Home Page‎ > ‎


140th Anniversary Dinner Pictures

posted 11 Dec 2012, 01:28 by Mark Berry

Hello all, the pictures taken by Kristy Lockwood are now available for purchasing.
Please see website for details: 140th Anniversary Pictures

And the band played on

posted 8 Nov 2012, 14:40 by Mark Berry   [ updated 8 Nov 2012, 14:41 ]

The Advocate, Nov. 6, 2012, 1 a.m.

THE music continues with the Latrobe Federal Band celebrating its 140th year, making it the oldest, continuous brass band in Australia.

"While there are older brass bands, they have all had a period through their existence when they have stopped for a while," Latrobe Federal Band anniversary committee member Sonia Berry said.

"World wars, depressions and recessions, even the flower power music of the '60s have all failed to stop the music of the Latrobe Federal Band and this weekend we are focusing on celebrating this fantastic achievement of 140 years."

Throughout the past year, contact has been made with many former players and administrators involved with the Latrobe Federal Band, inviting them to a dinner to catch up with former members. Some of the long- serving members, including Bill Clarke and Geoff Brown together with others travelling from interstate, will get together to reminisce.

"Over the years, a couple of names have become synonymous with the Latrobe Federal Band, specifically the Clarke and Hicks families as musicians, and the Perkins family in an administrative role, all of whom still have a current involvement with the Latrobe Federal Band," Mrs Berry said.

"We came across a 1956 photo of band members including Lou Coventry, after whom the band rooms are named, amongst all our diggings for this occasion. We are delighted that all of them, with the exception of Lou who has passed away, will be attending the dinner."

Highlights of the dinner will include general trivia about the band, the awarding of life membership to the Latrobe Federal Band as well as Nobby Clarke's announcement of the Brass Band of the Century, which should be quite a line-up given the history of the Latrobe Federal Band.

"Recognising that not everyone has a personal link with the Latrobe Federal Band and is therefore unable to attend this auspicious occasion, we are taking full advantage of the occasion and hosting an anniversary concert on Saturday night," Mrs Berry said.

"The Anniversary Concert will feature performances by current members as well as a specially formed reunion band. We have even commissioned a piece of music for the Latrobe Federal Band that will be publicly performed for the first time at the Anniversary Concert."

Make sure you don't miss the community concert, admission is by gold-coin donation.

The Latrobe Federal Band's Anniversary Concert will be held at the Latrobe Memorial Hall and Performing Arts Center from 7pm on Saturday.

The Latrobe Federal Band in 1926, outside the Latrobe Post Office Reserve. All the living members of the band in the picture will attend 140th anniversary celebrations this weekend.
The Latrobe Federal Band in 1926, outside the Latrobe Post Office Reserve. All the living members of the band in the picture will attend 140th anniversary celebrations this weekend.


140th Concert

posted 22 Oct 2012, 15:58 by Mark Berry

John Hardstaff

posted 22 Oct 2012, 15:46 by Mark Berry   [ updated 22 Oct 2012, 15:59 ]

It is with great sadness that I inform you of the passing of John Hardstaff early Monday 15th October 2012. John was a very active member of the Tasmanian banding fraternity and spent many years as a member of the Latrobe Federal Band. He was an valued member of the band from 1975-1988, a member of the UK Tour in 1979, awarded Life Membership in 1980, occasional Band Sergeant and a very capable carpenter who did a lot of work on the bandrooms in the early 80’s. John was awarded the TBL Badge of Honour in 1986 for his service to Tasmanian banding. His passing will be sadly missed by many.

Still striking up the band

posted 1 Aug 2012, 04:15 by Mark Berry


The Advocate, July 29, 2012, 1:13 p.m.

A LOVE of music has kept the Latrobe Federal Band running since 1872.

So it's appropriate that the first sign of the band on its march up Gilbert St was its music.

William Rimmer's Slaidburn echoed up Latrobe's main street announcing the beginning of the band's 140th birthday celebrations.

"It's an old traditional number that suits the band," Latrobe Federal Band tuba player Robert Clarke said of Slaidburn.

He should know, he's a fourth generation band member who has been playing for the band for the past 62 years.

A light sprinkle of rain couldn't keep the band from marching, nor a crowd from gathering to cheer them on.

The band received healthy applause as they marched past the various pockets of onlookers, dressed smartly in maroon blazers, playing instruments that twinkled as the sun broke through the clouds.

"There are bands older, but they've gone into recess from time to time, we've never gone into recess," Mr Clarke said proudly.

"We've always been playing, always."

Mr Clarke has been involved in a number of the band's biggest moments over the years.

