The Second-Wind Ensemble began on Thursday, April 30, 1998 as the Late Starters Band. Seventy-five people gathered at the Flinders Street School of Music on that day for the first rehearsal.
The founding director was Bob Hower who, at that time, was the director of the Elder Conservatorium Wind Orchestra.
Bob modelled the Late Starters’ Band on a similar band begun in Queensland. He wanted to encourage would-be musicians who had a desire to learn, but never had, to join similarly minded people to develop latent musical talents. A few of the late starters had dim memories of childhood crochets and quavers, but most couldn’t play a note when they first met.
Some had instruments in the house, having supported children through music studies. They had dusted off saxophones, clarinets, flutes, oboes, trumpets, trombones, bassoons and a French horn from beneath beds and out of garages. Others begged, borrowed, hired or bought instruments.
Six weeks after the band began, Darryl Pope took over from Bob as Music Director.
With the closure of Flinders Street School of Music at the end of 2001, the band moved its base to Pulteney Grammar School on South Terrace. Originally rehearsals took place in the main hall, and then, the cosier primary school music room became our 'home' although in 2011 and 2012 rehearsal locations varied within the school as it underwent a new building program.
The band has rehearsed in the Music Suite at Pembroke School since 2013.
In 2013/4, a video was produced to showcase the band, and a CD was recorded.
While originally most members were either taking up an instrument for the first time, or resuming after a long interval, the band has developed over the 24 years to a higher level. However, rehearsals continue to be a mixture of tuition, social contact and fun.
The band's first gig on 17 July 1999 had us cramped on the balcony of the Portside Recreation Centre
June 12, 1998 newspaper article
The band playing at Government House, 2007