Talented jazz musician James Morrison recently engaged with some of Whyalla’s most loyal musicians, presenting two awards to members of the Whyalla Community Brass Band.
Mr Morrison met with the band during his recent visit to the steel city where he performed at the Middleback Arts Centre as part of his new show An Intimate Show with James Morrison.
Longtime Brass Band member Reg Warnes was presented with a life membership by Mr Morrison, while recently-appointed deputy Joel Langridge received the Deputy Music Director Award.
When presenting the life membership to Mr Warnes, Mr Morrison emphasised the importance of the friendships formed through groups such as the brass band.
“It’s about the connections that you make in playing this music, and it’s only through people like Reg who have been there for the long term and are really committed to this that bands like this thrive,” he said.
Mr Langridge discussed how he got into trumpet playing in primary school, in particular how he initially aspired to be a trombone player but his arm was too short for the instrument.
“There were plenty of trumpets left over so I got handed a trumpet, I was glad that they did that,” he said.
Mr Morrison said behind every great leader was a great deputy.
“A brass band is certainly like that, I am delighted to present this certificate,” he said.
He was also asked by Whyalla Community Brass Music Director if there was still a role for brass bands in communities with the growing popularity of rock and metal music.
Mr Morrison responded that the ultimate heavy metal act was a brass band.
“The thing about brass bands is the camraderie they create – I love all kinds of music, but the brass band is one of the few ensembles that can accept whoever wants to be a part of it,” he said.
“The sound of brass is like nothing else, i find it particularly wonderful when people hear a brass band fo rthe first time.”