Band at risk of folding

WARRNAMBOOL’S historic city band is on the verge of extinction with member numbers at dangerously low levels.

Band president Sharon Gore said it would be a shame to lose the almost 170-year-old group, which was formed by local militia in the 1840s.

“If the band happens to fold then everything becomes the property of city council and would be very difficult to get back,” Ms Gore said.

“It would be a shame after all those years to lose an iconic part of the community.”

The  Warrnambool City Band today has a membership of 12 but is set to lose three members to further studies.

Ms Gore said that the prominence of school bands had posed a challenge to the group’s survival.

This is not the first time the band has had to rally for members. 

After a decade in hibernation, the band made a comeback in 2008 to win a state championship.

Band numbers swelled from 12 to 40, but have dwindled again.

Ms Gore said the band was looking for adult musicians who were willing to pass on their knowledge to the next generation.

“We just want to expand our age range and experience and keep handing that on to the community,” she said. 

She said the band hoped to compete again and was also searching for an experienced conductor. 

We are looking to improve, get out there more and do more competitions,” she said.

The band’s two young conductors, aged 16 and 17, are moving on to VCE, paving the way for someone new to take over the helm.

“It’s a great social environment and we’re keen for people who can mentor and can pass on information to young ones that might come along,” Ms Gore said.

Anyone interested can contact Ms Gore at goresd1@live.com.au

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