Musicians embody durable qualities of determination and resilience. Maggie, stalwart of our flute section, shares her journey from disillusionment to musical fulfilment:
“As a child there wasn’t a lot of music played in our house. My Mum would sometimes play the piano on a Sunday evening and we would gather round and sing. I was at boarding school for all of my formal education and when I went to high school I started piano lessons. My teacher was a vibrant young lady who also played the organ in the cathedral. After six months she went overseas. Her replacement was sweet, elderly and uninspiring and I lost interest.
“When my daughter was of a similar age she started flute lessons. I decided that I wanted to learn as well. I mentioned my need for a teacher to a patient of mine – I was working as a physiotherapist at that time. Her son, a flautist from Sydney, gave me the name of someone who had recently retired to the Blue Mountains.
“I was most fortunate to meet Linda Vogt. In 1942, at the age of nineteen, Linda left Melbourne to join the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. It was a temporary position, as the principle flautist had been called up. After the war she stayed on. When I met her I was in my mid forties and she was in her early seventies. When she died at 91, I was her last student. It was she who introduced me to Blue Mountains Concert Band. She had heard them play at the Springwood Fair and was impressed with the conductor – Garry Clark. It was her patient, enthusiastic and flexible teaching style that opened a very precious world to me. I thank her often, as I do Garry.
“When I was working fulltime and had children at home it was difficult finding time for practice, but I managed to play for 20 minutes in my lunch break. My poor colleagues eventually noticed some improvement!!
“I joined BMCB about 11 years ago. At the time I was terrified, especially as there was only one other flute player – Gill. Over the years the group has grown and evolved, and I know that we make good music together.”