LAST MODIFIED : Friday 26 June 2020 10:11

A register of Australian colonial musical organisations, venues, events, &c., active after 1861, A-Z

Dr GRAEME SKINNER (University of Sydney)


To cite this:

Graeme Skinner (University of Sydney), "A register of Australian colonial musical organisations, venues, events, &c., active after 1861, A-Z", Australharmony (an online resource toward the history of music and musicians in colonial and early Federation Australia):; accessed 26 February 2021


Adelaide Regimental Band

Adelaide, SA, from c. 1863 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Austrian Strauss Band

Orchestra and military band

Touring October 1880 - Melbourne International Exhibition - August 1881 (thereafter NZ) (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

WILDNER, Alois F. (bandmaster/conductor, until January 1881)

BRAUN, Herr (bandmaster/conductor, thereafter)


This was the first professional European orchestra to be heard in Australasia, and drew large, and in some case huge, audiences especially to its outdoor concerts in band formation. A number of members of the band remained in, or returned to, Australia. After the band's appearances at the Melbourne Exhibition, Wildner sued the Austrian consul for non payment of a fee and left Australia early in 1881. He was replaced by Herr Braun as bandmaster/conductor.


"THE AUSTRIAN STRAUSS BAND", The Argus (11 October 1880), 6

It is not likely that at any previous time in any place was there such a great gathering of people drawn together for the purpose of hearing a band play as there was on the lawn at Flemington Racecourse on Saturday after- noon, when the eagerly-expected Austrian Strauss Band made its first appearance. ... Thus there were 15,000 persons present to hear some 47 players from Vienna, and the circumstance, we think, is unique in the annals of music. [... ] His Excellency the Governor arrived punctually, having with him the Marchioness of Normanby, and accompanied by Sir William and Lady Jervois and family, and attended by Lord Hervey Phipps and Captain Le Patourel. The band marched to the platform erected for them in the middle of the terrace overhanging the lawn, and the National Anthem was played. The concert included the following pieces, namely:- 1. March from "Le Prophète", Meyerbeer; 2. "Kronprintzen", march, by Zichrer; 3. "Thousand and One Nights" waltz, by J Strauss; 4. Cavatina, " Una voce", from "Il Barbiere" by Rossini; 5. "Panofsky" march, by Leibold; 6. "Ardent Love", French polka, by J. Strauss; 7. "Festival Overture", by Foroi, encored with acclamation, and replaced with the "Radetzky" march; 8. the "Wedding March", by Mendelssohn; 9. prelude and quartet from Verdi's "Rigoletto"; 10. "Chorus of Pages'' and finale, from Offenbach's "Princess of Trebizonde"; 11. "The Flemington March", composed by Herr F. A. Wildner, the conductor of the band, and encored with great emphasis. The National Anthem was played on the retirement of His Excellency and party. The Austrian Hymn was played after the last encore, and "God save the Queen" was given once more to conclude the concert. ... When the members shall all of them have appeared, whether en militaire or en grand orchestre, their names and functions will be found to be as follow: - F. A. Wildner, conductor; Herren Kmoch, first violin, trumpet, bass cornet (soloist); Schuster, first violin; Braun, first violin, euphonium (soloist); Francik, first violin; Raim Pechotz, first violin, helicon; Tauschik, jun., first violin, clarinet; Kohaut, first violin; Weingartner, first violin; Canbalik, first violin; Gluckmann, first violin, flute; Tauschik, sen, second violin, clarinet; Naumann, second violin; Kratchovil, second violin, bass cornet; Scheibeira, second violin, trumpet; Hage, second violin; Schebetofsky, second violin, trumpet, French horn; Schwab, viola, clarinet; Unzeitig, viola, cornet (soloist); Schaffer, viola, cornet-a-pistons; Patek, cello cello (soloist); Wilczek, cello, clarinet (soloist); Pleyer, contra-base, helicon; A. Pechotz, contra-bass, trumpet; Tuschka, violin, viola, cello, contra-bass (soloist and band secretary); R. Pechotsch, contra-bass, trumpet; Kell, flute, piccolo (soloist); Zeomak, piccolo, flute, trumpet, bass comet; Flämisch, oboe, flute, piccolo, clarinet (soloist); Dworscbatschek, oboe, clarinet (soloist); Andreovitch, fagotto, violin, timbura (soloist); Czizek, fagotto, bass cornet; Kotracek, clarinet (soloist) ; Prager, clarinet; Tellinck, clarinet, horn; Kurh, French horn; Brabetz, French horn (soloist); Schandl, French horn; Landauer, French horn; Tischbach, trumpet, cornet-a-pistons; Kautnak, trumpet (soloist); Zeemann, trumpet, contra-bass, cornet (soloist); Wolf, trumpet, violin; Wladika, trombone; Ambler, trombone; Koschka, trombone, euphonium; Richa, bombardon; Leder and Kozak, instruments of percussion; Saxberger, harp (soloist) ; Muller, clarinet, oboe; Probasky, clarinet; Prczibram, clarinet, trumpet; Fokal, helicon. The four last named were left behind at the Cape, and are to follow. The orchestral band to-night at the Town-hall will consist of 45 players.

