HE’S been the positive spirit to bring the City of Orange Brass Band back together and after four years, Leon Paix says his work is done.
Mr Paix conducted his final performance in Cook Park on Sunday, which had to be played in the shade near the fountain because for the first time, the number of musicians did not fit in the rotunda.
He recalled in 2015, the band was without a bandmaster and struggling with motivation.
“I said I’d take the band for three weeks – that was in May 2015,” he said with a laugh.
“There are now seven youngsters in the band – there were none when I started – we’ve come to a more modern style of music and much greater difficulty.
“For example, [on Sunday] we played Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas is You.”
The project came at a good time for Mr Paix – he had been conducting the Orange Male Voice Choir for 18 years prior and wanted to try something different.
“Musically, it was very demanding and it was refreshing – you have to be very disciplined but also able to work with people,” he said.
Band president Derek Johns said Mr Paix brought the clarity the band needed.
“When we cant fit in the rotunda, that’s a good sign – everyone wanted to say goodbye,” he said.
Mr Johns said the outlook was good with more than 20 people in the training band and applications had closed for Mr Paix’s replacement.
“We’ll give each a trial because they’ve got to like the band, but the band has to like them.”
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