Sunday 29 March 2015

2015 Heritage Ball - Regency to Ragtime, Saturday 16th May, 2015

The Grand March starts at 7.30pm, then the ball runs until 12.30am.

This is another grand occasion for your enjoyment with music by our renowned Heritage Ensemble. Dress in your favourite fashion from Regency through to Ragtime

Ball tickets will again be limited. 

A light supper and refreshments are provided during the evening. 

venue - Parramatta Town Hall

 costs -

$50 for BMC members (before April 13)
$60 for non-members (before April 13) 
$40 for students (before April 13) 
All tickets purchased after April 13 will be $70 each.

A discount of $3 per person can be obtained for a set of 4 couples (8 tickets) booked and paid for at the same time and before April 13.

No tickets will be available after 9th May.

Payment by Cheque to: Bush Music Club Inc, PO Box 433, Sydney 2001. Please indicate that the payment is for ball tickets.

Or by EFT to: "Bush Music Club", BSB 062-005, Account 00907524. Email wendy_richmond (at) with a copy of your bank's receipt and a note that it is for ball tickets (names of attendees is helpful).

There will be a Post-Ball Picnic on Sunday 17th May at Australiana Pioneer Village, Wilberforce. Wear colonial dress; further details will be available at the Ball.

Enquiries to Wendy Richmond, (02) 9642 7950 or 0412 145 262

Wayne Richmond has some pictures from previous balls at

Thursday 26 March 2015

Duke's Place - Australian songs in concert & session with Garry Tooth, Friday 10th April, 2015

Click on pictures for full-screen image

Garry started singing old bush ballads in his home state Queensland in the late 1950s and was one of the founders of the Moreton Bay Bushwackers, Queensland's first Bush Band. 

In 1960 he was a founder member of The Wayfarers, for decades a stalwart of the Brisbane folk scene. In 1964 the Wayfarers were involved in setting up the Brisbane Folk Centre. 
From 1970 Garry was working as a singer in various restaurants around Sydney. From 2000 until 2006 he sang at his own cafe The Whistlestop at Thirlmere.Garry has a passion for the story in the song and has developed a repertoire of Australian, Irish, English and Scottish folk songs.


Tritton Hall, Hut 44 Addison Road Centre, 142 Addison Rd, Marrickville

Door opens 7.30 for 8pm start. Session 10.00-11.30pm
BYO songs
Cost - $10
Bring something to drink & a plate for supper
Enquiries - Sandra 9358 4886

Garry on Youtube

Duke's place, named after our honoured early member Harold 'Duke' Tritton (1886-1965), is the place to go once a month for a great night of Australian songs in concert and session. Duke was a powerful singer who supplied BMC with many songs he had learnt in his younger days while working as a shearer and at other bush jobs. He was also a songwriter and poet giving us songs that have entered the tradition such as Sandy Hollow Line and Shearing in the Bar.

historic photos supplied.
Gary @ The Dog - Sandra Nixon


BMC & members' gigs @ The 2015 National Folk Festival & a few more interesting events.


Saplings Bush Music workshop for young musicians 8-16 years old, beginners, intermediate & experienced - bring instruments, use ours! 

Workshops - Friday, Saturday & Sunday, 11 to 12 - Billy Moran Tent  
Saplings Performance  Monday, 12.30  - The Pod

Family Bush Dance with 20 musicians & callers ranging in age from 7 years upwards
Saturday, 5.30 to 7pm - Piazza


The return, by popular demand of the world famous Waltz-a-thon!
Monday, 12.30 to 2.30 - Song Room 

Songs of Stan Wakefield
Friday, 5.30 to 7 - Song Room 

Heritage Ball with the Heritage Ensemble
Sunday, 8pm to midnight - Coorong


Member's gigs, with apologies to any member whose gigs I didn't include.

Alex & Annette Hood @ KidsFest
Friday, 10.30 to 11.10, Carnival Stage
Sunday, 10.30 to 11.10, Carnival Stage

Franklyn B. Paverty with Alex Hood
Saturday, 3.30 to 4.20 - The Lyric

A Grand Night of Scottish Dancing (Anthony & Lisa Simon)
Friday, 7 to 11 - Coorong

Black Joak Morris (Beth Cambridge) 
various gigs

Blue Goose Band (Max Gregory)
Friday, 12.30 to 1.10, Flute 'n' Fiddle
Saturday, 10.30 to 11.20pm - The Terrace
Sunday, 10.50 to 11.30 - Scrumpy


Chloe & Jason Roweth
Friday, 8-9pm - Flute 'n' Fiddle
Sunday, 1 to 1.50,  Marquee
Sunday, 4 to 5.30 - Trocadero
Monday, midday to 12.50, The Lyric 