"THE DOG SHOW", The Mercury (17 January 1881), 3

... The playing of the Austrian Strauss Band was very much enjoyed, especially by the little crowd of musical enthusiasts, who formed another circle close around that of the performers. This was the first appearance of the band in its military form, and consequently their doings were watched with interest. They appeared in uniform, the undress of the Austrian army, to which all but one or two belong. Even in their military capacity our visitors are entitled to our respect, as few of them but are the possessors of one medal, while others have two, and some even three medals for service in as many wars. These wars were that of 1859, against the French and Italians; 1864 against the Danes - the Schleswig Holstein question ; and 1866 against the Prussians. The elderly flute player dates even further back - as far as 1854- to the Crimean war, when he waited with the Austrian army in Roumelia, though eventually not engaged, while Mr. Heller has recently seen service in Bosnia. Their playing as a Military Band was marked with the same skill and precision which accompanies their orchestration, though the rude wind sometimes worried the music sheets terribly.

"THE AUSTRIAN STRAUSS BAND", The Sydney Morning Herald (24 January 1881), 6

Bathurst Philharmonic Society

Bathurst, NSW


"Philharmonic Society's Concert", Bathurst Free Press (17 April 1866), 3

This first concert of the Bathurst Philharmonic Society was a very successful affair, and we trust that it is but the first of a long series. We have frequently had reason to deplore the apathy with regard to musical matters existing in Bathurst, and an indifference manifested by the public toward first class music Mr. Cox and the members of the Bathurst Philharmonic Society are to be congratulated for their strenuous efforts to redeem our city from the reproaoh lately uttered by an eminent Sydney musician. The orchestra was composed as follows : - Mr. W. P. Cox, first violin and conductor; Messrs. Adams, Dowse and MacDougal, first violin; Messrs. Baldwin, Denis, Havenhand, Richardson and Smith, second violin; Mr. Dryden, viola; Mr. Hudson, violincello; Mr. Atkins, double bass; Messrs. Cope and Toovey, cornets. Valuable assistance was also rendered by Messrs. Code and Mills, who had come specially from Sydney, and who undertook respectively the flute and clarionet parts ...

