemble takes a bit of work to learn,” musical director Josh Gibson said.
“This is, as far as I know, the only ensemble in Geraldton where a wind or brass player can come and join in.”
Even if you have no experience, the band is very accommodating. I have never been able to read sheet music, nor have I ever so much as held a brass instrument.
Yet, after a crash course from high school music teacher Ewan Stevens, I was playing along with the band.
Granted, it was Mary Had a Little Lamb on the bass drum, but it wasn’t bad for five minutes training.
For beginners looking at playing brass, it’s all about embouchure — the size and shape of your mouth when you blow.
Cornets have small mouthpieces, while horns are more accommodating to a wider shape.
I’m certainly not competition ready, but there is a place for new players. Brasstastic is an introductory band starting next month, which Gibson hopes will bring players out of their bedrooms and into a community of musicians.
Once you’re up to it, it’s competition time.
The Geraldton City Band competes on State and national levels, this year coming third in class at the State championships.
The Geraldton City Band rehearses on Wednesday nights from 7.30pm to 9pm and new members are always welcome.