Christina Mimmocchi
Friday, 10.50 - 11.30 - The Lyric
Saturday, 8.30 to 9.20pm - The Terrace
Sunday, 10 to 10.40 - Scrumpy

Director of the Festival Choir - rehearsals & performance


Coolfin Mac
Friday, 11.40 to 12.20, Scrumpy
Saturday, 12.30 to 1.10 - Flute 'n' Fiddle
Sunday, 2 to 3.30pm - Billy Moran

Community Hymn Singing with Roger Holmes & his Beautiful Assistants (Sandra Nixon)
 Sunday, 10-11.30, Song Room


Ryebuck Bush Band
Thursday, 8-11pm - Welcome Dance 

Southern Cross Trawlers (Margaret Walters & Don Brian)
Friday, 4.30 - 5.30 - Trocadero
Saturday, 2.30 to 3.20 - The Lyric
Sunday, 11.40 to 12.30 - Flute 'n' Fiddle
Monday, 3 to 3.50 - Flute 'n' Fiddle

Margaret Walters
Thursday, Singing Session, 7.30 to 10pm - Bohemia Bar
Saturday, Singing Session, 9.30 to 11.30 - Song room 

Verandah Music  Rob Willis & Graham Seal

Friday, 5-6pm - Carnival Stage 

Margaret & Bill Winnett
Friday, 12.20 to 1.40 - Coorong
Friday, 3pm - Piazza
Saturday, 10.30 - Piazza
Monday, 12.30 - 1.50 - Coorong
Sunday, 11 - Piazza 



Other gigs 

Daily in the Session Bar - 

Session Experience - 8.30 to 10
Australian Settler Session & Dance Music - 10.30 to midday
Songs from the Australian Tradition - 12.30 to 2.30.

Poets Breakfast every morning in the Flute 'n' Fiddle, 8.30 to 10.30. 
Lots more poetry events in the program 

Dance all day & night at Piazza & The Coorong


Ted Egan


Keith McKenry
John Meredith & the fight for Australian Tradition 

Chris Wheeler -
Rain in the Mountains, Songs from Henry Lawson

Warren Fahey & Max Cullen
Dead Men Talking - Paterson & Lawson in verse, yarns & songs

Bob Fox (UK) the Songman in the National Theatre's WarHorse

photos - Ryebuck and Alex & Annette Hood - supplied

Other photos - Sandra Nixon


The History of the Woronora Bush Band, 1979 - 1986

Click images for larger size.
The History of the Woronora Bush Band  by Kate Hannah
The Woronora Bush Band was formed during the year of 1979. The original band members were Malcolm Clapp, Pat Guest, Barry Guest (his brother) and Brian Crawford. Brian Crawford played the guitar, the spoons & was the lead vocalist. Pat Guest played the banjo, the tin whistle and sang. Barry Guest played the lagerphone, the tea-chest bass, the bones and sang. Malcolm Clapp played the accordion and also sang. The band played at a number of venues around the Sutherland Shire and sometimes in the city. They enjoyed playing the music tremendously and during the dances loved watching others get a great deal of enjoyment from their music.

During 1980 Barry Guest decided to move to the “bush.” The band needed another band member, so when asking around, they came across a friend of a friend. Max Mapleson had taught himself the mouthorgan, could play the tea-chest bass and sang beautifully. He had grown up on a farm in his youth so he already knew many bush songs and was eager to learn more. Max could recite many of Banjo Patterson’s poems, had played on stage before and played a wide variety of music. He was a great fit for the band as Barry’s replacement. Max loved playing the double bass and the mouth organ and singing in this great bush band. He also made a very intricate lagerphone which he loved to play in the band. He was very proud of this instrument and many people commented on the incredible sound it made and how Max almost “danced” while he was playing it.
 Malcolm Clapp usually arranged the gigs for the band and he arranged them to play at a variety of venues both in the Sutherland Shire and in the city. They played at Taronga Zoo, many times at the Balmain Town Hall and the Argyle Tavern and were regulars at the Wilton Winery. The band was asked if they wanted to take it on “professionally” but they all decided to decline that offer.
 Yvonne O’Grady who played the accordion, replaced Malcolm in 1982 and the band continued to play together as a four piece band until 1985. Max was replaced by Gary Howes who played guitar but also adapted easily to lagerphone and mandolin. Pam Gainsford (the caller) left the group around early 1985 and joined the Ryebuck band. Gary then became the main caller and both Pat & Yvonne filled in with some of their own selections at times.