Christy's Minstrels (Anthony Nish's company, 1863-67)'s+Minstrels+Nish+1863-67 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Christy's Minstrels (Smith, Brown, and Collins's company, 1865-66)'s+Minstrels+Smith+Brown+Collins+1865-66 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

City Band (Sydney 1880s)

Sydney, inagurated 1883

Sebastian HODGE (bandmaster)


"Music and the Drama", Australian Town and Country Journal (28 April 1883), 13

The City Band was formally inaugurated on Wednesday by the Mayor of Sydnoy, in the Exhibition Building, Prince Alfred Park. The baud is composed of the following gontlomon, who are all more or less distinguished as soloists and orchestral players:- Bandmaster, Mr. Sebastian Hodge; first clarionets, B, A, and C, Messrs. Choville and Vassie; second clarionets, Drager, Roffey, and Burton; third ditto, Mills and Drager; E flat clarionet, Kearns; piccolo and flute, Farrell and Martin; first cornets, Sweetman and McMahon; second ditto, James and Hogg; trumpets, Taylor and Crook; alto horn, Kopff and J. Hogg; E flat horns, Miller, Wolf, Crook, and Freeman; euphonium, White; trombone, Parkes, Morcombe, and Shapter; bass, Bibb and Shuck; side drum, Cobden; bass drum, Mahony; triangle, S. White; and first bassoon, T. Andrejewec. Most of these performers are masters of other instruments, so that the band can perform either as a brass and reed band as it did on Wednesday, or as an orchestra when circumstances require it to do so.

There were 700 or 800 persons present at the Exhibition Building, including our chief citizen, his Worship the Mayor. Mr. Hodge conducted. The concert was commenced with the well-known strain of the "National Anthem," and then followed a march from "Preciosa," the overture to the "Black Domino," a selection from "Fra Diavolo" including a bit of the overture, "On Yonder Rook Reclining," "Young Agnes, Beauteous Flower," "Proudly and Wide," and other airs; the "Snowdrop Polka" with cornet solo, charmingly played by Mr. Sweetman, and encored; a trombone solo finely executed by Mr. Parkes; a selection from the "Grand Duchess" and several othor pieces. The playing was very good, but was rather powerful for those who were seated near the performers. The performance of the band in the open air will be magnicent. Owing to the absenco of several reed and tenor performers, the bass slightly predominated in the performance ...

Lyster's Royal Italian and English Opera Company

Active Australia, 1861


[Advertisement], The Argus (3 May 1864), 8 

ROYAL HAYMARKET THEATRE. Stage Manager, Mr. W. Lloyd. FAREWELL SEASON. Under the Patronage of His Excellency the Governor and Lady Darling. Director, Mr. W. S. Lyster. The Director has the honour to announce that he has made arrangements to give a Farewell Season of 48 nights, at the above theatre, in which he has spared no expense to make the representations the most perfect ever given in Melbourne. The following celebrated artistes are engaged:-


THE BAND. First Violins: Mr. F. Coppin, Herr Hermann, Mr. E. King, Mr. Levey; Second Violins: Mr. F. Benson, Mr. Jager. Viola: Herr Wederman; Contra Bassos: Mr. Brown, Mr. Gover; Cello: Mr. Hart; Flute: Mr. Creed Royal; Clarionettes: Herr Luneberg, Mr. Ford; Bassoon: Mr. McCoy; Oboe: Mr. Schott; Horns: Herr Kohler; Mr. Versoe; Cornet: Mr. Richardson; Trombone: Mr. S. Hore; Drums: Mr. Gorman. Musical Director and Conductor, Mr. G. LODER.

THE CHORUS: First Sopranos: Mrs. Andrews, Miss Watson, Mrs. Oldman, Miss Gregory; Second Sopranos: Mrs. Benham, Mrs. Gladstone; Altos: Mrs. Marks, Mrs. Younghusband; First Tenors: Mr. Baker, Mr. H. Beaumont, Mr. Benham, Herr Lulves; Second Tenors: Herr Sprinckham, Mr. Ramsden, Herr Bachrach. First Basses: Mr. Christen, Mr. Stockmeyer, Mr. Nathanson, Herr Hermes; Second Basses: Mr. H. Benham, Mr. Kaible, Signor Roncoveri, Mr. Levison; Scenic Artists: Messrs. Fry and Murphy; Machinist, Mr. Renno; Property Master, Mr. Dennis; Costumiere, Madame Jagar.

