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A BIT ABOUT VERONICA
Veronica was born and brought up in Victoria where she began studying the piano at the age of five but her first public performance as a musician was at the age of seven, when she appeared in an Eisteddfod as a vocalist. At the age of nine Veronica joined the Traralgon City Brass Band (VIC) as a learner and played with them throughout her youth. She also played and toured with the Victorian State Youth Band.
Over the ensuing years, Veronica played with Preston, Kew and Hawthorn ‘A’ Grade Bands. She also conducted Heidelberg Youth Brass and was MD of Morwell Citizens Band. In 1995 Veronica played with the inaugural Australian Brass Band.
Veronica moved with her family to South Australia in 1996 where she resumed playing, initially on French horn,in the inaugural performance of the then newly formed Unley Concert Band. After a little over a year playing with the Unley Concert Band, Veronica moved back into brass bands and began playing with K&N Spring Gully Brass.
It was whilst playing there that, Veronica initiated the creation of the K&N Youth band. From an initial existing small group of five or six young learners and inexperienced players Veronica recruited, developed, and conducted that Youth band. Veronica’s dedication and enthusiasm, combined with her musical and motivational skills, developed K&N Youth into what became the premier Junior Brass Band in South Australia. With the help of a number of parents and helpers, in the year 2000 Veronica took the band to the National Band Competition held in Geelong where they won the Junior ‘C’ Grade Competition.
Between 2001 and the end of 2010 Veronica taught music at various schools, mainly in Adelaide’s southern suburbs. Without exception she was responsible for enhancing the relevant school’s music programs often introducing a brass instrument element. In two instances (St Peters Woodlands and Woodend Primary) Veronica again initiated and formed school bands. Inevitably, at all the schools where she taught, there were music students who were recruited or ‘steered’ towards either her own or other local community brass or concert bands in addition to their school performances. Over the ensuing years and even to the present time, many of those school students and current band members received music related scholarships (most with references from Veronica) and are now undertaking music studies as a major subject in their senior school years.
Throughout 2004 Veronica taught and conducted the Hahndorf Town Junior Band. It was in June that year that Veronica was appointed MD of the Marion City Band. Not wishing to let down the Hahndorf band she began her role as new MD at Marion and continued to conduct and teach Hahndorf Juniors until the end of that year.
In June 2004 at the time of her appointment as Musical Director of Marion City Band, Marion was a relatively small band competing in ‘D’ Grade. The growth, development and improvement Veronica has made to the band since her appointment has been phenomenal.Veronica’s personal drive, enthusiasm, energy, commitment and dedication to effect that change, has been nothing less than exceptional.
Veronica immediately had the senior band competing in ‘C’ Grade and after winning two National 'C' Grade Championships the band now competes in 'B' Grade. She instigated and taught in a training program for juniors and adult learners. She recruited from schools and the general community. She encouraged, supported, and cajoled players and ‘would be’ players into becoming involved in banding and soon after her appointment she was able to form a Junior Band (Warriparinga Youth). That Junior band competed in and won the Junior ‘C’ Grade competition at the 2010 National Band Championship in Tasmania and in SA in 2011. The Band has since been re-graded in SA to Junior ‘B’ Grade. Warriparinga Brass now competes as an open 'D' grade band allowing young and adult beginners the opportunity to perform on the competition stage. In 2014 Veronica started Heaven Brass as a training program for Marion City Band and gives members the opportunity to learn new instruments and conduct. Under Veronica’s direction, leadership and inspiration, Marion City Band, as an organisation has grown enormously. From that relatively small beginning, the Marion City Band organisation now has in excess of 100 registered players performing in three different competing bands and a training band.
Veronica is currently sits on the SABA Executive and has been active in the facilitation of the State Band Championships. Veronica has been the driving force behind the 2015 SABA State Youth Brass Camp and Tour which has brought players from across the state together to perform throughout the Riverland. The success of this venture is testament to the passion and drive that Veronica has towards the SA Band Movement.
There is no doubt whatsoever that Veronica has an enduring influence on performers and performances, particularly in Junior Banding in South Australia and as a consequence, the band movement generally in South Australia.