Music to unite local community this Anzac Day


Musicians across Lake Macquarie and Newcastle will unite this Anzac Day to give thanks from their driveways.

Anzac Day is one of Australia’s most important national occasions but this year it will be celebrated differently because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lake Macquarie band Toronto Brass is taking part in the Music for Mateship initiative to promote connection in the community and commemorate the day.

Music for Mateship is a nationwide initiative that calls on all musicians across Australia and New Zealand to mark the day by playing their instruments from their driveways.

Toronto Brass band member Nerida Davis rehearsing in her driveway.

The event, scheduled for 6am on Anzac Day – Saturday 25 April – encourages musicians to play The Last Post, hold a minute’s silence and play Reveille in their streets.

Toronto Brass President Patricia O’Hearn says it is about amateurs, professionals and students coming together to unite the community and pay respects to the fallen.

“We are just paying our respects despite the situation we are in at the moment to say thanks to the people who gave their freedom for us,” she says.

Ms O’Hearn believes it is important that we come together because we are currently fighting our own battle.

“Music for Mateship has this great saying: ‘We may not be able to stand together as we usually would, but we can stand together united’ – that’s what is behind this,” she says.

She adds that any instrument can get involved.

Toronto Brass and Music for Mateship invite anyone to join in on the national movement.

The sheet music is accessible for free on the Music for Mateship website. It is also suggested that you notify your neighbours.

If you participate in the movement, organisers ask that you share a picture or video on social media using the hashtag #MusicforMateship to unite Australia one street at a time.

The Australian War Memorial will also host a private, nationally-televised Anzac Day service.

The service will be held in the Commemorative Area and Hall of Memory at 5.30am and will be broadcast live across Australia by the ABC and streamed online.

Go to the Australian War Memorial website for more.