History of MYME
Since the formation of the initial band (Pine Rivers Youth Band) in 1978, there have been various ensembles created over the years, some of which have since disbanded. The organisation was renamed Pine Rivers Combined Bands Incorporated in 1998 to reflect the admission of the string orchestra. In almost four decades there have been 2 concert bands, a vocal group, a stage band and 5 string groups - (PRASO 1 and 2 which subsequently became MYSO), PRaFS (Pine Rivers Festival Strings), Fiddle Group, Junior Fiddle Group and a Chamber Orchestra. A Junior Strings program was introduced in 2017 to further the potential membership of the Strings programs.
In 2012, the organisation once again experienced a name change to Moreton Youth Music Ensembles Incorporated (MYME Inc) to reflect the amalgamation of the Pine Rivers Shire, Redcliffe Shire and Caboolture Shire, and to encompass all performers in the groups.
Pine Rivers Youth Band was formed in 1978 by Peter Roxburgh, then co-ordinator of Woodwind Instrumental Music for the Education Department in the Pine Rivers district. Peter had an extensive musical background, including overseas experience with several of the post-war big bands. He arranged and performed with the RAAF Band in Victoria. Youth Band members initially came mainly from secondary schools in the shire, with weekly rehearsals conducted by Peter in a demountable at Pine Rivers State High School. A junior concert band was subsequently formed, conducted by Rod Birchell and rehearsing at Lawnton State School.
The band toured to Charleville and Longreach in 1980, with the encouragement of Rod Birchell, then the principal of Longreach State School. The Band performed to an audience of almost 3,000 and at the conclusion of the tour made its first recording.
The Youth Band continued to tour western and northern areas of Queensland and northern NSW. It performed at official Council events such as citizenship and Australia Day ceremonies and community events such as Anzac Day and charity performances.
Upon Peter Roxburgh’s departure in 1985, Ralph Grigg, formerly conductor of the junior band since 1981, was appointed musical director of the Youth Band. Ralph was a music resource teacher in the shire and a former member of the Queensland Youth Orchestra. He maintained membership of the Carina Salvation Army band for 7 years, 3 years as Bandmaster.
A vocal group operated for a short while, complementing the Band.
By 1990, an audition process was in place with Concert Bands 1 and 2, Concert Band 1 accommodating the more advanced musicians. An association developed with the First Military District Band with Graham Curran’s appointment as assistant musical director and John Bennet as reserve conductor. Graham transferred to Perth in 1991, being replaced by Steve Mee, also a member of the Military Band. Steve was transferred with work in 1995.
After a 16 year association, Ralph Grigg resigned from the Organization, and Steve Mee having returned to Brisbane, took up the position. In 1998, the Organization’s name was changed to Pine Rivers Combined Bands, Inc to allow for expansion of the Organization with the admission of other ensembles. In mid 1998, PRASO (Pine Rivers Area String Orchestra) under the musical direction of Timo Jarvela, joined the Organization. Steve Mee continued as musical director of Concert Band until the end of 2001. By this time the 2 bands had combined to form the one Concert Band.
Maria Jarvela commenced as musical director at the beginning of 2002. An instrumental music teacher with Education Queensland since 1995, Maria initially trained at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music and subsequently at Northwestern University in Chicago where she attained her Master of Music Degree in Trumpet Performance. Maria had extensive performing experience with various ensembles including the Queensland Symphony, Queensland Philharmonic and Australian Youth Orchestras and performed as a soloist with the Queensland Pops Orchestra, the Queensland Youth Symphony and the Conservatorium Youth Symphony.
Maria relinquished the position, following the arrival of her third child, with Marti Nemet - a classroom music teacher with Education Queensland - commencing in 2004. Having graduated as a mathematics and music teacher at the Gyorgy Bessenyei Teachers College in Nyiegyhaza, Hungary, Marti received her Choir Director’s Certificate from the Franz Liszt Music Academy in Budapest. Marti was unable to complete 2005 with Peter Pagett stepping into the position until October 2009. Peter had been heavily involved in music in his home town of Hervey Bay. He completed his Honours Thesis at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music and his Graduate Diploma of Education at Griffith University. He commenced teaching for Education Queensland in the Moreton Region.
