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What exactly is the essence of brass – apart from the opener to the second half of our 2021 fund raiser concert? Dictionaries don’t help. “The core nature or most important qualities of a person or thing”? Hmmm…. That’s rather vague. Maybe it’s like vanilla essence – in which case the smell of valve oil or Silvo might be the nearest analogy. Or perhaps Louis Armstrong came closest when he said “All music is folk music. I ain’t never heard a horse sing a song”.

Whatever the definition may be, our recent “Essence of Brass” annual fund-raising concert demonstrated that it involves a vast and varied repertoire. Big band numbers, more Eurovision winners (our MDs latest obsession), musicals, film scores, jazz, hymns, traditional songs – it was a programme packed with variety. And in addition to all that we were able to showcase the amazing talents of individual band members. Wayne Jackson’s Lazy Trumpeter should have been renamed The Lazy Cornet Player, but the power of his final top note roused us from our snooze.

Tenor horns can sometimes be overlooked as just players of off-beats, but Chris Brockhouse’s mellow rendition of Demelza showed the possibilities of the instrument when in the hands of an expert. John Slater’s haunting David of the White Rock charmed us all and Steve Millar impressed with his pyrotechnical trombone solo Swing that Door.

As always, our thanks to the organisers of the afternoon tea, raffle and ticket sellers. Sue Smith continues to be the best compere in Adelaide, and we are indebted to what is becoming our permanent trombone fill-in section, Steven Millar, Andrew Parkinson and David Blakey. It takes a superb player to substitute for Julie Dorey in the cornet section and Kevin Joughin more than fits the bill.

Congratulations to our long Service award recipients, John and Mary Rhodes, Chris and Brenton Brockhouse, John Hewson, Wendy Merrifield and Bob Bastin – all of whom have been in the band well and truly longer than the 25 years the award is for. Thanks also goes to Mayor Jill Whittaker for presenting the medals.

And finally, to our loyal, appreciative audience. We would be lost without your support – masks and all.