Beat goes on for conductor

Conductor Brian Underwood at his home in Salter Point. Picture: Martin Kennealey www.communitypix.com.au d424162
Conductor Brian Underwood at his home in Salter Point. Picture: Martin Kennealey www.communitypix.com.au d424162

The Salter Point resident was about seven years old when he first picked up a brass instrument and now, nearly 70 years on, he has never looked back.

After migrating to Australia and travelling back to the UK to play in various bands, one of his most memorable moments came after he joined the Australian Army.

In 1977, he was a vocalist at the Queen’s Silver Jubilee in 1977 where he used a microphone belonging to Mick Jagger.

For several years, Mr Underwood moved around Australia holding different ranks with the army before rising to captain and being posted as music director and Officer Commanding 5MD Band before retiring in 1990.

In 1986, while in Perth, Mr Underwood became the conductor of the City of Perth Band, where he stayed until he retired earlier this month.

‘I just really enjoyed working with the musicians who all became my friends over the years,’ he said ‘We always had a great time together.

‘When I looked around the other day, there were only two members left who had been there from when I started.’

For his years of dedicated service to the City of Perth Band, Mr Underwood was made an honorary citizen of the City of Perth.

While his time as a conductor has ended, Mr Underwood still keeps his love of music alive.

He plays in the Silver Threads Band and the Salvation Army Band and teaches at Wesley College one day a week.