Above: Playing in France 2009
Above: Drum Major - ANZAC Day 2018 Hahndorf Town Band
Above: Nadia's cornet playing days
Above: Hahndorf Town Band in Ardlethan
Above: Trans Adelaide drum majoring full band
Above: Eisenbahn band
Nadia Henriks was born in 1977, making her the youngest participant, thus far, in this profiles project. It also makes her a member of Generation X. This is, apparently, the generation that grew up with technology, but is not tethered to it. She actually started playing a brass instrument in 1984, the year that George Orwell predicted that the world would be a dystopian disaster zone, it’s also the year that Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, was born.
For me, the most happy and harmless event of 1984 was when Nads Henriks started playing the Euphonium!
Nadia represents hope for the future of Brass Bands. The words “cool” and “fun” appear a few times in her story. Her breezy and friendly personality, optimistic outlook, love for music and sound musicianship bridges my generation (the one before Nads!) and the modern generation (the one tethered to technology!) with each other.
Getting todays X Box players to leave their dark dungeons and become engaged with Euphoniums in broad daylight is what we need.
Nadia Henriks gives us hope for the future, she is a model for millennials, who with encouragement, will become tethered to tenor horns and carry us forward into a bright brassy world.
Goodonya Nads and thanks for the gift of optimism.
Geoff Meikle, 2020
Born in Adelaide, 2nd November 1977
Parents; James Henriks and Bronwyn McKenzie
Started on cornet in 1984, but soon went to euphonium. They said I wasn’t practising, so I’m not really sure of their logic. Would I practise the eupho more? On the night they changed me, I had convinced my dad to ride to practice. He thought it was hilarious that he had to ride home with a eupho on the front of his bike.
I started in banding coz I heard the music department quartet play at my primary school, and then apparently, I ran all the way home wanting to play a brass instrument. Graham Olds was part of that group, and so he started my love for banding. He was teaching at the local junior band, I think it was called the Walkerville ANI junior band back in those days, and he taught me first. I still remember those days and what he taught me. The junior band we had was great fun. So many people from the school started due to that concert. I think I’m the only one still playing.
Ben Pech was a major influence on me and my banding life for many years. He had faith in me and I still remember one of the most important lessons he taught me. “If your gonna make a mistake, make it a loud one so that everyone can hear it!” I’m guessing he wanted me to play louder and have more confidence in myself.
Kurt Eardman was influential due to the fact that he was the drum major, he whipped our little legs into line and kept us honest. He taught in such a fun but serious way, it was fun for us to march around the school on a Friday night.
I started with the Australian National Railways Brass Band, which changed to TransAdelaide Brass Band and then Metro Brass. I played with them from 1984 – 2004. I still go back and play with them each ANZAC day dawn service, as it is tradition and I love the tradition that brass bands have. I joined the Hanhdorf Town Band in 2004 – 2013, then Kensington and Norwood Brass from 2013 – 2018 and then re-joined Hahndorf Town Band again which is where I still am.
Shaping me… In 1994 (or around that time) we had the Nationals here in Adelaide. I entered the eupho solo section and was playing against the man who the music was written for, Ricki McDonell. Now I was only around 16 years old, it was a hard piece and my goal was to achieve the top C. I not only achieved that but achieved all my other goals for the piece and came off the stage on cloud nine. I came last, but that feeling was so worth it and helped me want to work harder at my music.
Hmm.. contesting the big question… I think it is worth it, because if you don’t do them you can’t get better. Yes you can get better by just practising etc, but contests give you that little more as you are focusing on 3 pieces. You just try a bit more to get better, as you don’t want to fail or let your friends down. It improves the band as a whole, plus it’s the only time of the year that you get to see all of your banding friends in the same place and that’s pretty cool.
I’m a life member of the TransAdelaide band, a 25 year NBC member and a Badge of Merit member with SABA. I’m very proud of all those achievements but the things that stay in my mind more are the wins we did as a band for states. I can’t remember the years, but they were all with TransAdelaide. Achieving them as a team was great. That winning feeling is the best.
Hmm, preferred music. I love a good hymn played well. Deep bass sound is the best. Deep Harmony is my most favourite hymn. That bass sound going into the last movement is just amazing. Hymns are the most stirring I think, played well nothing beats them! Marches always get me going as a drum major and are great crowd pleasers, for the last piece of a concert. It sends you home in a great mood. Oompah music is good for the crowds but maybe not the best as a musician! Test pieces are good for testing us. My most favourite test piece is Oregon. The middle section, I guess, it's just like a hymn, and a stirring part. Gets me loving music each time, plus I think the band won with it once, so that always makes you like something better!
Favourite musicians etc. If you are talking about overseas influences then David Thornton is a pretty cool guy who gave me a lesson once, and that was interesting. I learnt heaps from him. Learning from the pros, as in Phil Paine conductor of Hahndorf, is great. Their professionalism is amazing. I have been lucky in my time that I’ve been asked to play with other bands here in Adelaide. Each time I get to do that I learn more about myself as a player, from the conductor and the musicians in the band. Banding camaraderie is great here in Adelaide and I love it so much. Salisbury Band under Geoff Meikle was the first band to ask me to fill in and that was amazing. I was young and very nervous but I got to play with one of my most admired peers in Adrienne Meikle and that was so cool and special for me. Playing with Janet Carey in K&N was amazing also. She sets high standards for herself and is serious about aspiring to professional quality music-making. Sitting alongside Janet was a great learning experience for me. I remember as a youngster going to a concert to listen to the Childs Brothers here in Adelaide. They were amazing and really lovely guys. I met them after the concert and was rapt for years, you could probably say I still am.
I don’t really have regrets, but leaving K&N was a bit sad. I just didn’t have the time to practise enough for an A grade band. Maybe one day I’ll get back there.
Band hasn’t had an effect on my family life, as band is my second family. I’m so very lucky to know so many more people and have them influence my life. My home life hasn’t been affected at all, or perhaps only sometimes when we have a dinner to go to and I have a band job. I’ve been very lucky with my previous partners and wife, they know how much banding means to me. My great grandfather started the Campbelltown Brass Band, so I think it was in my DNA to be a brass bandy. My sister also played in the band for many years. I remember one contest that I was principal eupho and she was principal trom. That was very special.
I don’t think band has ever affected my social life in a negative way, it has increased it by knowing more people. I know SABA tried some social things with all bands previously and they didn’t work, but catching up with everyone at comps I always enjoy. Actually anywhere you run into band people, they will always talk to each other and not always about music!
I’m a cyclist and in the past few years that has really taken over a big part of my life. I’m getting more involved, which is taking more time up with training etc, but I still enjoy the challenge of band. My work also takes up a lot of time as I work late.
Banding is still a big part of my life and I would like to keep it that way for a long time. It just might not be the most important part for a while. I’d love to get my nephews into banding, but they are a little too far away and a little young yet. They do have instruments though that I bought them. I’d like to do more with our junior band, but with my work I can’t.
Marching – I love it and think it is important, but I know how many people hate it. Marching brings people together and shows our craft off to the public. If they see us there, then more people might want to join banding. I’m a drum major and seeing the little kids faces when we march down the street in pageants is soo cute. They love it! Maybe that’s how we have to push it to our players.
Nadia Henriks, 2020