In 2007, Claire Maltby (saxophone), Alicja Maltby (flute), Emily Maltby (violin) and I, Doug Burtenshaw (piano), decided to hold a family dance in January 2008. We played at Byford Uniting Church, and thought that dances would help us be better musicians at church and elsewhere, and it would also provide a community service.We were joined by other musicians; particularly school friends from the music programs at Kelmscott and Armadale Senior High Schools.
The fifteen-piece band has played at Family Dances every month for the last seven years. Teaching of instrumental music started in 2009. Over the last five years, seven of us have taught flute, saxophone, violin, guitar and keyboard to 43 students for $5 per lesson. Students were lent instruments for six months and the teachers were not paid.
Thanks go to Byford Medical Centre, the Police Department’s Crime Prevention Unit, and Byford Uniting Church for helping to buy the instruments, and to the Uniting Church in the City for the equipment trailer. In July 2011, the band travelled to Hyden and Wagin to provide some music teaching and jam sessions followed by a dance at night.
Footprints Band has played at Uniting Church Easter Camps, Kids Camp Out, many retirement villages, the Lay Preachers National Conference, Good Samaritan Industries (GSI), UnitingCare Crossroads, the Serpentine Jarrahdale Shire Australia Day breakfasts, and Mundijong Heritage Uniting Church Garden Parties.
We have learnt, taught and shared a lot of music, enjoyed each other’s company with no arguments and generally had a good time. Because older band members are now in Japan, in the Navy, in Kalgoorlie and various other places, we are discussing with the younger members the style of band for the future. We would like to thank everyone for their support, encouragement and commitment over the last seven years.
May the ‘forte’ be with you.
Image: Most of the 2014 Footprints Band at the last dance at the Byford Shire Hall.