Home » About the band » Short History of the Band

Short History of the Band

The early history of the Daylesford & District Municipal Band Inc. was compiled through research of articles published in the Daylesford Advocate copies of which were kindly made available by the Daylesford Historical Society. The research was carried out by Graham Orr and the late A. Brian Bateman.

There were several bands operating in the Daylesford area in the early days:

  • Amateur Band
  • Drum & Fife, (Mr McKirdy)
  • Eganstown Band (Mr Laitch)
  • Miners Band (Phoenix)
  • Town Band (Borough)
  • Salvation Army Band
  • Temperance Band

Mr Lawerly (Cornish Battery Manager) connected with band 1861.


Band formed on suggestion of Mr Robert Knox Church of England minister while viewing foundation stone of the church.


Notice from secretary J.R.Westwood in local paper asking for funds for the Daylesford Amateur Band.

March : played for marriage of Edward Prince of Wales & Alexandra of Denmark. Plans to change name to Temperance Band cancelled after Henessy’s Best at Wombat Park. Drum & Fife Band to Wombat Hill


March to Vic Park ; Margaret Graham there

1866 Folded

Reformed. Drummer kept drum. Great hospital fete : Daylesford band, Rechabite Drum & Fife, Deep Creek Brass Band, the Guildford Swiss Italian Association Brass band.

Easter Monday – Christmas Carols


Barry’s Reef : Mr Verey carrying ; New Years Eve & Day. Name changed to Daylesford Borough Band New uniform, locally made, cost members 50 pounds State school opened with band 1875.


Row with Mr Thorpe (bandmaster) resigned. Mr Gascoigne (curator of the Wombat Hill gardens) took over & council band trustees. Gascoigne bandmaster for the laying of reticulated water pipes.

25th January, 1883

From ‘A Most Commodious Up-Country Hall : A Brief History of the Town Hall’ by R.D.Patterson

“The children, preceded by the Borough Band under Bandmaster Gascoigne, playing lively airs, and about 40 members of the Daylesford Fire brigade marched in procession from school up Vincent and Raglan Streets to the station” Later in the day at the laying of the memorial stone at the Town Hall

children “spiritedly sang ‘Summers Victorian National Anthem’, the band assisting”. The band had played a programme of lively airs while awaiting proceedings.


Mr Thorpe formed Phoenix Brass Band, soon after changed to the Miner’s Band

20th March, 1888

Bandmaster Gascoigne. Borough Band will play for visit of Governor &Lady Lock – Meet at station 11.30 am Borough Band will play & children sing National Anthem. Mayor & mayoress Wheeler. Governor to open show. Borough band will play at Agricultural Show

Programme :
  • March) Sir garnet (T Frost
  • Overture) Hit Musicale (T Emmerle
  • Valse Spirit of love (J Hartman)
  • Selection Notre Chere Alsal (H Kling)
  • Quadrille Carnival (E Newton)
  • Polka The Canadian (J Marsdon)
  • Fantasia Summer Flower (L Couturier)
  • Valse Mountain and Glen (H Round)
  • Gallop Fox Bush (Theo Bowheir)

Hon WE Stanbridge MLC, and Mr Wheeler MLA have placed their carriages at governor’s disposal. Vice Regal party will drive to Town Hall and then on to the showgrounds, and open the show at 1.00pm. After lunch the party will be taken to the public garden and springs and driven as far around as time will permit. Lady Lock will receive ladies at the Town Hall for a short time after which her ladyship will drive to Wombat Park and remain as a guest of Hon W.E.Stanbridge MLC until the evening. The Church of England bazaar will be opened by Lady Lock at 7pm and leave by special train at 8pm.

After leaving the showgrounds the vice-regal party was driven to Mt Franklin and climbed to the summit enjoying the magnificent view obtainable from the summit. A detachment of mounted rifles acted as bodyguard for the day. After inspection the Governor complimented on general appearance and attention to drill and conduct throughout was worthy of all praise. After thanking them for acting as his escort during the day he dismissed them.

5th April, 1888

The 4th Annual Brigade and Borough Band sports had a bandsman’s handicap footrace for members of local bands. 130 yards

Sports meeting preceded by procession headed by Borough Band from Station House to Oval.