In 2008, the Concert Band competed in the National Band Championships in Brisbane, winning the junior ‘C’ Grade Division. The following year, the band competed at the same competition which was held in Sydney. Jessica White held brief tenure before the role of musical director of Concert Band was taken up by Rebecca Verbeek in late 2010. Rebecca had extensive musical experience with Education Queensland as a primary school music teacher. She graduated from QUT with a Bachelor of Music in flute performance and a Bachelor of Education (Secondary) in 2007. Rebecca left the organisation at the end of 2013, and Daniel Trigger took over the reins in 2014. Daniel is an experienced Brisbane based musician, and has performed in a wide range of musical settings. As part of the Queensland Youth Orchestras, he played with the Queensland Youth Symphony on clarinet and saxophone and in QYO2 and the Wind Symphony as principal clarinet. He regularly performed with both QYS and QYO2, and played in the QYO Chamber Orchestra in 2014. He also played with the University of Queensland Symphony Orchestra and Wind Ensemble, and regularly performed with the Eviva Wind Quintet at corporate functions and community events. He achieved his AmusA diploma on clarinet. Due to study commitments, Daniel resigned his post at the end of 2014. He now offers some advisory services to the group. Liam Thomas took over the role of conductor upon Daniel's departure, and has significantly grown the group in stature, with wins at the Queensland Band Association State titles in 2018, and then winning the "Junior B Grade" Concert Band division at National Competition in Brisbane 2019. The group won every category other than the Hymn section, which was lost by a single point.
Having been conducted respectively by Ralph Grigg, Jon Adams, Craig Spink and lastly, Nathan Rye, the Stage Band allowed for flexibility in catering for different performance situations while extending the players' musical abilities. Members took pride in building fine arrangements of Jazz, Blues, Funk Rock , Swing and Ballads, performing to, and sharing their music, with their audiences. Unfortunately, due to increasing work/ study commitments of the members, the Stage Band which had been part of the organisation for a number of years, disbanded partway through 2003. The Stage Band was reformed in late 2019 with the intention of providing more advanced members to advance their repertoire in 2020 and beyond.
PRASO (Pine Rivers Area String Orchestra) was formed by Timo Jarvela in 1996 to provide performance opportunities for string players in the Pine Rivers area.
Timo, a strings teacher in Pine Rivers, Redcliffe and Caboolture for Education Queensland since 1995, had graduated from the Queensland Conservatorium of Music with a Bachelor of Music. He had performed with various ensembles and orchestras including the Queensland Youth, Symphony and Philharmonic orchestras.
In 1996, string programs were in their infancy in the area, existing only in a very small number of schools. PRASO brought together string players from several schools, allowing them to experience large-ensemble playing and new repertoire.
PRASO was initially a single orchestra until increasing membership and diversity of ability created a need for 2 separate ensembles. PRASO 2 was briefly conducted by local string teachers Michelle Jones and Bronwyn Gibbs, then reverting to Timo Jarvela.
At the time of joining the Pine Rivers Combined Bands, Inc in mid 1998, PRASO returned to the single orchestra format until separating again in 2005 into PRASO 1 and PRASO 2. Having conducted both string orchestras for a number of years, Timo handed the baton over to Leanne Cahill in 2010 whilst he continued with PRASO 1 and worked on developing the Fiddle Group.
Leanne graduated from University of Southern Queensland with a Bachelor of Creative Arts, majoring in cello performance. She subsequently attained her Bachelor of Education.
In 2012, the 2 string groups combined under Leanne’s conductorship becoming MYSO (Moreton Youth String Orchestra) - Pine Rivers Combined Bands, Inc having changed its name to Moreton Youth Music Ensembles, Inc – (MYME)
Leanne stepped down as conductor after 2 years, and Mrs. Jenni Barnard stepped into the role in 2013.
A previous member of PRASO, Jenni graduated from University of Queensland with a Bachelor of Music Degree with First Class Honours in 2013.
Created by Timo Jarvela and Bronwyn Gibbs in 2003, PRaFS (Pine Rivers Festival Strings) was aimed at advanced student and experienced adult string musicians (with a minimum standard of Grade 5 AMEB).
PRaFS provided the opportunity for playing and performing string orchestra repertoire at a high level, and employed eminent conductors to assist the group achieve this goal.
Due to the busy schedules of the members, PRaFS was able to give a very limited number of performances each year, preceded by a limited number of rehearsals. The ensemble was a very welcome addition to the cultural life of the Pine Rivers Shire for the 3 years it operated.