An Irish tune in the square

The BIU Band played at Central School in the late 1960s and Stephen is pictured to the conductor’s right at the front of the euphonium row. Wayne Orr is in the cornet row at the left of the conductor, second from the front.

The Barrier Industrial Union (BIU) Band used to play at the St Pats races until the early 1980s and one of their old Irish songs will resound through Town Square this morning.

‘Wearing of the Green’ is a musical record of the Irish Rebellion of 1798, when the shamrock was forbidden to be worn in Ireland.

Other songs which will enliven Argent Street include ‘The Village People Megahits,’ a toe-tapping medley that is a hit with audiences and was arranged by band member David Gaffney.

“We don’t play the standard brass band songs,” said Stephen Podnar, the band’s euphonium player and librarian.

There will also be brass renditions of songs from films, such as ‘Skyfall’ from James Bond and the theme songs from Braveheart, the Lion King and Shrek.

“We encourage the kids to come down and have a listen,” said Stephen.

The band will perform from 10.30am to 11.30am, a time when Argent Street will be busy with visitors who are not going to the races, as well as buses departing Argent Street for the racecourse.

“There will be a lot of people in town that will go to the races and they’ll start from there,” said Stephen.

“It’s where the community gathers, and this weekend, there’s going to be people walking around.”

Stephen is thankful for help from Shannon Bolton from Broken Hill City Council.

“She encourages us to play out more often and encourages us to play in the Town Square,” he said.

“There’s not a lot of places you can play around town on a Saturday morning with people around.

“Where you can sound, with a small band, reasonably good.”

According to Stephen, the BIU Band encourages bringing people into Argent Street and maybe some will join or want to learn how to play.

Particularly’ learners,’ who have an interest in music, come in not knowing a lot and want to learn.

“For anyone wanting to join the local brass band, come and approach us,” said Stephen.

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