For our last ‘Destination Music’ post of 2021, read Robyn’s musical journey. Like many adult community musicians, Robyn learnt to play as a child and was keen to return to music-making when her family and work commitments permitted:
“As a child in rural NSW, I had the opportunity to do piano lessons, some formal lessons with AMEB exams and then some more contemporary lessons. I moved to Sydney at the age of 17 where I studied Nursing.
For about the next 15 years I did not pursue any music as I was busy with nursing, marriage and having my children. In 1995 I was part of a church that had a choir and so I joined the choir. I realised how much I had missed having music in my life and continued to join choirs as Rennie and I moved around Australia with his work as a minister in the Uniting Church.
When I was about 35 and my own children were involved in school bands and taking music lessons, I decided I would like to take up learning the flute. It was an instrument I have always liked the sound of. After taking lessons for a couple of years my teacher suggested I find a community band to join so I could perform and play with a purpose.
I was living in Castle Hill at the time and was able to join the “Hills Music Academy” led by Garry Clark. I found it very difficult at first keeping up with the band. Surprisingly when you make a mistake no one waits for you and you just need to learn to catch up and continue to play. Being part of a band was very enjoyable as I was able to make new friends and really enjoyed being able to perform as part of a group. I was part of this group for several years until I moved away from Castle Hill.
About 5 years after leaving Castle Hill, I moved to Blaxland in the Blue Mountains. In the first few weeks of moving, I went to the Glenbrook Spring Festival and heard Blue Mountains Concert Band playing there with Garry Clark as the conductor. I had missed playing in a band and so talked to Garry and was once again able to join a community band.
I have now been in Blue Mountains Concert Band for about 10 years and still really enjoy playing in a group. My skills and musicianship have improved a lot since I first joined the band. As I have only ever had music as a hobby and not a profession, I find it great that there is a place that musicians of varying abilities can come together to produce great quality music. I also enjoy playing for the local community and giving something back to the community that I live in, especially through ANZAC and Christmas gigs.”
Thank you everyone for following BMCB’s Lockdown 2021 Destination Music Project.
A Merry Musical Christmas to you all!