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Tributes to band master

Posted by on 18/07/2018

Band members have remembered theirformer master Les Murdoch as a true gentleman and a wonderful musician and mentor.
Nanjing Night Net

Mentor: Port Fairy Citizens Band master Les Murdoch has been remembered as the group’s “most successful” band master, following his death in October. Mr Murdoch guided the band from 1967 to 1984.

They paid tribute to their“most successful” band master who died in Bendigo in October, aged 91.

Port Fairy Band president Russell Thomas said Mr Murdochtutored manylocal musiciansand he wanted to highlight his achievements and celebrate his contribution.

Mr Murdoch guided the band from 1967 to 1984, leading it to Victorian and Australian championships.

Mr Thomas said Mr Murdoch meldedmusiciansof different ages, abilities and aspirations with great success.

Mentor: Port Fairy Citizens Band master Les Murdoch has been remembered as the group’s “most successful” band master, following his death in October. Mr Murdoch guided the band from 1967 to 1984.

Ex-band master Ken Lemke said Mr Murdoch began his playing career at the age of 10 with the Eaglehawk Citizens Band and was appointed as Port Fairybandmaster on March 14, 1967.

“Les always said for a band to improve it must compete,” he said.The band won minor prizes at Wimmera and south-west contests and the Victorian Band Championships.

“A big part of the band’s success was due to the way Les could interpret the music,” Mr Lemke said.“Comments from the adjudicators such as ‘this is what I’ve waited to hear’ or ‘this is the way this movement should be played’ were common place on adjudicators’ reports.”

From 1970 to 1974, the band were successful ininter-group contests winning the South West Group shield in consecutive years. But thehighlight was winning itsfirst Victorian Band Championship in 1975. In 1980, the band entered the Australian Championships, winning all the D-grade sections. Mr Lemke said that was a “defining moment”.“It was a wonderful team effort from the whole band, especially the younger members and it highlighted Les’ musical ability and his interpretation of music,” he said.

Mr Murdoch celebrated the win at the caravan park where they were staying, performing a “heartfelt rendition’” of Danny Boy on a cornet they had won, attractinga huge crowd. “It ended the perfect day for the band,” Mr Lemke said.

They returnedto the championships in 1981 where they defended their title andwere regraded to C grade. Individual players also excelled at the championships underMr Murdoch and tutor Garry Hommelhoff.

The band competed in C grade for the next two years and won the Victorian Championship twice beforeMr Murdoch was forced to retire due to ill health.“This was the end of a wonderful era in the band’shistory and could have only happened due to the talent and musicianship of Les Murdoch and his dedicated players,” Mr Lemke said.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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