Rotunda serves up afternoon treat

Bands in the Rotunda
Bands in the Rotunda

TWO very different sounds will be heard this Sunday by visitors to Memorial Park coming to listen to the Bands in the Rotunda.

This monthly treat for anyone who cares to turn up about midday has now been going for a year and a half, showcasing a variety of local and some regional musical entertainment for free.

Not all bands will be to everyone's tastes, but that adds to the beauty of the event - you never know what you will discover or who may be the next big star.

The bands volunteer their time to entertain the public and in return they are given the opportunity to share their music with the local community.

Classical Birds is a partnership started in 2005 between mandolin player Sue Flower and Pam Graham on piano.

Sue was given her first mandolin when she was six years old, and went on to study with the renown mandolinist Hugo D'Alton at 16, and became the first music student at Trinity College of Music in London to graduate with a Performers Licentiate Diploma on the mandolin.

Over an incredible career Sue has performed at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, London, the Royal Ballet, with major orchestras in the UK, given many recitals and concerto performances both in the UK and around Europe, and was involved in numerous recordings for radio, TV and disc.

Since moving to Queensland in 2004 Sue become a member of FAME, the Federation of Australasian Mandolin Ensembles, and now regularly participates in their Festivals held around Australia and New Zealand, a couple of occasions enjoying the opportunity of leading the Festival Orchestras in Brisbane and Auckland.

Sue performs regularly in the Sunshine Coast area both as a soloist and with local ensembles as well as being a member of the Queensland Mandolin Orchestra, based in Brisbane.

Pam also started piano early at age of nine on the Isle of Wight, and has been teaching music, dance and drama for the last 35 years, accompanying a few well-known musicians and orchestras in that time, as well as cruising the world on a yacht for many of those, with a piano on board.

She now organises monthly music nights in Cooloola Cove and has always promoted music and musicianship wherever she has travelled.

The duo will be followed by the Gympie Salvation Army Band which celebrate more than 125 years of ministry and service in Gympie.

Salvation Army bands are used to accompany singing in meetings (church services), to proclaim the message of salvation to the community and bring cheer to institutions such as hospitals and nursing homes and play for community events as required.

Except for a couple of years in the mid-90s the local Gympie band has had continuous service with varying numbers of players, currently about 12 regulars from young to old. Players are generally members of the Salvation Army, but non-members, sympathetic to Army beliefs assist in helping the band to survive.

The band will be playing many well-known hymn tunes intermingled with marches and selections, some written by members of the band.

Everyone needs to relax and unwind, and this could be a good place to do so, depending on the weather. Grab your lunch, blanket or chair and friends and head for historical Memorial Park - it's free.

If you are in a local band or know of local bands that may want to be involved in future Bands in the Rotunda programs phone Joolie Gibbs on 5481 0732.

This is only one of many events that CoolArts Gympie brings to the Gympie region, this one in partnership with the Gympie Regional Council Heritage Committee.

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