Continuing with my tradition of discovering new and interesting bugling experiences, Remembrance Day 2016 turned it up and gave me another memorable one; an interview and performance with Red Symons on Melbourne’s 774 ABC Radio.
The RSL called the afternoon before to see if I was happy to be interviewed by Red in my capacity as a bugle player and after a quick chat with his producer, I was locked in for 7:20am the next day. As a regular listener of Red’s program, my immediate anxiety was not because I would be playing Last Post on air, but rather I’d be speaking with a man I had grown up idolising for his music career, both in Skyhooks and on Hey Hey It’s Saturday, a live variety TV show I used to watch as a kid.
Arriving at the studios I was amazed at how small his team is! The show is run by a producer, assistant producer and an intern while Red is on air. There is obviously a considerable amount of work put in outside the broadcast (presumably by more staff at the ABC), but I was very impressed by how small and incredibly polished the on-air team is.
The interview and performance went very well – nearly seven minutes of air-time was over in a flash and I wasn’t actually aware of the RSL’s plan to positioning buglers around the city; you’ll hear Red ask me if he needed to read the “piece of paper”. Having prepared a short bio the night before, Red also picked up on our band, Funk Buddies, which was a great little bonus.
I thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated the chance to meet Red and perform Last Post. I received some lovely feedback from various places, including the ABC’s facebook video and look forward to the interesting experiences I might have in 2017.
I had another wonderful opportunity to play the Last Post and Reveille (Rouse) bugle calls at the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne.
This amazing building is a magnificent tribute to Australia’s serving, returned and deceased military personnel and, as a civilian bugler, it’s rare that I have the chance to play there.
This performance was for the XLI Club, whose purpose is “…to bring together like-minded members of the community who embrace the efforts of all law enforcement, defence and emergency services, whilst making a positive contribution to the local community and selected charities.”
I was able to record my performance:
I still have a number of ANZAC memorials in the lead-up to ANZAC Day, including the Toorak Heroes Club, Melbourne Central and an Essendon and Collingwood FC brunch on ANZAC Day itself.
Today I had the absolute honour of reciting The Ode and performing Last Post and Rouse at The Glen Shopping Centre in Glen Waverley. It was a pleasure being involved and it’s great to see more businesses organising ANZAC and Remembrance Day memorials.
Centre staff recorded the following video which was then posted to facebook.
If you or your business are interesting in holding memorials like this in the future, please don’t hesitate to drop me a line. I can help suggest a format or put you in touch with people at the RSL who can assist you further.
I had the honour of playing the Last Post and Rouse at the funeral of a retired Victoria Police officer in the Victoria Police Academy Chapel at Glen Waverley. This incredible chapel has an amazing blend of architecture, with my favourite feature being the domed, Renaissance-style ceiling. You’ll hear just how wonderful the acoustics are.
It’s rare for me to have video of myself playing at these ceremonies. For this service I stood alone on the balcony, out of sight of the congregation, so I was able to privately capture this video. I have intentionally angled the camera towards the ceiling out of respect for the family and their friends.