Fred's Story

Our euphonium player, Fred, has spent a lifetime playing music. From the jazz club to the pit to the classical stage, he placed no limit on what he could explore or what he could achieve. His wife, Elizabeth, tells the story.

“Fred started studying the cello when he was eight years old. In Haarlam, Netherlands, there was a very good Jazz Club in the 1950s whose members were mostly under 25 plus a few oldies at that time, so Fred borrowed a double bass or two and played a lot with these aspiring musos.

“He graduated as an electrical engineer, served the two compulsory years in the Dutch Army, then got a job in Switzerland. Music took a back seat during this time. However, after being sent to Australia in the 1960s Fred got to know a few musos and started playing jazz again, mostly in pubs. Work once again took over, with lots of travelling which kept music at bay for another while.

“By the late 80s, Fred was back on the cello playing classical music. With his wife Elizabeth (piano, later viola) he was playing sonatas; they then combined with a violinist to play trios. Fred and Elizabeth joined the ACMS (Amateur Chamber Music Society) and later the Wollongong and Sutherland Shire Symphony Orchestras. Fred played in almost all of the musicals on show in Wollongong! When an accident interfered with Fred’s cello playing, he switched comfortably back to double bass, this time playing classical music instead of jazz.

“On moving to Leura in 2007, Fred played with the Orpheus Strings and Penrith Symphony Orchestra. His musical adventures were far from finished, though – in 2010, Fred started on euphonium with Volker Schoeler’s Blue Mountains City Band and finally arrived at Blue Mountains Concert Band in 2016.”

Fred and Elizabeth retired from our band in 2021 after this long and remarkable musical journey.

Great memories, Fred.