For only the second time in musical history the Ballina and Lismore concert bands got together for a blow and a bang last Sunday.
Musical director for the Ballina Concert Band Laurie Green and Ben Van Kleef who is the conductor of the Lismore City Band, spent Sunday wrangling around 30 musos, young and other, with a lively program of tunes.
‘What’s special about today is that the two bands get together – it’s a very rare occasion and we have a great time playing music,’ said Ben Van Kleef.
‘The whole purpose of the day is just to get the two bands together and have fun,’ said Laurie Green. ‘There’s nothing deep and meaningful about it. We rehearse some things, we play some things, we eat and we talk. Then we play some more music.’
‘And there’s no political agenda,’ pipes in Ben.
Both Laurie and Ben chose pieces for the day’s program and took turn waving the baton.
This is only the second time the two forces have combined, last year the groups met at the Lismore Worker’s Club with a public performance afterwards. ‘We decided this year to do it as a workshop just for the musicians,’ said Laurie.
Lloyd Jansson was once bandmaster for the group but when he got to 90 years-of-age (at some undisclosed time in the past), he decided he’d drop a stripe and be deputy for Ballina, giving him more time to play his trumpet and give the band some lip (did you see what I did there?)
Together the combined band lifted the roof off the Wigmore Hall in Swift Street Ballina – It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it’s a blast!