Bands and the ‘burbs – a Live! Queensland Band Culture Talk

Bands and the ‘burbs is a Live! Talk, presented as part of Live! Queensland Band Culture , which explores 160 years of band activity in Queensland and celebrates the soundtrack of our state through performances, exhibition and events.

Join high school music directors Laurinda Davidson and Stefanie Smith, and community and school band director David Jones, in conversation with Ralph Hultgren, Head of Open Conservatorium, Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University, as they explore the relationship between school and community bands, and the broader band culture of Queensland.

 Moorooka State School Band welcoming home soldiers from World War II in Brisbane, Queensland, ca. 1945, John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland Neg: 11407

Moorooka State School Band welcoming home soldiers from World War II in Brisbane, Queensland, ca. 1945

Did you play a musical instrument at school? If you grew up in Queensland then there is every chance you did. The culture of music-making begins and develops in schools, and Queensland is leading the nation in music education.

Formal music education has long been part of the Queensland cultural landscape. While 1957 marked the opening of the Queensland Conservatorium, 1971 saw the Department of Education establish its now internationally recognised Instrumental Music Program into Queensland schools. Since then, school bands have been a standard feature of both primary and secondary school education.

Concert bands, stage bands, and any number of other brass, wind and percussion ensembles are available in schools to see Queensland children through to a life-long love of music and participation in community bands. Programs such as Fanfare, the biennial festival competition of bands and orchestras from Queensland schools, MOST (Musically Outstanding Students) and the Queensland Conservatorium State Honours Ensemble Program (SHEP) have encouraged musical excellence in both teachers and students, and ensured that musical opportunities extend state-wide.

We know that community music making is an important part of life in Queensland, and bands can provide a strong sense of identity for both players and audiences. People join and love bands for all sorts of reasons - to develop their musicianship and learn from others, to find enjoyment, fulfilment, and fellowship among others of like mind, and to connect with a community or a tradition. To learn and play music together is a joy. Bands express a community spirit which everyone can share, and music education is critical to a lively and diverse community band culture.

Bands and the ‘burbs is on Wednesday night, 10 July at 6.00pm in Auditorium 2, Level 2 at State Library of Queensland. The event is free, but bookings are required.

Sandgate Convent School Band, Brisbane, ca. 1939,   John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland Neg: 159840

Sandgate Convent School Band, Brisbane, ca. 1939

Robyn Hamilton – Queensland Music Coordinator, State Library of Queensland