The Onkaparinga City Concert Band began as the Noarlunga City Concert Band in July 1976. The original aim had been to revive the Christies Beach Brass Band which had operated locally in the 1960s, but, instead, a brass, reed and percussion group was formed. The inaugural President was John Strickland, a soon to be retired army musician, Jean Berrington was secretary, and Brian Pearson was treasurer. Music Director was army musician Eric Anderssen.
Early MDs included Barrie Sadler who played french horn in the S.A. Symphony Orchestra and Barry Rodgers, another army musician. Our two longest serving leaders have been Peter Hutchings who learned his music at Kneller Hall in the U.K. and Craig Wingrave.
Between them they served 32 years. Another stayer was Raelene Hopgood who joined the Band on tenor sax in the early 1980s and spent nearly twenty years as librarian.
The band has held its rehearsals in a number of venues over the years – the Lutheran Church (the original one next to Southgate Shopping Centre), Wirreanda High School, Port Noarlunga Primary School, Morphett Vale High School, the Noarlunga Uniting Church at Christies Beach, Christies Beach Primary School and now Pilgrim School Aberfoyle Park.
In competition the band was won A grade twice at the State Championships and B grade on a number of occasions including currently. It has made good use of both the Hopgood Theatre and the Port Noarlunga Arts Centre; indeed the band was the first organisation to use the Hopgood Theatre for its Southern Bands Festival in 1983. It has been a regular feature of carols celebrations in the Theatre, at the South Adelaide Football Club and in Ramsay Place.
It has a training band – the Hopgood Wind Ensemble – and can, and has, put together a Stage Band for functions which included, until recently, the Adelaide Zoological Gardens. It has played concerts in country areas (usually along with the local band) including Port Pirie, Victor Harbor, Renmark and Mount Gambier.
It has an extensive library of musical arrangements and a suite of instruments should someone be in need of one.
After forty-three years of service to the local community it is, under Terry Bickley, in as good a shape as it has ever been and looks forward to a bright future.
Don Hopgood 23.11.19 - Life Member