Above: Contemporary Doug
Above: Doug conducting the current Marion Band at the 50th celebration of the band's founding.
Above: Doug with Veronica Boulton and others cutting the 50th celebration birthday cake of Marion Band
Above: Doug with his Army Band in 1966
Above: No 6 Flight Squadron Band circa 1993
Above: The Central Command Band.
When Doug Burnside retired from active participation in Banding Bruce Raymond, President of the SA Band Association, wrote a tribute to him. Doug’s sister Nance was a courtesy aunt to young Bruce, who shared a common musical ancestry via the Salvation Army. Here’s an excerpt from that letter of appreciation.
“He was a respected, skilled craftsman and I learnt much from him during those years. Doug planted many a seed within aspiring young musicians and then offered support and encouragement freely. I have continued my association with Doug since those times and now as President of the South Australian Band Association I value his contribution as a member of the Music Advisory board”.
Bruce finished his tribute to his Salvationist comrade with this salient paragraph.
“It is always difficult when a person like Doug Burnside hangs up his baton, because he has to be replaced, however the contribution he has made to music in all his various roles over the years will be remembered by all of us who have benefited from his leadership”.
Doug Burnside has plied his musical trade in three different settings, the Salvation Army, the Regular Army and community Brass Bands. He has distinguished himself and earned respect from all who have had the good fortune to be under his care. He was the first conductor of the Marion City Band, a group that was to become very successful in later years.
These days he is a bright and cheery elder statesman for Brass Banding and someone we are blessed to have with us.
Thank you Doug,
Geoff Meikle, 2020
My Life as a Brass Bandsman - Doug Burnside
SALVATION ARMY BANDING
The Army is a Protestant Christian church and an international charitable organisation
The Army was founded in 1865 in London by one-time Methodist circuit -preacher William Booth and his wife Catherine as the East London Christian Mission, and can trace its origins to the Blind Beggar tavern. In 1878 Booth reorganised the mission, becoming its first General and introducing the military structure which has been retained. The Army has deployed brass bands since 1878 and they continue to be an integral part of that organisation.
I started to play a musical instrument in about 1940 while still at school. The people
who taught me got called up to the war, so it was stop and start situation. By 1942, I was playing in the Prospect Salvation Army Junior Band and after a couple of years I was capable enough to play in the Senior Band. In those days I played the Bb Baritone Horn. After Sunday School one day, when a group of us got together and were having a bit of a blow, I picked up a Eb Bass and started playing with the group. The bandmaster happened to call in and heard me playing the bass, so that’s how I finished up being a bass player for the rest of my life.
During my days as a bandsman, the Army permitted musicians to participate in Defence and Police Force Bands but restricted playing in Community Bands. Thankfully in the year 2020 a notice was issued; Salvationist musicians may participate in non-Salvation Army music groups provided that membership of such does not conflict with Salvation Army principles and service.
In January 1989 after many years away from Salvo activities I became a bandsman in the Renown Park Corps (Church) and was appointed the Bandmaster in December 1993. The Salvation Army decided to amalgamate the Renown Park and Kilkenny Corps and on the 29th April 2001 the Arndale Corps (Church).was officially opened, I was privileged to be appointed as Bandmaster.
After 10 years as Bandmaster of Renown Park & Arndale Corps, I decided to retire, and a special segment of the Sunday night Christmas program was used to read letters of appreciation and the presentation of a BATON OF HONOUR Renown Park / Arndale Corps 1993 – 20
A few months after retirement I was asked to help out on the Bass Trombone, 7 years later I finally pulled the plug.
My Salvation Army bandsman service has extended over a period of 42 years interwoven with 20 years of activities with Community bands and other interests.
Highlights of Salvo Banding
THE SALVATION ARMY 1980 CENTENARY TATTOO
ANZAC DAWN SERVICE STATE WAR MEMORIAL
15 years as Bandmaster of the Renown Park / Arndale Band .
