2nd Euphonium - Wendy Spencer
Wendy began learning euphonium at Ogilvie High School in Hobart, Tasmania. She tried this at the recommendation of the brass teacher after she had failed to make any sort of vaguely recognisable noise on a cornet. It took her three weeks to learn the name of the instrument, let alone spell it correctly. She soon joined the school band, then the Tasmanian Youth Brass Band.
The next few years turned into a confusing blur of concerts, contests and ‘learning how to march’ (Watch your dressing!!) When she became too old to be a ‘youth’ she joined the Hobart City Band under the baton of Gordon Sheedy - a wonderful euphonium player, then in 1979 after Gordon retired, joined the Returned Services Memorial Band which eventually became the Glenorchy City Concert Brass. It was during the reign of the indefatigable Arthur Edwards that the band adopted the motto, ‘Mori mea pro Grege!’ – which roughly translates as ‘Die for the Band!’ Wendy has not yet achieved this noble end, but has taken steps by conducting Glenorchy’s junior and ’B’ bands in turn for 11 years.
Somehow, in amongst all of this, Wendy managed to train as a teacher and earn a music degree, and she is proud of the fact that two of her former pupils are now conducting bands in their own right. This has made all the grey hair worth it (sort of).
Wendy also played with a group called Entertaining Brass and one night a euphonium player known then as ‘Denis the Pom’ arrived at a rehearsal. He seemed friendly and relatively harmless, so she invited him to Glenorchy rehearsals and a friendship was struck. Denis eventually had to return to the U.K. but they stayed in touch. After some time, Wendy learned the horrifying news that Denis had decided to go over to the dark side and had taken up the cornet. Determined to resolve this situation, she moved to the U.K. to save him. All efforts were fruitless however – even several years away from banding failed, so in 2010 they decided to make the best of it and joined the Flixton Band which has made them both feel much better.
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