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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.