[Advertisement], South Australian Register (15 September 1865), 1

[Advertisement], The Argus (22 December 1865), 8  

Melbourne Centennial Exhibition Orchestra (Centennial Orchestra)

Active July 1888-January 1889 (February 1889) (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Go to Centennial orchestra main pages: 

Minstrelsy of the West

Perth, WA (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

New Haymarket Theatre (Melbourne)


"THE NEW HAYMARKET THEATRE", The Argus (5 August 1864), 7

The extensive improvements in the reconstruction and decoration of this theatre are now all but completed, and the house will be quite ready for the opening night tomorrow, when Lady Don makes her first appearance since her return from Europe ... The orchestra - so important a component part of a theatre with the future specialty of the Haymarket - is well selected, and will consist of the following performers: - First violins, Mr. F. Coppin and M. Zeplin; second violin, Mr. Bentley; violoncello, Mr. F. Howson, jun.; flute, Mr. Creed Royal; cornet, Mr. Richardson; viola, Mr. J. Howson, jun.; double bass, Mr. Gover; clarionet, Herr Faure; trombone, Mr. S. Hore; tympanes, Mr. Gorman; leader, Mr. Fred. Coppin; operatic conductor, Mr. Frank Howson, jun.

Norwood Philharmonic Society

(1) Active Norwood, SA, 1861-62

(2) Active Norwood, SA, 1884-86


"NORWOOD PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY", The South Australian Advertiser (9 February 1861), 2

[Advertisement], The South Australian Advertiser (18 July 1861), 1

"THE NORWOOD PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY", The South Australian Advertiser (20 July 1861), 2

"NORWOOD PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY", South Australian Register (22 July 1861), 3

"NORWOOD PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY", The South Australian Advertiser (22 October 1861), 3

"NORWOOD PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY", South Australian Register (19 February 1862), 2

"NORWOOD PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY", South Australian Register (19 June 1884), 5

Associations (1): B. T. Finnis (president 1861), Chapman, C. H. Compton (conductors)

Shoalhaven Harmonic Society

Kiama, Nowra, NSW, 1860s (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Smith, Brown, and Collins Original Christy's Minstrels

Toured Australia, February to December 1865


Having sailed from Southampton on 27 September 1863, the Smith, Brown, and Collins "original" Christy's minstrel troupe, in which Rayner was "an eminent basso and first class musician" arrived in Sydney in February 1865 "after a most successful tour through India, China, Java, Batavia, &c." With a mixed program including black-face minstrel numbers and operatic burlesque, they toured to Melbourne in March, Bendigo in April, Adelaide in May, and Tasmania in July. The minstrels gave their farewell season for the reopening of the Victoria Theatre in Sydney in December.


"THE ORIGINAL CHRISTIES' MINSTRELS", Bell's Life in Sydney (4 February 1865), 2

[Advertisement], Empire (13 February 1865), 1

[Advertisement], Empire (18 February 1865), 1

"THE ORIGINAL CHRISTY'S", The Sydney Morning Herald (25 February 1865), 7

"RE-OPENING OF THE VICTORIA THEATRE", The Sydney Morning Herald (4 December 1865), 4


J. W. SMITH, manager; Joe BROWN, dancer; W. P. COLLINS, The Original Bones and Prima Donna; Henri HERBERT, Tenor vocalist; W. HARVEY, Second tenor vocalist; W. H. CASTER, Baritone; C. W. RAYNER, basso; E. BYRON, Solo instrumentalist; N. LA FEUILLADE, Instrumental director; Rafael ABECCO, vocalist

Bibliography and resources:

William L. Slout, Burnt cork and tambourines: a source book of Negro ministrelsy (PREVIEW)

Tumut Vocal Harmonic Society

Tumut, NSW, 1860s (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

© Graeme Skinner 2014 - 2021