Above: The mid sixties. A typical family outing, I marched for the South Australian Band's Marching Girl Association, The Salisbury Band sponsored my club – The Spartans. L-R, Mum, me, Merilyn, Kendon and Dad.
Above: Mrs Pickett. A great supporter of junior musicians, Along with my mum. They were like surrogate grandmas to a lot of the kids.
Above: 1974 Junior champion of champions points allocation and placings.
Above: Salisbury Junior Band. During the 80's I conducted the junior band. A really enjoyable time in my banding career. Not only did we have fun playing, we used to run discos and put on dinners. All the kids, me, my brother and mum used to do all the cooking, setting up, serving etc... Good times!
Above: SCB Brass Ensemble, Solo and Party Comps.
Above: Ensemble playing at the Solo and Party Comps.
Introduction by Kathy Cameron
I have known Adrienne Meikle for over 40 years. We were friendly rivals, competing regularly in solo contests and band competitions. Our friendship grew as we were both female Euphonium players and were happy to see each other succeed, especially if we beat the boys. Our friendship got stronger once I was married, to Darren Cameron, and our husbands also became friends. Adrienne even helped me to become an Instrumental Teacher, by putting my name forward to the Instrumental service of the S.A. Education Department. Adrienne has always been just a call away if I needed advice about work or a student and we have often exchanged advice and ideas or just been a sounding board when needed.
Adrienne was a brilliant Euphonium player and would have been welcome in any band but her loyalty to Salisbury Band was too strong. Her family had been a part of the founding of Salisbury Band and while there have been times she may have wavered; her heart was always there. She conducts the band now and I know they are lucky to have such a dedicated leader.
Adrienne has won many accolades over the years as a player and a Drum Major, and they were well deserved as she has worked hard to achieve them. I truly admire her dedication and treasure our friendship which has ebbed and flowed over the years but remains steadfast.
Kathy Cameron, 2021.
Adrienne Meikle - Banding Profile
Name and place of birth: Adrienne Meikle, Salisbury S.A.
Parents names: Bette and Ken.
Instrument(s): Euphonium, trombone, trumpet and a bit of drums. I did have a brief stint on Solo horn in 1977.
Who were your first influences and who gave you your first lesson?
I started playing in June 1970 at age 13. A late starter considering my family background. My maternal grandfather and five uncles and my parents all played in brass bands. My interests from the age of 8 had been marching girls and Irish dancing.
In the late 60’s, a lot of young people were joining the band, and as my interest in marching girls had waned, I decided to give that away and join the learners class.
I suppose my first influences were my parents and uncles. Also even though there were some good young males (Geoff being one) , there were a few girls that inspired me to become a player. Lesley Pickett, Bridget Stevens and Bronya Craker.
In my first classes my instructor was Brian Stevens (I think). I started this class on tenor horn, then moved after a few weeks to a higher class and was given a baritone. Again after a few weeks I was promoted into the junior and senior bands. I was eventually moved onto euphonium after a couple of year
What band(s) have you played in?
I have played with Salisbury for 50 years. I have played with Enfield on several gigs over the years, also with Tanunda on various concerts and Melodienachts. One of my scariest experiences was sight reading Diversions on a Bass Theme in a concert under the baton of David Polain.
I have played with the Flinders St. Wind Ensemble with Irving Rosenthal.
Played trombone with the Edgar Beck Big Band, the Bay Big Band and Elizabeth Brass Band on numerous occasions. The Oak Beam Brass Quintet (trom/bari), the Itty Bitty Big Band and the Canadian Club Brass Quartet.
I took over as MD of Salisbury in 2013.
Has there been a particular time in your life that has been important in shaping you as a musician?
In the early 1970’s the junior members used to travel to Broken Hill to compete in the Eisteddfod. Even though I won my section the adjudicator said I had a sound like a furry peach. I had never heard a furry peach but assumed that this wasn’t a good thing! So on the advice of some of my peers, set about improving my sound, long notes, playing with my eyes closed etc. Not so long after this I heard Roy Crouch……wow what a sound. I set about trying to emulate his sound. Hmmm, anyway it made me practise more. My mum gave me some good advice about playing ballads/slow melodies. Read the words, think about them while you are playing, tell the story.
Contesting…….. Is it worth the effort?
As juniors we were all encouraged to take part in solo and party competitions, which we gladly did. I particularly liked the ensemble playing. It wasn’t just about the playing, it was the friendships with fellow competitors that were formed, some continuing to this day.
Competing as a band? Yes I enjoyed getting my part and doing all the hard work early, especially as I got older. I could then help others with their parts, either individually or with section practices.
Loved competing at Tanunda in the old days when it was like a carnival, with rides etc…..Showing my age here!
Does anyone remember the Waikerie competitions? That was my first comp as a member of the band.
These days since taking over as conductor I don’t enjoy competing so much, for reasons that I won’t go into here.
What awards, prizes and achievements have made you glad that you made the effort.
I have had my fair share of success, but the stand out for me was in 1974 when I won Junior Champion of Champions. The first female in SA to do so. I have won several Drum Major awards as well.
What are your preferred styles of music?
Too varied to list here. Surprisingly I don’t listen to a lot of brass band playing…Brass playing yes
Who are your favourite musicians, bands and musical associates?
I really enjoy Sergei Nakariakov, Maurice Andre, Joe Alessio, The Band, Led Zeppelin, George Golla/Don Burrows. The most enjoyable era for me was when we had the Oak Beam Quintet, initially with Dave Barker, Geoff Meikle, Geoff Snelling, Pat Brady and me. Then later with Pete Snelling (replacing Dave) and Kathy Cameron (replacing Pat). Good music, good company, some good gigs and mostly good times. Thanks to Geoff and Rita for the use of their home for all those years. More recently we had the Canadian Club Quartet with Geoff, Geoff Snelling, Keith Miller and myself.
What would you do differently? Any regrets?
I don’t regret anything really, but wish I had the opportunity to have some private tuition in my early years. I do perhaps regret not getting some sort of qualification in music, although I studied and gained a Certificate in music (performance) from TAFE.
What effect has banding had on your family life?
I think as a child that banding was our family life. Dad was the conductor, mum, me, my brother Kendon and my younger sister all played in the band. Only my older sister Merilyn (deceased) didn’t play. Geoff has always sort of been part of the family even before we were a couple.
Growing up most weekends saw a variety of bandy people at our house. Dad was famous for his impromptu barbies.
Over the years Mum and Dad have taken a few waifs under their wings (Geoff and I have done the same thing), which could be a little intrusive at times. Dad also taught at home which could be a bit restrictive to the family but that’s what banding was in those days.
We had some great times with other brass band families. Camping at Pt Gawler with the Arthurs, Smiths (Joe), Picketts…even a Benger! One of the longest friendships with someone who is still playing (apart from Geoff) is with Rosie Keen.
Has banding influenced your social life?
Again I think our social life was brass band based, though obviously we do have friends outside of the banding scene.
What are your other interests?
We went through a cycling stage. Have had a couple of trips away with Kathy and Darren Cameron as well as camping with fellow bandies. We enjoy a bit of busking at the moment.
What lies ahead for you?
To keep on enjoying banding and life.
Anything else?..................Thoughts and opinions?
Not really. I would like to live a long and fulfilled life, to keep going as long as Mum (92) and Dad (91).
We have had the opportunity through banding to play with bands in N.Z. and the U.K..
Being part of brass bands has given me my husband of 43 years with a few more years to come and my employment.