The Longreach Town Band in the early days
The Longreach Friendly Societies Band was formed in 1892 to later become the Longreach Town Band we now know today. We started as a men's brass band and Longreach was one of many towns in Western Queensland to have its own band.
In addition to entertaining and supporting the community, we strive to learn and teach each other what we know and encourage individuals to succeed in greater achievements. A number of our players have gone on to study music at Griffith University's Queensland Conservation of Music and other institutions.
The Band enjoys a decades long affiliation with the Queensland Band Association and has previously enjoyed championship success in D and C grades. Although we have not contested for a number of years, the committee is actively pursuing a return to competition.
The objectives of the Longreach Town Band are to support the development of musical skill and promote wide appreciation of brass band community music making in Longreach and its surrounding districts through:
The Longreach Town Band supports Longreach and Ilfracombe by providing music for occasions such as Australia Day, Easter Parades, ANZAC Day, and Community Christmas Carols.
We appear in community concerts and other community events such as the Agricultural Show, Flower Show, Sacred Concert, Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Ethno on the Road and Opera Queensland. We also supports a Christmas Carol service at the RSL Care Pioneers Village in Longreach and endeavour to provide entertainment for the residents at other times during the year.
The band seeks community members to sponsor or donate our $200 appearance fee to enable the band to support events for various charitable organizations. We believe in community service, and providing collectively-made non-electronic entertainment, sharing modern and traditional music with our community.
Townspeople and members struggle to cover the basic expenses of the band. The management committee is working to improve the band's financial situation with the generous support of external donors. We hope to again employ a salaried conductor, refurbish our band room, extend our teaching and learning activities, institute a continuous instrument upgrade program, and maintain and update our uniforms.
Longreach town's population currently stands at approximately 3500 people and the great majority of these people see or hear the Band during the year. People of the nearby town of Ilfracombe also get to enjoy the magic of brass band music. Though the median age group is forty-something, we range in age from twelve to eighty-four.
The Band is always looking for new players of all ages, experience, and capabilities. The transition from sheep to cattle has had demographic implications for band recruiting. Out town has been stripped of almost all its Commonwealth Government employees. Queensland government services are increasingly delivered from coastal cities and Brisbane. Council changes over the decades and more recent amalgamations have made the band much more reliant on private supporters.
Pupils in Longreach state schools benefit from the Queensland Government's school instrumental program after it was extended to all state schools through the exertions of the QCWA and various local members. Our band has benefited from the skilled instrumental teachers that this program has brought to our town, as they have often taken on the role of conductor. While the band hall remains uninhabitable, a Memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Longreach State Primary School has allowed us to use their band room for rehearsal and instructional purposes.
Longreach is a thriving town in Central Queensland. It has many of the conveniences of a city while possessing rural character and charm. Famous for becoming the first base for Qantas Airlines, Longreach was also the birthplace for the world's first flying surgeon service. The town depends on the cattle, sheep and tourism industries. The town boasts many attractions and is the perfect place to experience true-blue Australia.
Longreach is a vibrant regional center which offers a range of services. It has great educational facilities, and well priced real estate. Numerous sporting, cultural and service clubs can be contacted via the Longreach Regional Council Website. With its tourism and events, Longreach is an ideal location for anyone looking for a relaxed outback lifestyle in a friendly and supportive community. Longreach also boasts two of Australia's major attractions, The Australian Stockman's Hall of Fame and the Qantas Founders Museum - both of these showcase the spirit of the outback, not only across the region but all of Australia.
Longreach is served by a 31 bed hospital facility that provides acute care, general surgery, accident and emergency, medical, pediatrics, gynecology, obstetrics, orthopedic, ophthalmology, ENT, outpatient and elective health services as well as a retrieval and transfer service. A large number of visiting specialists attend to the Longreach hospital.
Western Queensland National Parks are some of the most striking in Australia.
"The Outback" goes through climatic booms and busts. However, even when the Regional Council has water restrictions in place, you can cruise down the long reach of the Thomson River at sunset.
The people of Longreach have supported their Town Band when others have allowed theirs to fade away. There used to be enough bands to justify a central west brass band competition! Now, there are modern school instrumental programs, but no longer any town bands in Blackall, Winton (still there in 1965 - played National Anthem and Waltzing Matilda at unveiling of the Qantas Plaque - in Monumental Queensland: Signposts on Cultural Landscape by Lisanne Gibson, Joanna Besley), or Barcaldine. Longreach's pipe band had a rest from the 1970s on, but since 2005 has been the home of the Outback Thistle Pipe Band.