Sarah Oliver and Molly Magennis
Two members of the Western Region Concert Band were recognized in Australia Day Honours.
Edward Perati and Andrew Houston received an Order of Australia medal for their service to the community through music.
The band called St Albans home for over 20 years.
Mr. Perati, who is chairman of the group, has been a member of the group since 1978 and has been a life member since 2004.
He is also involved with SingWest and sits on the choir subcommittee.
The talented clarinetist said he was delighted to receive this honor.
“I came in as a member of the band and then like it happens when you’re involved in something you really believe in…you end up becoming a member manager and a president and then all of a sudden you’re doing part of the whole establishment and its goals and objectives,” he said.
“There are many, many voluntary organizations in our country, all of which are very important. Ours saves lives in the sense that it gives others purpose in music, because otherwise, and that’s why our band was formed in 1977.”
As to why Mr. Perati is so passionate about music, he said the simple answer: it’s just part of who he is.
His deep passion for the subject and his desire to learn more even led him to pursue a degree in music.
Mr. Houston is the Group Managing Director and is also part of SongWest. He said he didn’t know who named him, but had his suspicions.
He said being recognized was a bit of a shock.
“I didn’t expect it,” he said.
“I’ve always been more team oriented and teamwork. It’s nice to be recognized for what I’ve done, but I think the bands that are there have allowed me to do that.
Mr. Houston said he was very passionate about bringing music to the community. He joined the harmony orchestra in 1991.
“It was a lot of work for many years. My goal has always been to try to bring music into the community and encourage people to… pursue their passion and their hobby.
“We were able to create big events where we played with Leo Sayer and James Morrison…and Christine Anu a few times.”