Tasmania’s bands remember Layton Hodgetts OAM

A MINUTE’S silence was observed in memory of the late Layton Hodgetts during the second day of the 2021 Tasmanian Band Championships in Devonport earlier this afternoon. Chief drum major Michael Mathers said the indoor ceremony had replaced a planned parade of bands in tribute to key members of the Tasmanian Bands League who had passed away in the last year.

The parade was cancelled due to wet weather but a short service went ahead inside the Paranaple Centre, paying tribute to Mr Hodgetts, the founder of the Derwent Valley Concert Band, as well as David Peters of the Glenorchy City Concert Brass and Ivan Johnston of the Ulverstone Municipal Band.

The Tasmanian Bands Championship is the annual event where Tasmania’s brass and concert bands get together in friendly competition. Mr Mathers thanked those who took part in the service to commemorate the people they had lost.

Tasmanian Bands League president Courtney Brown said the event’s marching band championship had been cancelled due to the weather. “As part of the parade of bands we had organised a massed band where participants from across the state would come together to honour three gentlemen lost to the Tasmanian banding community over the last 12 months,” Ms Brown said.

Ms Brown said Mr Hodgetts had been a badge of honour recipient from the TBL and a prominent figure in her own banding life. “From Layton I learned the importance of community, of generosity of spirit, and that banding can take you all around the world,” she said.

“While we can’t commemorate these figures in the way we had planned, I would ask you to be upstanding if you can and I ask chief drum major Michael Mathers to bring the bands of Tasmania to attention as we pause to remember in silence.”

After a minute’s silence the assembled musicians played the marching tune Invercargill which is a well-known part of the Derwent Valley Concert Band’s repertoire. Mr Hodgetts, of New Norfolk, passed away last November after a long illness. A video of his funeral procession can be seen below.

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