Ethan trumpets band
Saturday, 19th February, 2011
By John Casey
Nineteen-year-old Ethan Mercer is the youngest member of the BIU Band and that is something he wants to change.
Not that he is looking to hang up his cornet and abandon his 15 or so regular band mates - in fact, it is quite the opposite - the band would love to hear from anyone interested in joining them, particularly the younger brigade.
“It’s a lot of fun with the band and definitely worth a go,” an enthusiastic Ethan said.
“I’ve been involved for about seven years and playing together with the band provides me with an experience that is hard to explain.
“I’ve recently returned from studying at Flinders University in Adelaide and playing with the band was one of the things I missed the most,” Ethan continued.
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The group gets together at the BIU Band Hall in Beryl Street every Thursday from 7pm and organiser Stephen Podnar says they would welcome any new members.
“If we have to train people that is fine,” said Mr Podnar, who has been playing for more than 40 years.
“We have a range of instruments available from trumpets to tubas and anyone willing to participate is most welcome.
“At the moment we are also on the look out for an experienced conductor and would love to hear from anyone with experience in this area,” Mr Podnar added.
The BIU Band has a long and distinguished history which dates back to 1899 and won Australian A Grade championships in 1961 and 1963.
“Each year we perform at events such as Australia Day, Anzac Day and Christmas functions, it’s usually once every two months or so that we’ll have a show on,” Ethan said.
“I’m one of about six people who play the cornet - it’s the most popular instrument in the band.”
Ethan’s first musical experience was learning piano when he was a five-year-old.
“My Nan, Val Mercer, had a piano and I wanted to learn how to play it properly so I started lessons with Le-Neda Baldwin,” Ethan recalled.
“One day she produced a cornet and I liked the look of it and gave it a try. It took a few weeks to start getting that good brassy sound rather than a lot of wind and here I am today.”
Anyone wanting more information about joining the band should phone 8087-7633.