Lismore City Concert Band Revive The Rotunda
Lismore City Concert Band Revive The Rotunda

Lismore City Concert Band Revive The Rotunda

Reviving the tradition of music in the Rotunda in Spinks Park as a band venue, the Lismore City Concert Band presented a concert there on Monday afternoon, the week before Christmas. Conducted by Mr Ben van Kleef, the ensemble of brass, woodwind and percussion players rendered a selection of tunes from their repertoire including Deck the Halls with the Great Composers, William Tell Overture, Washington Post, Liberty Bell, Coventry Carol, When the Stars Begin to Fall and Jingle Bells around the World. A collection of family, friends and enthusiasts enjoyed the music in perfect weather, making themselves comfortable on picnic rugs spread on the lawns.

The Rotunda has a long history as a band venue, providing a place for Lismore people to enjoy outdoor performance since early last century. In May 1914, The Northern Star reported the opening of the Rotunda by Mayor R J Spinks to an enthusiastic crowd of over two thousand people. Planning and supervision of construction was donated to the city by architect F. J. Board, and the building cost £143 12s to complete. The Rotunda was proudly described at the time as a, ‘spacious and elevated structure, octagonal in shape with iron palisading around the side,’ situated in a prominent position in the park opposite the back of the School of Arts. Originally the interior was fitted with seats, music stand and conductor’s dais. For night functions, ‘excellent illumination’ was provided by four powerful gas lamps. A ‘picturesque roof supported by eight upright posts’ completed the structure. Most of the main features survive today, 102 years after it was built.

The Rotunda has not been used regularly for traditional concert band performances for some years, but following the success of this week’s concert this could be about to change. Band Master, Mr Ben van Kleef, said that acoustically the Rotunda was a beautiful building in which to perform. The audience were enthusiastic about the venue too, appreciating the outdoors and old world charm of the event.

Lismore City Concert Band players enjoyed reviving the tradition of recitals in the Rotunda on this occasion and are keen to play there again soon. The Band itself is experiencing a revival, and looks forward to welcoming new players into the ensemble in 2017. For details please see the website:

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