Above: David Moss - Ultimate Oompah
Above: Dave Moss - The Graduate
Dave “Mossy” Moss describes himself as a “Dilletante”. I’ll come to the precise meaning of this French expression used in English momentarily.
In the meantime I can tell you with confidence that underneath Mossy’s beanie is a bearded, bustling, not-beige character of South Australian banding. He is cheery, chirpy and warmly cherished by his bandmates. He has that folksy, earthy, crafted-in-wood look of a stout-drinking, organic-nut-eating traditionalist, he also has a sparkle in his eyes and a genuine social conscience.
Back to Monsieur Dilletante!
According to the font of all knowledge in 2019…..Google! A dilettante is “a person who cultivates an area of interest, such as the arts, without real commitment or knowledge”.
I think that Mossy has erred on the side of self-deprecation. I actually don’t know the French word for “enthusiastic”, but I do know that Mossy has plenty Joie de Vivre, an abundance of commitment and is not short of knowledge about things musical and non-musical. He is the sort of bloke who does things, makes things and gets things happening. He is always there, unselfishly giving what he has to give without expecting to get any glorious reward. His activities and achievements speak for themselves.
One of Mossy’s special qualities during my days as a casual with Enfield, under the baton of Dave Polain, was his propensity for premature articulation. He developed, probably as a result of being keen to get started, the unfortunate habit of coming in a fraction before everyone else. Dave’s solution to this was to give two downbeats, one for the band then one a fraction of a second later for Mossy! I distinctly remember the night at Enfield that Mossy came in on Dave’s upbeat, stopping him in his tracks. An exasperated Mr Polain made the comment, “Bloody hell Mossy, you’ll be coming in as soon as I open the bandroom door next week!” Mossy laughed, I laughed, the rest of the band laughed and life in Enfield Band went on, due in no small way to the efforts of Dave Moss.
I hope you enjoy, as much as I have, stepping into the warm and welcoming world of Mossy.
Geoff Meikle, 2019
I’m David Moss from Enfield Brass, born at Prospect SA.
My Parents, Jo & Jim Moss were active in politics and loved books, words and debate. Dad ran the “Party” while Mum ran the Book Shop, their combined wages were less than one basic wage. Although I pleaded with them for a musical instrument (violin), in no way could they afford the expense of instrument and teacher so they laughed it off, with excuses of my inadequate body parts.
When it comes to instruments, I confess that I am a dilettante, fascinated with both sound and technique. My Roland XP 10 keyboard gives me 127 musical instrument sounds and 127 percussion sounds as I compose and arrange on the computer. In 2004 I graduated “Sub Bachelor” in “Certificate Grade 4 Music Technology” Elder Conservatorium Adelaide University. I have also graduated from Salisbury TAFE Music School in “Certificate in Music Performance” and “Certificate in Commercial Music Performance”.
My passion is in keeping alive, the music of our ancestors, be it in the form of “Classical” or “Folk” genre. I currently play Eb Bass for Enfield Brass, Bb Cornet (1st. Trumpet) for Chicago Show-band (Bebop & Swing) while in “Folk tradition” I’m into Celtic Fiddle and Harp, Tin Whistle and 5 string Banjo. I have built 17 Bardic Harps and 2 Celtic Harps. I also made 8 Children’s light weight Snare Drums and 2 Light weight Tenor Drums which with a small Bass Drum, I used to drill the Klemzig Junior Drum Corps.
After the death of my eldest son, I have derived great comfort from the Anglo/German Concertina which allows me to play Bass, Continuo and Melody, simultaneously.
I was 8 years old when my sister was born in our home at Albert Park. I was packed off to stay a fortnight with family friends, Mr. & Mrs. Ben Eastern. Ben played in an Australian Army Band during WW1 and at its conclusion, he tells the story of how they entrained, leaving their instruments and music on the French railway station. (Brassed off !)
While apprenticed, I approached Ben for tuition on a Bb Cornet (he provided). With his encouragement and my earnings, I purchased my own Cornet and joined the Port Adelaide City Band Conducted by Mr. Townsend, in 1961.