In 1986 Malcolm returned from the UK and persuaded Brian to go as a duo doing daytime gigs. Pat left soon after, as did Gary. Yvonne moved on to be the dance caller for The Reivers, a Scottish band that played regularly at the Wilton Winery. Again the band had a resurgence of enthusiasm and enjoyed playing at many venues. After another year it disbanded and all band members remained friends for many years.

Yvonne and her daughter went to the Brisbane Expo in 1988 and had a huge coach accident that put Kath in hospital for almost 3 years and confined them to Queensland until the end of 1996. Not long after that Brian Crawford succumbed to asbestos disease and he passed away in 1999. Pat and Barry Guest live in Wingham and enjoy a quieter lifestyle in the country. Max Mapleson passed away in 2002 from cancer. Pam Gaimsford (the caller) now lives in Melbourne.

Yvonne and Kath can be seen often playing for the Bush Music Club's various functions. It is a delight to see them still enjoying the bush music scene after all these years.

Max Mapleson’s lagerphone story

Between 1980 and 1981 Max decided to build a lagerphone that he would play in the Woronora Bush Band. The other musicians played a variety of instrument in the band and Max was proud that he could also add his musical talent to the band. He was teaching himself the double bass, could play the tea-chest bass, the mouthorgan and sing but he wanted another instrument to make the band even more interesting. Max possibly felt it was a required item for a bush band. Whatever the reason, he set to work and built his lagerphone in a large shed at his Cronulla home using many gold studs. He completed it using decorative and quite elaborate leatherwork. (His wife Pat assisted him by offering beer to all those who visited the home and the bottle tops were collected to then be attached on the two big boards of the lagerphone.)

Max was able to build almost anything with wood and leather. He loved making things and had built tables, bookshelves, magazine racks, bellows and many other household objects which were intricate and extremely sturdy and practical so building a lagerphone was not too challenging. Max branded his name using his blacksmithing skills, in the back of the top board - which was quite unusual as he was a humble man and didn’t advertise his skills to many. He was very proud of the lagerphone and he was known to “dance” with it when playing in the band.

Max loved the finished product and many musicians commented on how striking it was to look at and what a great sound it made. He was glad to offer the band another instrument to play and this added to their repertoire. The band liked to look the part for their gigs and Max was well-known for his particular costume of blue jeans, shirt, vest and a blue denim cap. Max usually played the lagerphone, and sang or played the mouthorgan. He was teaching himself the double bass at that time but perhaps felt it wasn’t in-keeping with the essence of a bush band so he often played the tea-chest bass instead. 
Playing the lagerphone in the band was his favourite thing to do.

Max also loved reciting poems when the band enjoyed a few minutes rest between songs. His favourites were The Bush Christening, The Man from Snowy River, Clancy of the Overflow and Mulga Bill’s Bicycle. He was able to capture the audience with his renditions and they were swept away with his humour and enthusiasm for the poetry.

Max regularly played the lagerphone at social and family events. Whenever music was played in the home Max would pick up the lagerphone and suddenly there was a “party” atmosphere and smiles all round. Max’s son Peter, a professional piano player, lyricist and musical arranger would often visit and many times the family enjoyed the wonderful impromptu hours of music and singing. 

Since Max’s death in April 2002, the lagerphone has hardly been played. It has been sad to look at it sitting idly in the corner for years. However, now that it has a new home and a new owner, (Eric Eisler) one wonders if new life will be breathed into it. Perhaps the Bush Music Club and its audience will enjoy hearing the lagerphone again and rekindle the wonderful spirit of this talented man.

Max’s family is thrilled to share this story of Max and his lagerphone. As it was built so well all those years ago and has never broken or needed to be repaired it will be wonderful to see it once more bring incredible enjoyment and pleasure to others. 

photos supplied by Kate Hannah 


photos supplied by Yvonne O'Grady  - Instamatic photos stored in sticky plastic photo album & included to round out the history of the band

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Monday 2 March 2015

Saplings session of traditional music for young musicians 8-16 years old, Sunday 15th March 2015

In August 2014 we held our first 1-day workshop for young musicians 8-16 of all levels who play acoustic instruments.

In November we held the first of a series of regular Sunday afternoon sessions where younger musicians can experience the joy of playing Australian collected music in a relaxed atmosphere with a couple of adults leading the session.

Our second session will be held from 1-4pm, Sunday 15th March 2015 at Tritton Hall, Hut 44, Addison Road Centre, 142 Addison Rd, Marrickville

Music will be provided for those who have not attended the August workshops.

Enquiries -
phone - Helen 4297 5128 or Kerry 0409 600 949

photos - Sandra Nixon 

Report on masterclass Saplings - August 2014

Saplings workshop at 2015 Illawarra Folk Festival - January 2015