Euphonium Contest : 1st Prize W Brown, 2nd T Barkas

Cornet Contest : 1st W Brochi, 2nd T Bennets

Footrace for Bandsmen Handicap – 1st E McGuiness, 2nd T Barkas, 3rd M Hoath


Borough Band won competition. Trophy in Museum – portrait of the band presented to bandmaster Mr C.McLeod.

1st December, 1910

Recital at gardens & collection.

Annual meeting of the miners band was held in band room on Monday night – good attendance – Presiding: G. Brown. Officers Elected:

  • President G.Brown
  • Vice-presidents E.Leggo and J.J.Tognini
  • Patrons P.Meere, J.J.Larkins, McPhail, Rudd, F.Shephard, A.Wood, Hinkson, C.Brazil
  • Bandmaster S.Smith
  • Secretary Mr S.Chatfield
  • Treasurer J.Peacock
  • Auditors L.McGuiness, B.Reiffel
  • Drum Major S.Langdon
  • Committee S.Smith, W.Peacock, J.Marshall, J.McQueen, F.Smith.

“It was decided to purchase new uniforms and get them at once” The uniforms to consist of dark blue cloth with gold facings.

22nd December, 1910

Daylesford Brass Band will play as usual at the Wombat Hill Gardens to assist the Hospital on Sunday (Christmas Day).

31st December, 1910

Daylesford Brass Band and Fire Brigade netted £12/4/7. at Wombat Hill Gardens. Band rendered a very choice programme and a large crowd in attendance. Mr A.S.Pozzi, Band Treasurer, made up the collection as follows : 7 half-crowns, 5 florins, 27 shillings, 130 sixpences, 445 threepences, 133 pennies, and 54 halfpennies.

20th August, 1912

The Annual General Meeting of the Daylesford Brass Band was held at assembly rooms on the 12.8.1912. 20 Members were present. W.Simmonds occupied the chair. Receipts for the year ; £79/12/2, Expenditure £64/17/3, Credit balance : £14/14/11

  • President E.Jackson
  • VP A.C.Martin Mr A.Wood, Mr J.Evans, W.Edwards, J.Mulrooney, J.Jose,
  • Patrons Hon D.McLeod, F.Shepherd, W.D.Campbell, J.Tognini, W.Gullick, R.W.Hinkson, J.W.Stubbs. G.Brown, Mr Finnegan, and Miss Michaelis
  • Drum Major R.Harris
  • Assistant Drum Major S.Pozzi
  • Bandmaster W.Simmonds
  • Assistant Bandmaster D.Monotti
  • Sec/Treasurer Mr J.Holman
  • Lampcorps J.Harris
  • Committee the full band
  • Auditors W.Monotti and T.Barkas
1916 Band collapsed
30th October, 1917 Advocate

The AGM of the Daylesford Brass Band was held on 18.10.1917. Present were G.Brown, W.Simmonds, T.Barkas, J.Gray, H.J.Monotti, R.Kutcher, A.Kutcher, H.Sutton, W.Shears, C.Sutton, D.Monotti, E.Shannon.

  • Pres G.Brown
  • Bandmaster W.Simmonds
  • Expenses : Lamps etc £3-19-3,Cornet £4, Cornet £14-3-6, 2 instruments £18-3-6
  • Financial statement : Borough Council Grant £15,
  • Expenditure :Bandmaster salary £31-10-0, tuition of junior players £12-3-0, Band fares & transport £14-5-0, Secretary’s salary £13-0-0, Rents £9-12-6, Donations £17-2-0, Instruments & Stands £4-9-0, Band Music £1-11-6. Balance £37-5-1
  • War Savings Certificates to the value of £100 were purchased and bank balance £18-13-10.

After discussion T.Barkas was appointed bandmaster after considering application of salary of £2 per week which includes tuition of junior players. Thompson appointed to approach all those formerly in the band with the object of ensuring a full muster at the first practice.


Citizen’s committee to reorganise band : 3 or 4 women at meeting. Geo Hamilton pointed out money is needed to run the band

28th January, 1921

Band contest held at new sports ground Middleton Park (DTHS). C-Grade Band contest (Daylesford not entered). Music & quickstep contests.