"We went to the United Kingdom in 1979, we toured over there for three weeks.

"That was amazing, oh God, wasn't it ever.

"We played everywhere throughout the United Kingdom.

"Wales, we contested in Edinburgh, we were there for the Edinburgh Festival.

"But along with those sort of things, we've played at Batman Parade in Launceston, tall ships in Hobart.

"A lot of big things.

"This (celebration) is one of the highlights."


Latrobe Band to mark 140 years

posted 1 Aug 2012, 04:13 by Mark Berry   [ updated 1 Aug 2012, 04:13 ]


The Advocate, July 26, 2012, 12:22 p.m.

IT WAS like going back home for Ted Hicks when he took over the musical director's baton at the Latrobe Federal Band three months ago.

"I was 71 a few weeks ago and it was 62 years ago I began with the band," he said.

His great grandmother, Elizabeth Hicks, was a member of the band's formation committee in 1872.

Ted's brother Tony, who now lives in America, played with the band for 30 years, and their father Trevor had 60 years with the LFB and was one of the driving forces in the band throughout his adult tenure.

Australia's oldest continuously operating band is very much a family band, with several generations of players coming from a number of well-known Latrobe families.

This Sunday afternoon Mr Hicks will be conducting before his home crowd again for the LFB's 140th anniversary concert at the Latrobe Memorial Hall, with special guests the Australian Army Band.

Before that, the LFB is marching in a street parade with the AAB and the LFB junior band.

Leading into the milestone concert, Mr Hicks, himself a heart attack survivor, has been busy juggling roles as MD of both the LFB and the City of Devonport Brass Band after former musical director Lou Manson had a stroke in October.

"Now I have band nights to take on Monday in Devonport and on Tuesday night at Latrobe. My divorce proceedings will start shortly," Mr Hicks joked.

Mr Hicks recalls the heyday of band music when town bands played at everything from ships being launched to weddings.

"I was brought up in a household where Dad was a band man through and through and I had to practice for an hour every day. Once band music is in your blood it stays there," he said.

The Latrobe Federal Band 140th Anniversary Street Parade and Concert will be held on Sunday. The street parade will be in Gilbert St from 11.30am until 12.30pm and the concert at the Latrobe Memorial Hall from 1.30-4.30pm. Cost is $5 per person, $10 for a family.


140th Anniversary Information

posted 21 Jul 2012, 00:22 by Mark Berry   [ updated 21 Jul 2012, 00:23 ]

Respected brass musician and composer Graham Lloyd has been com-missioned to write a band work to commemorate this occasion.

As part of the Saturday evening concert we would like to encourage enough past playing members to join together and form a Reunion Band and perform this work.

If you are interested in participating in the Reunion Band please indicate this on the Return Slip or via email (see below).

Please also indicate your instrument preference and if you require us to supply an instrument for the concert day. Music and further details will be sent to you.

It has been a challenging task creating a contact list of past members.
We would appreciate it if you could pass on our contact details to members you think we may have not contacted, spread the word !


Participation in Reunion Band - ASAP

Dinner and Barbecue - 12th October 2012

Concert - tickets will be available at the door


Mark & Sonia Berry
15 Rowena Court Devonport TAS 7310
PH: 03 64 233 664
EMAIL: latrobe.federal.band@gmail.com
Details also posted on Facebook and web page:


LFB article on Think Tasmania

posted 10 Apr 2012, 17:52 by Mark Berry   [ updated 10 Apr 2012, 17:52 ]

From Think Tasmania site CLICK HERE

April 5th, 2012 by Lorraine McNeair

Last night I was invited to view and listen to a rehearsal for the Latrobe Federal Band.  This year they celebrate 140 years, and I was overwhelmed firstly with the quality of the music, and secondly with the family history embedded in this band.

Latrobe Federal Band - 140 Years

The Latrobe Federal Band is celebrating 140 years in 2012

Latrobe Federal Band

by Lorraine McNeair

The Latrobe Federal Band was formed in 1872 by Captain McNee with twelve players, and the money for the instruments and uniforms was raised by bazaars and various other money-raising functions.  There are still connections in the present band which go back to that original twelve musicians.  Some of the surnames mentioned being involved are Coventrys, Perkins, Clarkes and Hicks.

I talked last night to a young school girl who is the fourth generation to play with the brass band. The president (Kem Perkins) is the third generation to serve in this position and has been president continuously for forty-five years. The Latrobe Band is the oldest, continuously functioning brass band in Australia. It continued to function, with great dedication, throughout the Depression and two world wars, though dwindling to only nine musicians.

