I was voted president of Harana and Jeanne the secretary. Our whole family is involved in it either as players and organisers. At first, the band rehearses in our living room (actually 3 families take turn in holding rehearsals at their home) but we were growing steadily. Now we rehearse at a local school every Sunday. We started with mostly Filipino members, thus the name Harana – but now, other nationals have joined. The band is conducted by Merv Lawrence, a very nice and patient person. He must be, he tolerates our playing :-).
Our very first public gig was at the 50th Wedding Celebration of the Salvadors, very loyal friends and strong supporters of the band. We also had a pleasant surprise when we won Third Place at the Penrith Eisteddfod for the Open Band category. A major gig was also when we played at the Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Hall for the Mayoral Concert. Our band gets invited in multi-cultural festivities and in November, we help raised funds for the children of Payatas by playing at a charity drive. Over this Christmas we had 5 engagement for Christmas Carols i.e. basking :-).
Already, we’ve received grants for us to run a number of workshops. We also have a number of Sax players that will now spin off into a Sax Quartet.
Well, anyone thinking of picking up an instrument and learning how to play it? With a little more push, you could get the community along and enjoy some time blowing your horn.
The year 2002 will shape to be a good year for the band.
Originally published as part of the Pascual Family News 2001.