12th February, 1929

Mayor J.P. Crockett disgusted at lack of business support for the band

19th July, 1929

Daylesford Citizens Band transferred money in bank a/c to new band for uniforms. “Citizens Band was not now in existence but had in the (?) a new band”. Public meeting decided to drive for funds.

31st July, 1934

Report of Daylesford school band concert held in Town Hall 24.7.34

Band formed approx 2 and a half years before. Rev W.J.Lapthorne, chairman of school committee. Instructor H.E.Brentnall, conductor of band

  • Cornets – Laurie Gruer, Les Deed, Willie Welb, Max Christie, Jim Boundy, Lance Coates.
  • Trombones – Bob Cooper, Ken Brentnall, Keith Sanger.
  • Tenor Horns – Tom McQueen, Will Pollock, Fred Brown, Keith Sharrock.
  • Euphoniums – Will Cross.
  • Baritones – Keith Anderson, Don Anderson.
  • Bass – Wallace Barnes
  • Drums – Bruce West

Band reformed under bandmaster Williams

20th September, 1940

AGM, meeting in the Lodge Room, Town Hall – President J.P.Crockett. Report of President to 30.8.40: the band is in a ‘sound financial position’ – the same cannot be said of it in respect to its functioning as a live playing band. Indeed it has not functioned as such for some months. Mr T.Barkas resigned as bandmaster early in the year, and this caused so much disaffection amongst the players that the band ceased to function. Could not get bandmaster.

Officers elected :

  • Pres J.P.Crockett
  • VP Cr T.A.Whiteley & J.E.Grant, J.W.Steinhauser
  • Hon Treasurer A.McKenzie
  • Committee : J.B.Howe and J.L.Coates (rep Citizens), W.Wood and J.Oglethorpe (representing the Fire Brigade), H.Bath & W.Cross (representing school committee), ?.Voterakis, H.MxInnes, H.E.Grant representing traders, T.Williams & W.H.Thompson (Band representatives),
  • Drum Major. W.H.Thompson
  • Auditor. G.Bailey
18th October,1940 :

Band Committee Meeting: From New Years Eve Gala Committee. Decided to give full cooperation,

Decided to take full inventory of all instruments, Decided to form Ladies Committee T.Barkas (Bandmaster)

29th November, 1940

Borough band’s community singing in Town Hall 9pm. Admittance 6d children 3d Held Friday nights

10th December,1940

Community Singing at Town Hall. Band opened programme. MC Jack Oglethorpe, pianist Mrs Oglethorpe.

AGM Bandmaster Mr F.Barkas resigned, causing much disaffection. Band stopped.

practices in the old DTHS building (?) 12 instruments, some held by former players. Maybe the first time females admitted to the band.

1966 : Name change to Daylesford & District Municipal Band
Notes from 1946-48

Band was reformed 1946 under bandmaster Alf Rowell from Ballarat. He reformed the band from school children who attended an evening in the basement of the Town Hall 1946. Mostly consisted of about 12 younger players and 4 adults ; Mr Clarrie Nevill cornet, Jim Minotti tenor horn, Lacey Pescia Bass, Les Barkas trombone.

During most of this time Jim Minotti who had a deformed leg and walked with the aid of a walking stick would walk approximately 3 miles from Sailors Hill to come to practice then get a ride home with Mr Rowell. Brian Johns was keen also. He rode a push bike from Porcupine Ridge with his tenor horn in a bag on his back.

Uniforms at this time were ex Air Force with the insignia ground off the buttons by Stan Sutton, a dental mechanic.

Sunday morning practices for the cornet section were held in a shed at the rear of Clarrie Neville’s property (the present Howe St milk bar, then a guest house).

New Year’s Eve the band played on the balconies of the Victoria and the Belvedere hotels not continuously but consistently from approx 10pm to midnight.

Heating in the RAOB Hall consisted of an open fireplace. Cr Ogden paid a junior member of the band 2/- a night to carry the wood from the council sheds and to set the fire ready to be lit when Mr & Mrs Rowell arrived. Mrs Rowell assisted in many ways with the music sorting and re-writing or transporting if necessary.

Band progressed to playouts with approximately 14-15 young players assisted by Mr Clarrie Neville (Cornet), Lacy Pescia (Bass), Jim Monotti (Tenor Horn), Les Barkas (Trombone), Albert McQueen (Cornet), Bert Fletcher (Bass Drum).Mr Rowell assisted with learners and transposed music as required.

