MICHAEL THOMPSON IN AUSTRALIA
Michael Thompson (photo)
I thought that this might be a feather in the cap of the buglers branch.
Having auditioned and passed to change over from the corps of drums to the musician branch back in November 1979, shortly afterwards I then left for Australia. I completed 19 years with the RAAF Central Band, as some current and ex RMB and Buglers will testify, having had a few runs ashore, billets in Tommo’s house and shared rehearsal accommodation at the RAAF Central Band Headquarters.
I am now retired from military music after a 31 year career, the best being with the RM’s, of course. Since then I have been doing a few silly things like learning a tuba and finding time to enhance my skills arranging for brass and concert bands.
In March 2004 I was appointed as MD of a local Concert Band, Monash Concert Band, which is a 52 piece of armature band.
It is unusual to have such an ensemble of this size as most of the bands tend to lean more towards big bands, jazz groups and brass and wind groups.
past twelve months with Monash Concert Band has been a real buzz for
me and the highlight of 2004 was, Carols By Candlelight. This event
is performed Australia wide and in the case of the capital city shows,
they are televised throughout the country. The two biggest are Sydney
and the original in Melbourne.
In the City of Monash we are proud to have the second largest event in Melbourne. I had a band of 68 musicians on stage a combination of both, MCB & Oakleigh City Brass. Five months of arranging music for both amalgamated ensembles, 17 new arrangements and programming the show, we had an attendance of 19,000.
Not bad for a Bugler.
Regards as always