DEFENCE FORCE BANDS
THE CENTRAL COMMAND BAND (Regular Army)
12 years’ Service
THE BAND OF THE 10th BATTALION ROYAL SOUTH AUSTRALIA REGIMENT
I attended the Army School of Music, Senior NCO Course (six months)
Subjects: Rudiments of Music, Aural Training, Harmony, Instrumentation & Scoring for Band..
There was a mixed bag of instrumentalist, Eb Cornet Bb Cornet Eb Horn Bb Baritone Eb Bass and myself on Bb Bass.
To raise money for our graduation party we decided to enter the local Mornington Eisteddfod in the open voices and open brass sections. We formed a Male voice group and took out 1st prize.
In the open brass section, I played Percy Grainger’s Bb solo “At Dawn”. The adjudicator was impressed with my tone and style and awarded me 1st place.
During my early years in the Central Command band I played part time in the South Australian Orchestra.
I played at the Olympic Games in 1956. About two hundred bandsmen from military bands from around Australia were massed into one big band. The bandmaster of Central Command fell over and broke his leg and I became acting bandmaster. The individual bands would go to different venues, we’d be on duty at one of them, eg the swimming. For the medal ceremonies we had seventy different cards for all the national anthems from every country. It was quite a thrill for me to conduct the national anthems.
There were a lot of tears on the last day. The Olympic Choir and the Central Band of the Royal Australian Air Force were up in the stands, they joined together for the Song of Farewell, to the tune ‘Waltzing Matilda’ in a slow tempo.
Good-bye Olympians, good-bye Olympians,
Fair be the wind as you speed on your way.
Come to Australia, back to Australia,
Wide open arms will be waiting for you.
At the close of the song, the band led all the spectators into the chorus ‘Will ye no come back again’. It was so emotional!!
PORT ADELAIDE CITY BAND 1959 – 62
My first engagement with the band was “The Blessing of the Fleet “ A Procession of the Statue of our Lady of the Martyrs from St. Mary's church in Dale street Port Adelaide via Commercial road and St Vincent street to the Jervois Bridge (Port river) a distance of approx 1km. The band led
the procession playing Italian sacred music at approx 60 paces to the minute.
During the Summer months the band was very active playing at the Semaphore Rotunda every Sunday night including New Year’s Eve. The band provided ceremonial music for the Navy Reserve Guard of Honour for the arrival of the new Governor of Sth Aust. Sir Edric Bastian at the Port Adelaide Town Hall.
Tanunda Band Competitions, C Grade winners 1960, 61 & 62
MARION CITY BAND 1969 – 1978
It was quite a challenge to be the foundation Bandmaster of a group of ex school and adult brass players. There was great support from the Marion Council and the band committee. It was agreed by all the members that we would bring together our skills and develop a good band. In 1970 the band of 25 members (16 male & 9 females) entered the Tanunda Band competitions D Grade. There was great excitement and joy when the band scored 1st place, this was repeated in 1971 and The National Band Championships in 1972. The Band was elevated to C grade with continued first places and elevated to B Grade. I remember that our first attempt in B grade we took 2nd place to the Adelaide St John's Band and on my last year with the band we came second to The Melbourne
Tramways. I remember telling the band “Just remember we were the best of the South Australian Bands”
In 1979 I was a awarded the Badge of Merit from the Sth Aust Band Assoc. and also granted Honorary Membership of the Marion City Band
OTHER ACTIVITES – 1978 -1988
Not certain of the timing of these events
Acting Bandmaster of the Salisbury City Band
I was approached by the committee to take rehearsals and lead the band at a Sunday afternoon fete at The Church of Saint Francis of Assisi, Newton - I enjoyed the friendship of the band.
Acting Bandmaster of the City of Elizabeth Brass Band
The Bandmaster spat the dummy and walked out and refused to take the band for the Tanunda Band Competitions. One long night of good practice and becoming familiar with the Test and Own Choice. To my relief the Band gained 1st place in the B Grade section.
Kensington & Norwood Band, Music Director Bruce Raymond,
Two years playing Eb Bass
C Grade Adjudicator at Tanunda Band Competitions (1year )
Adjudicator Hahndorf Junior Band Competitions (2 years)
Adjudicator Salisbury Slow Melody Competition
Doug Burnside, 2020