On Easter Sunday of this year the brass band will play at St. Luke’s Church Service, beginning at 10.30pm before the service begins, and again during the service.  Later in the year, on the 9th and 10th November, there will be a band reunion, concert and dinner, at which Vivien Martin, a past Musical Director, will be Guest Conductor.

Xiao Xia Jiang: Musical Director

The present Musical Director is Xiao Xia Jiang, and last night I was highly impressed with her high expertise and energy.  She is also a very accomplished opera singer, and I look forward to an opportunity to hear her perform.  In 1979 the Latrobe Federal Band toured the United Kingdom, and was asked by the BBC to play a moving rendition of Amazing Grace in honour of Lord Louis Mountbatten who was assassinated whilst the brass band was there.

Latrobe Federal Band - Xiao Xia Jiang

Xiao Xia Jiang, Musical Director of the Latrobe Federal Band in Tasmania

Of special mention should be that of the late Lou Coventry, who was heavily involved with the Latrobe Federal Band from 1899 when he joined as a boy.  He was Bandmaster from 1919 until 1965 when he retired at 76 years of age because of ill-health.  He is so revered that the bandrooms, which were developed in the late 1970′s with a grant from the local council, are named after him.  What a fantastic memorial to a great man and musician.  It is said that he conducted the band with one hand whilst playing an instrument with the other!

Latrobe Federal Band - Brass Music in Tasmania

The beat goes on... and on and on! The Latrobe Federal Band has a bright future.

Latrobe Federal Band: A Bright Future

The future looks bright too, with the best Junior Band program in the State.  They have a wonderful Junior Band Room, which was developed with generous sponsorship from various organisations.

LFB 140th Church Service

posted 10 Apr 2012, 17:19 by Mark Berry   [ updated 10 Apr 2012, 17:45 ]

140th Birthday for Latrobe brass band

From The Advocate CLICK HERE
09 Apr, 2012 09:20 AM
A BIRTHDAY TO CELEBRATE: Latrobe Federal Band members at St Lukefs Church are (back, from left) Leigh Heron, David Richards, James Walsh, Peter Walsh, Tayla Radford, Mark Berry and band president Kem Perkins; (front) Jamie Padman, Michelle Bauld, Shantel Radford, Dominique Baker, Xiao Xia Jiang, Ebony Richards, Melinda Poon, Janette Mallinson and Alan Macleod. Pictures: Katrina Dodd.

THERE was plenty to be joyful about as the Latrobe Federal Band celebrated its 140th birthday.

Yesterday, amid the Easter service, the St Lukefs Anglican Church congregation was pleased to welcome the Latrobe Federal Band to help it mark

this special occasion. The Latrobe Brass Band was formed with 12 members on

April 8, 1872, by Captain McNee, a former British army bandsman who had seen service in a military band in India before immigrating to Tasmania.

It wasnft until 1890 the name was changed to the Latrobe Federal Band.

Today it is the oldest continuously functioning brass band in Australia. Members of the band played before the church service and accompanied the hymns


Minister Chris Thiele drew on the bandfs win in the 1976 A grade section of band competitions in Ballarat with the hymn Jesus Himself Drew Near and linked it to the Easter message.

He did a good job by relating his Easter sermon to the ''band and its history,ff long-time president,'' Mr Perkins said.

Mr Perkins, who has been the band president since 1966, said reaching 140 years is an excellent achievement for an organisation from a small town.

''We started off with 12 members in 1872 and today we have 30 members in the junior and senior band,'' he said. Following the service the congregation stayed behind and chatted to the band members and shared morning tea. Mr Perkins said the celebrations will continue on Thursday with a civic reception hosted by the Latrobe Council.

A BIRTHDAY TO CELEBRATE: Latrobe Federal Band members at St Lukefs Church are (back, from left) Leigh Heron, David Richards, James Walsh, Peter Walsh, Tayla Radford, Mark Berry and band president Kem Perkins; (front) Jamie Padman, Michelle Bauld, Shantel Radford, Dominique Baker, Xiao Xia Jiang, Ebony Richards, Melinda Poon, Janette Mallinson and Alan Macleod. Pictures: Katrina Dodd.

140th Anniversary Weekend

posted 2 Apr 2012, 01:49 by Mark Berry

Dates: 9-10 November 2012
Friday Night: Re-union Dinner @ Axeman's Hall of Fame, Latrobe.
Saturday Afternoon: Family BBQ @ Bell's Parade, Latrobe.
Saturday Night: Concert @ Latrobe Memorial Hall Latrobe.
Supper back at Bandrooms.

We plan to have a re-union band for all past members of LFB.
If interested, please contact us via email or phone. Check contacts page.

More details will be posted as they are confirmed. Stay tuned.

1-10 of 20