Tanunda Town Band’s iconic “Melodienacht” made an impressive comeback on the weekend with dynamic performances of some of the most popular music from the stage and screen as well as a CD launch, making up for last year’s event which was cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Continuing a Barossa tradition that has run for more than half a century, musical director, Mr Bruce Raymond OAM proved brass band music was alive and well as he led the band’s performances in the newly refurbished Tanunda Show Hall.
With 5AA’s Tony “Pilko” Pilkington as host, the band played a variety of themes from “Out of Africa”, “Star Wars” and “Rocky” to “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “Ghostbusters” featuring a brave Eric Molenaar who swapped his usual trombone for a ghostbusting vacuum device to save the band from random “spirit” visitors popping up on stage.
The bass section of the band was put under the spotlight with young gun, Nick Kelly and Life Member, Darren Cameron rolling out a couple of historic tubas, uncoiled to resemble brass serpents on wheels, to perform “Wand’rin Star” from Paint Your Wagon.
As always, the sing-a-longs were met with roaring voices from the audiences, numbering around 1,200 over the two nights, especially “Roll Out the Barrel” and a few extra German “oom-pah” favourites.
Adding extra pizazz to the evening were captivating performances from State Opera tenor, Mark Oates singing songs from Les Misérables to Jekyll and Hyde.
Whilst The Raymond Sisters’ perfect harmonies enchanted with a moving rendition of “A Million Dreams” from The Greatest Showman, to the toe-tapping “Don’t sit under the Apple Tree” and Abba’s “Dancing Queen”.
Joining a number of young musicians performing as part of the band on stage for the first time this year, was 14 year old guest artist, Bailey Magin who played a beautiful version of “A Thousand Years” on piano, accompanied on Euphonium by her father, Michael Magin, also the Tanunda Town Band’s president.
Michael said he was thrilled with “Melodienacht 2021”, hailing it a success.
“I couldn’t be more delighted with the programme, the performance of the band, the guest artists, compere, logistics, the amazing sponsors and the audience who come from far and wide to attend the event,” he told The Leader.
“We would be one of the few bands in the present Covid world that are able to hold such a wonderful community event and feel very privileged to do so.”
Michael also acknowledged the recently formed “Tanunda Town Band Academy” who performed off-stage as audiences arrived, showcasing the skills of a new generation of musicians helping to keep the Barossa’s banding movement alive.
“We now start planning for upcoming events and, of course, for Melodienacht 2022!” Michael added.