Our “Real” Music History


"Whyalla Citizens Band"

A summary of the Whyalla Concert Band from Hummock Hill Brass band 

of 1912, 

to Whyalla Concert Band in 2013…. And beyond!!

PICTURE: Believed to be Hummock Hill Brass Band, (Whyalla Citizen Band), 1912. The period clothing alone attests to the early 1900s! Re-produced for fair review. The original is available to all at; http://www.satiche.org.uk/vinbbp/phot6428.jpg

"A New Era"

Whyalla Community Brass has a proud association with the past Whyalla

 Citizens Band, (Whyalla Concert Band) – not in its "disbandment”, but as retaining

 past members of the Whyalla Citizens Band, (Concert

 Band). Whyalla Community Brass has maintained contact with the surviving

 relatives of past Bandmasters (Music Directors) and members, whom are

 enthusiastically supporting the new entity known as

 “Whyalla Community Brass”.

 Input from the relatives of Perce Busch, Ralph Penglase, well known prior

 Bandmaster to Whyalla Citizens Band and Whyalla Salvation Army Citadel Band,

 family of the late Jim Terry, has been received with thanks.

 Many are known to members of Whyalla Community Brass, as are their relatives. 

 In fact 40% of Whyalla Community Brass membership comprises people whom

 remained, or have been members of the WhyallaCitizens Band, some “Life


 Whyalla Community Brass is determined to ensure that accurate history is told,

 and that photos and documents are preserved. 

PICTURE RIGHT: Tanunda, home of the first brass band to be commenced in the Southern Hemisphere, hosts the South Australian Band Competitions. Whyalla is seen marching. The year is 1938.

When the township of “Hummock Hill” changed its name

to “Whyalla”, so too did the name of our town band.
It then became known as “Whyalla Town Band”. It was

recorded that in 1925 a “bandstand was erected in Gay Street, opposite the Whyalla Institute and later lights

were installed at the beach so night concerts could be performed by band…
(Source; Earlier Whyalla News).

All of these transitions in the Whyalla Citizens Bands history can actually be said to mean that the band was

in fact 101 years old when "disbanded", in 2013
! An important Whyalla milestone - for both the band and

Whyalla. ”
(Source; http://www.whyallanewsonline.com.au/story/1936318/citizens-band-celebrates-89-years/)

Our then "town band" it could be said, was in fact 101 years old when

 disbanded in 2013!

What did happen in 1938 then?

The McBryde Terrace “Band Hall” was donated by

the Broken Hill Pty Ltd in 1938. “The Company”

maintained the premises, which also doubled as

the companies “Pay Office”. Thus Whyalla Citizens

Band became known what it is today. A life member

with Whyalla Citizens Band, (now with its “offshoot”,

Whyalla Community Brass), recalls the days of this

use. “There even used to be a security man

standing next to the stalls holding a rifle
” Mr

Stewart said.

                                                                                                                   PICTURE: Northern Band Carnival: Whyalla and other Brass Bands
                                                                                                                                                                            competing in the carnival at Port Pirie.

One of the most memorable performances of the newly instituted “Whyalla Citizens Band”, was on the visit of

Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, to Whyalla, in 1954. Following the Queens visit, the Whyalla community

rallied to show support for the towns band. The public, local business and the Broken Hill Pty Ltd, donated

3,600 pounds to the band as a gift, ($7,200). This was a huge boost and went to the purchase of much

needed new instruments.

  PICTURE: The re-named Whyalla Citizens Band - "Whyalla Concert
  Band" renamed in 2002. Photo acknowledgement; Whyalla News.

In 1963, brass bands held the Northern Band Carnival, of

which Whyalla Citizen’s band was the winner. Our towns

band was “instrumental” in appearing at Whyalla’s annual

Christmas pageants, "Carols By Candlelight", (now "Carols in

the Park
"), ANZAC Day services and other civic occasions,

which included the launching of ships at the Whyalla


In 2002, the Whyalla Citizens Band changed its name to the

"Whyalla Concert Band". It was believed that this would open up membership to include all kinds of other

instrumentation. This move did not enhance the numbers of members however and in later years, through

transfers etc, numbers began to decline.

Whyalla Community Brass -

Far from "The Carnival is Over"!

Despite the now Whyalla Community Brass attempting to hold meetings with a representative of the Whyalla

Concert Band earlier in 2013, the group was disbanded shortly after, in a manner of months. The offshoot of

the Whyalla Concert Band, and the Whyalla Citadel Band by remaining band members, is now “Whyalla

Community Brass”. Far from “The Carnival is over”, Whyalla Community Brass continues to grow and

presently has ten uniformed members. We hope to continue the service, history and pride of brass banding in

Whyalla. To our knowledge and experience, Whyalla Citizens Band was not a member of any association -

other than that of the Band Association of S.A.