The People who built SA's Brass Bands (by Geoffrey Meikle)

GEOFF MEIKLE looks back over his years in Banding.

After spending fifty plus years making music in Brass Bands I feel the urge to tell the stories of the people I’ve met. Although I am not a professional writer or historian it is my hope that by documenting the lives of my fellow brass bandies, the reader will feel connected with the personalities represented on these pages.

Each participant has been given a “Bio pack”, which outlines the objectives of the project and guidelines for writing their story. The participants have been given the option to write in continuous prose or use the questionnaire I provided. There has also been input from families, friends and musical associates woven into the fabric of each musician’s written history.

My commentary is intended to be personal, subjective and, hopefully, entertaining. This is not intended to be a work that accurately defines SA Banding down to the last hemi-demi-semiquaver. Basically it’s just me having a bit of fun and getting it all off my chest whilst coasting into retirement!

All the Best,


Geoffrey Meikle came to South Australia in August 1964 along with his parents. He was nine years old and the eldest of three children. The family settled at Elizabeth Vale for the first seven years in Australia then moved to Salisbury East. He attended Elizabeth Vale Primary School, Elizabeth High School and Salisbury East High School. Prior to the move from England, he had been receiving private piano lessons. This is probably where his love of music germinated. He joined the Salisbury and Elizabeth Band, as it was in 1966, attended learners class run by Ken McMahon initially, then played in the senior band until 1980 after becoming a life member in 1976.

Between 1980 and 1997 Geoffrey gained a bachelor degree in Music Education, became a secondary school music teacher, dipped a toe into the semi-pro music scene and was a member of the Elizabeth Brass Band. He also played regularly with the City of Enfield Brass Band and Tanunda Town Band.

In 1997 he found himself back where he started at the Salisbury City Band, conducting the band for fourteen years then making the move back to the cornet section where he remains to this day. He is happily married to the band’s conductor Adrienne Meikle who is Ken McMahon’s daughter.

FOREWORD (by Bruce Raymond, President SA Band Association)

I am honoured to write this foreword in support of this outstanding account of people who have spent their lives in differing roles whilst serving Community banding in South Australia.

In all walks of life there are unsung heroes who give of themselves to ensure that their passion is passed on and enjoyed by future generations.

The writer, Geoffrey Meikle, teacher, fine musician and a friend and mentor to many within the South Australian Band movement, has captured this passion providing an insight into the lives of our legends whilst highlighting their achievements.

His tireless research will be rewarded as readers discover the power of passion and its ability to motivate new generations of young people into Community Banding; an activity which has stood the test of time.