At the 2015 Victorian Bands’ League Annual General Meeting,
the delegates present endorsed through acclamation the nomination of Walter Pope for Life Membership of the Victorian Bands’ League. This is the highest accolade for any member of the Victorian Bands’ League. Congratulations Wally!
The following bio was read out on the day:
Our recipient started in the Daylesford Band at the age of 11 on tuba under Bryan Johns and Tom Ross. He fell head first into the banding world and by the age of 16 he was deputy conductor of the band.
He went on to study tuba under Frank Barzyk, Peter Sykes and conducting with Doug Trotman. Doug Trotman has been a major influence in his life. He played under Doug Trotman in the VSYBB, Kew Band Melbourne, Diamond Valley Brass and Footscray Yarraville City Band. This time shaped him as a musician and helped develop his passion for music.
He spent 17 ½ years in the Army as a musician with postings to Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne and finally, the Defence Force School of Music. He has conducted various bands including Brighton, Geelong West Brass, Greater Bendigo Brass, Sunshine, Moreland City Band, Moonee Valley Brass and now Ararat Band. He has also been awarded Life Membership of Geelong West Brass and Daylesford Band.
In 2003, under his baton, Sunshine won Bendigo, South Street and Traralgon in D Grade as well as winning C Grade at Traralgon and coming second at South Street.
In 2011, under his baton, Moonee Valley Brass won the Nationals, Bendigo, South Street and Traralgon in D Grade and were awarded the Merv Simpson Trophy for most successful Victorian brass band. They were then promoted to C Grade and achieved 2nd place at the next nationals.
He has spent the last seven years as Musical Director of the Victorian State Youth Brass Band. Under his guidance the band has grown significantly in membership and new generations of brass musicians have been given the opportunity to develop their skills and further their love of music.
Currently he is conducting the Ararat City Band and has focused on developing a junior and learner program for the band. There are now 27 learners in the program, ensuring the future of the band for years to come.
It gives me great pleasure to nominate Walter Pope for Life Membership of the Victorian Bands’ League. Please show your support by acclamation.
The above is only a small summary of Wally’s numerous contributions and achievements to the banding community in Victoria. We look forward to seeing what the future holds.