After almost three years of "living out of a suitcase" the four bands of Brisbane Brass are finally settling into a permanent home and rehearsal venue.
The founders of the Association had the vision in 1984 to secure a freehold property, an old Kingdom Hall in Stafford Road Kedron. This excellent building with a large shed and big hardstand area provided us with a stable home and a solid foundation, enabling us to grow into the formidable music association that we are today.
Sadly this comfort and security were shattered at a time when total renovation of the facility was almost complete when the excavators and pile drivers roared into the suburb to dig and construct the Airport Link and Northern Busway projects that are totally transforming the local area forever.
The much loved Band Hall was in the way and could not be moved to another location so after a struggle for fair compensation from the State Government, the bands moved out and the building was demolished.
So Brisbane Brass became the music association without a home but thankfully temporary rental facilities were found at Craigslea State High School for a time and for the last year at St George's, a former Anglican Church in Windsor.
Rehearsals and contest preparation were thus able to continue without serious interruption but under some difficulty without a permanently set up band room and the music library and other equipment in storage several suburbs away.
A review of Brisbane Brass contest performances over the last three years reveals some remarkable results from bands striving to succeed under such straitened circumstances.
In the background however; behind all the honour and hiatus much work had to be done to find, purchase and prepare for the Association's purposes, a suitable facility into which the bands could resettle and call "home" into the future.
Remarkably all that has been done and after struggles with council over the change of use of the facility and extensive renovation in compliance with demands placed upon the association, this week rehearsals commenced at St Jude's The Home Of Brisbane Brass on the corner of Buller and McIlwraith Streets Everton Park.
There is still a period of considerable difficulty ahead as the Parish of St Jude's is building a new church nearby and so the bands will be sharing the facility with the congregation as they use it for worship two days a week so a permanently set up band room is still a few months away.
So next year the move will be complete and Brisbane Brass with recently appointed Musical Director Iaan Wilson at the helm, can move into a new era, rehearsing in a curious looking brick church building with a gorgeous interior and terrific acoustics and a substantial hall with all the space needed for the John Bertram Music Library, instrument and uniform storage, administration, memorabilia and socialising.
When the dust settles and all the bands become familiar with the spaces and become comfortable the new home of Brisbane Brass will become one of the best community band facilities in Australia if not the whole banding world.
Don't take this writer's word for it, come and visit Brisbane Brass in St Jude's !