Australian Army Band Newcastle heading to Salamander Bay for Port Stephens Legacy concert

MARCH ON: Australian Army Band Newcastle will perform in the annual Port Stephens Legacy Concert in September. Picture: Supplied
MARCH ON: Australian Army Band Newcastle will perform in the annual Port Stephens Legacy Concert in September. Picture: Supplied

Australian Army Band Newcastle’s annual visits to Port Stephens have become a highly anticipated event.

But the Army band’s show of skill is not the sole reason as to why its annual concert is such a success.

Why the musicians venture to Port Stephens each year is a major factor.

Money raised from the concert goes to Port Stephens Legacy, who in turn support 275 widows and eight children in the area.

The collaboration between Australian Army Band Newcastle and Port Stephens Legacy has supported countless widows and children during the past 12 years.

“The long running concert is an opportunity for the Army band to showcase its talents and variety for a worthy cause,” Warrant Officer Dick Cutler, the band Sergeant Major, said.

With only a short break from service after WWII, Australian Army Band Newcastle has existed since 1861.

It is the Hunter regions own military band.

Band members are talented musicians from the Hunter region.

They are employed part-time by the Australian Army to be part of the band.

The band’s main focus is supporting and promoting Australian Defence Force units within the Hunter region, though they are also very active in community development and support.

The band comprises of ensembles, from quartets to a full military band, and performs music from all genres to suit any occasion.

It also features a pipes and drums section.

Captain Mike Fitzpatrick took over as bandmaster last year.

“Last year’s concert under the new bandmaster, Captain Mike Fitzpatrick, was regarded by many as one of our best,” Legatee and concert organiser John Warran said.

“He has guaranteed the pipes and drums will again feature prominently.”

Warrant Officer Cutler said the 2017 concert, which will be held in Salamander Bay next month, will feature the full military band along with a crowd favourite, the bagpipes.

“This is a great opportunity for any keen and talented musicians interested in a rewarding part-time career to see the Army band in full flight,” he said.

The Port Stephens Legacy Concert will be held in the Tomaree Education Centre hall on Saturday, September 2.

Doors will open at 1.30pm for a 2pm start.

Tickets, available at the door on the day, cost $20 per person.

School-aged children are free.