Would you believe, I gave Brass away for 25 years while I dabbled in Traditional Folk Music, (Guitar, Banjo and Fiddle) but came back to it in 1985 when, married and living in Enfield, I joined the Klemzig Junior Band, under Ron Arthur. I went on to play with Enfield Brass and their “Alter Ego” the Klemzig Oompah Band (German Trad). The Enfield Band Hall is in Klemzig, Australia’s first Settlement of Germans.
Seeking more weekly music involvement, I also joined the Chicago Show Band, started in Kilburn (Little Chicago). This is a band of late starters, specializing in Bebop and Swing, the music of the 20's, 30's, 40's and 50's, featuring Clarinets, Saxophones, Flutes. Keyboards, Electric Guitars,Trumpets, Trombone and Drum kit, under Mark Butt.
Circumstances had me leave the Celtic Music session, to make contact with Enfield Brass. I was determined to make up for lost time (25 years) so I engaged in the study of Music Theory and Practice, involving AMEB, TAFE. (Salisbury), Flinders Street Music School and the Elder Conservatorium, Adelaide University.
As well as regular Band competitions, I participated in solo competitions requiring duets with Piano. During this period, my mantra was…..SEEK PERFECTION ELSE WAIT FOR DEATH. I believe that there is nothing better than Competition to encourage Study, Research, Focus, Rigour and Dedication. Failure? I’ve had lots of Failures. It makes you lean and hungry. Success later on, makes its pain and frustration all worthwhile.
The Cabinet within the Enfield Band Room, contains trophies that I, with my fellow Band people, have valiantly obtained. My name is on the Enfield Brass Life Members Board. My name is on the Ron Arthur Memorial Shield, twice. I appear in photographs of various Band combinations over many years.
On my uniform, I wear the Australian Band Council’s 25 Year Service Medal, the Enfield Brass 30 year Service Medal and its Life Member Medal and from the South Australian Band Association I have obtained their Award of Merit and their Life Membership Badge. On my Lapels I wear 2 Gold Solo awards (both won with walk-overs) and I have a Silver Medal from the Salisbury Slow Melody Competitions. On my wall, I have the certificates of Study, prementioned.
My tastes in Music have altered over the years, from Traditional Australian, English and Celtic Waltzes Polkas, Marches, Slow Airs, Hornpipes, Jigs, Reels and Strathspeys. German Oompah has its appeal but in my latter years I am drawn to the Baroque, i.e. J S Bach, G F Handel, Jeremiah Clark and Purcell. I listen to ABC FM and play easy snippets on my Concertina.
At the moment I am attracted to an English Trad group called “Brass Monkey” (2 Trumpets and a Trombone with Button Accordion and Mandolin) as they play Georgian and Victorian tunes with modulations and chromatic runs.
I didn’t make Carnegie Hall but then you can’t have everything. Perhaps if I had started earlier and concentrated on one instrument only, I would have advanced quicker. I regret the “Dumbing Down” of Marching Competitions for I believe that Great Bands March. Being a traditionalist of Anglo/Saxon stock, I yearn for declining British Brass Band repertoire, now being surpassed by Jazzy American material.
HE THAT CONTROLS THE ECONOMY, CONTROLS THE CULTURE.
My wife had to develop her own friends and activities. (She Bush Walks and does Scottish Country Dancing). We’ve been Married 55 years. Banding has provided stability, she knows where I am on Band practice nights.
As with all human activity, you have conflict and resolution. On band practice nights, Politics and Religion are put aside. The subject is MUSIC, and you are surrounded by fellow enthusiasts for those precious evenings.
I enjoy Composing and arranging on my Computer. I can create any ensemble from a Symphony Orchestra to a Jazz Band. The results are Charts for the troops, Score for the Musical Director and MP3 so he can “Try before He / She buys.”
I have tons of stuff on my Hard Disc, and perhaps, when I’m less active, I will create the “Great Australian Symphony”, but then I delude myself.
All in all, Music has been good for me. Without it I would probably be in Jail.