The family that plays together . . .


A trio of grandmother, mother and daughter make melodies together in the Roxburgh Pioneer Energy brass band.

Nana Jean Dance (76), mother Victoria Dance (45) and daughter Greer Orchard (15) all play tenor horn.

Jean began playing in 1959.

“My father was a bandsman here in Roxburgh,” Mrs Dance said.

Before the ’50s it had been unusual for women to play a brass instrument, but by the end of the decade it had become acceptable, Mrs Dance said.

“By then it was becoming quite normal.”

Victoria Dance was 21 when she began playing.

“I took it up because I was at performing arts college at the time and everyone was encouraged to take an instrument, so the obvious choice was a brass instrument,” Ms Dance said.

After spreading her wings and playing in many other bands, Ms Dance returned to Roxburgh, where she now owns and runs The Manhattan restaurant.

Daughter Greer began playing at 10 years old, trying out several instruments.

“I played guitar, and then kind of played ukulele.

“Now I play tenor horn, and play trombone in the school band,” Greer said.

Jean Dance said the instruments she and her daughter played had also changed over time.

“We both played cornets actually, in the beginning.

“You just do what’s needed in the band.”

Greer said her nana used to be the one who was the leader of the three of them.

“It used to be Nana, but now it is Mum, and I’m just floating.”

Greer is a year 10 pupil at Roxburgh Area School.

She thought she would probably still be playing when she was her grandmother’s age.

Mrs Dance said the brass band was a really good hobby to have.

“A lot of people have the wrong idea about brass bands. We play real music.

“We are a brass orchestra, not just oom-pah-pah,” she said.

Victoria Dance agreed.

“People see brass bands that they play hymns in churches and they march on Anzac Day and that’s all we do,” Ms Dance said.

The three enjoyed the time they spent together playing in the band.

“It’s our social time as well, for all of us,” Mrs Dance said.

“It’s not just playing music, it’s friendship and family.

“We consider all of us in the band as family.”

Daniel Dance, Victoria Dance’s brother, plays drums in the band.

The band is looking for new members, in particular younger members, as some will be moving on once they leave school.

“We are always looking for other players to bolster our numbers,” Mr Dance said.

The Roxburgh brass band can trace its beginnings back to 1882.

It is the current champion for D Grade, and rehearses every Thursday in a former draper’s shop on the main street in Roxburgh.latest RunningNike Air Max 90 W nike elite running clothes