Brass band hits the road

About 60 Clinton residents were regaled with a selection of Christmas carols performed by Balclutha Brass on Thursday night.

The hour-long concert marked the first time in several years the 12-member band had played outside Balclutha, and it was enthusiastically received by the audience despite a cool early evening breeze.

Band president Dale Anderson said the event could signal a return to touring for the ensemble - albeit on a modest scale.

"We thought not much has happened down here in Clinton for a while due to Covid, and decided to bring the sound of Balclutha Brass back down here.

"We’d like this to be the first port of call in getting out in the community a bit further, and bringing brass back to the wider district."

Balclutha Brass members (from left) Jillian Breach, Bill 
Balclutha Brass members (from left) Jillian Breach, Bill Cross, Cassie Winslade (12) and Dale Anderson play carols for Clinton residents on the town triangle on Thursday night. PHOTO: RICHARD DAVISON

The club, which was founded in 1886, used to operate two full-size bands and a separate dance band.

Although today’s ensemble was more compact, Mr Anderson said it compensated for lower numbers with the talent, experience and sheer enthusiasm of its members, aged between 12 and 90.

Enjoying a bag of hot chips while they watched were Clinton couple Marian and Reg Smith.

Mrs Smith said it was important for audiences to support visiting performers.

"It would be lovely to see more of this sort of thing around the district. Covid has done for so much this year, so it’s just nice to get out."

She was looking forward to hearing Hark the Herald Angels Sing, her favourite carol; her husband, however, was happy with any carol.

"They’re all about equal to me."

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