1951 Went into recess.
1952 Attempt to reform band unsuccessful
2nd November, 1962
“Borough and District Band to be Formed”

Public Meeting convened by the mayor Cr G.Barron on 30.10.1962. The meeting, although not well attended, attracted a group of people whose enthusiasm augurs well for the formation of a Band. The meeting was addressed by Frank Whitlock, who has been associated with the Maldon Brass Band for some thirty years and he stated he was tutoring seven local boys in the theory of music and after a period of 6 months would commence another group. He was prepared to continue this instruction until it was necessary to engage a bandmaster.

Mr W.Wood reported that the Borough band had a number of instruments which could be made servicable. About 12 instruments were available. Several former members still had instruments from when it went out of existence.

On the suggestion of Cr K.Cole it was resolved that the band be formed and its progress be encouraged in stages. The first of these would be another meeting at which former bandsmen would be invited together with parents of any boy wishing to learn, and also the public. …future brighter and for many years, and with the help of experienced players there would be at last 20 with which to commence. It is expected the newly formed Band will receive valuable assistance from the Borough Council and added to this will be the support which undoubtedly will be received from business houses and citizens of Daylesford.

16th November, 1962

Jack Oglethorpe speaking to Don Hoath and Bill Webb members of Footscray and Yarraville Band at Ballarat Camp recently suggested that that band give a recital, as this would be appreciated as encouragement to local band committee.

2nd January, 1963

Visiting band here on Feb 10 1963. Footscray & Yarraville Band will visit Daylesford to give a recital at Central Springs – “A day that should help in efforts to reform the Daylesford Borough band after a lapse of many years”

18th January, 1963


Instruments were loaned to former players to keep in practice. Now with the possibility of band reforming instruments are needed for learners. Several members of the Kyneton Band have offered to cooperate in helping learners.

5th February, 1963


Meeting held to make arrangements for visit of Footscray and Yarraville Band. Any profits are to go to the endeavour to reform the band. March down Vincent St, before the recital ; joined by Daylesford

Marching Girls.

12th February, 1963


A meeting of 40 people in the Town Hall on Friday decided to reform the Daylesford Band which has been in recess for some 12 years. After explaining the reason for the meeting the Mayor (Cr G. Barron)

asked Mr Wood to read the minutes of the last meeting of the band. A motion of Mrs W. Wood that the band be reformed was carried unanimously. Mr Andy Williams was elected president. Committee listed in this issue. The meeting agreed that the band be known as ‘The Daylesford and District Band’.

Mr W.Ogden was the president when the band went into recess.

22nd March, 1963

Players making good progress. Good numbers are attending practice nights. There are 20 people on the list, nearly half are experienced player, and very good progress by junior players. Credit must be given to bandmaster Frank Whitlock for his efforts with the juniors and getting ‘old hands’ up to standard again.

31st December, 1963
New Years Eve Gala 1963 : Band giving items
28th April, 1964

Report of Anzac Day: “Daylesford and District Band from a central position in Vincents St, played for the march”. The mayor Cr ? Stewart remarked “It was pleasing to see the Band participating in the service”

New Years Eve 1964 : Band will be in attendance, and it is hoped the band will lead the parade.

Search for a Bandroom 1967 to 1970

4th Oct ’67 J.Oglethorpe obtained material for construction of bandroom. One week’s notice given to RAOB

1.11.67 Report on building progress rear of comfort station

6.12.67 (?) school


3.4.68 Church donation use of rooms

1.5.68 b’room structure buld.comm appointed

7.8.68 Hist.Soc re use of Tech (VBL info on joining)


Jan ’69 Discussion on new building

May’69 Footy room Tech school rooms


Feb ’70 Methodist Hall

Mar’70 Negotiations for Technical School

April 70 Negotiations to be completed ret (?) to be sold

June’70 Rent commenced @ $1 per week for 26 weeks from 1/4/70

In the mid 1970’s bandmaster Sam Smart composed the lively march ‘Daylesford’ and dedicated it to long-standing committee member and former mayor of Daylesford, Mr W.W.(Bill) Wood