Jill – leader of our trombone section.
“I didn’t learn music as a child. I always wanted to, though, but coming from a family of seven children just after the War ended, money and time were pretty tight. I started playing organ when my eldest son was 6 as his teacher said he was too young for a full lesson. He quickly surpassed me of course, as children do. When two of my other children started learning, I felt it was time for a band and they joined the Training Band of Penrith City Concert Band. I too joined the Training Band as I was jealous that they were having all the fun (haha). I was given a trombone to play as they had no basses; so I was around 38 when I started on trombone. I taught myself a couple of notes a week before going to some excellent brass teachers. I have played with the Penrith City Band in Training Band, Concert, and Stage Bands and also with the Penrith Valley Band in both bands as well. At one stage, I was playing in bands several times a week. I joined BMCB around 5 years ago and this is the only band I belong to now.
“I’m now retired but worked as a CSIRO Laboratory Technician for 11 years before leaving to have my children. When they were young teens, I started working as a Relief Child Care Assistant with Penrith Council. I stayed as a relief worker until I retired, as it gave me plenty of time for my other hobbies of band playing and even dog showing at one stage.
“I go through times when I practise every day (when a concert or special event is coming up) but mostly only once or twice a week. I do a lot of just reading the music and practising the rhythms while I watch TV! I really find great joy in playing even though I’m never going to be the best, but that’s the value of bands. They give players the chance to succeed and have fun within a friendly atmosphere. It’s never too late for an adult to learn and I have no patience with people who bemoan the fact that they didn’t have the chance when they were young. With work and dogged persistence, anyone can learn!”