The Early Years....
The band was first formed in the early 1900s by the St.Johns Church of England, Parramatta, under the leadership of bandmaster A.E.Taylor. On the 25th August 1911 a meeting of the band decided to secede from the church & the band was renamed the Parramatta Citizen’s Band. Early banding journals indicate that the band was an A Grade Band in its early life with placings in the NSW State A Grade championships in the early 1910’s.
For many years the band had a very close relationship with the military & operated from the barracks at Parramatta as a civilian & military band. The band joined the NSW Lancer Regiment as a mounted band. Later it became the Fourth Cavalry Brigade Headquarters Band. In 1943 the Military recalled their instruments & left the band with only those instruments owned by members. Parramatta Council purchased instruments, which rescued the band. In 1948 the band returned to the Barracks & reformed the Lancer Band to support the 1st Armoured Division. 1951 saw the end of our involvement with the military as older members were asked to resign from the Lancers Band. With this decision, the band decided to stick together & as a whole decided to move out to become a civilian band again.
Over the next 8 years the band had a number of rehearsal venues including a Parramatta councillor’s workshed (amongst work benches, saw dust & shavings) & the back of a local Chinese restaurant whilst awaiting completion of the band’s new hall in 1959. The new band hall was named after long serving Secretary “Harry Todd” who worked hard to have the hall built. Harry was the Secretary of the band from 1916 to 1968. In 1959, with a new hall came a new name & the band became known as the Parramatta City Brass Band, which it is still known as today.
Despite some success in the 1960’s as a contesting band, the band had a steady decline in the 1970’s & 1980’s. Ken Marks became bandmaster in 1988 & injected new enthusiasm to the band & also a new crop of juniors were developed. Ken finished his term with the band 1994. Former A Grade conductor Steve Nolan took over the band in 1994 establishing it as a successful Contesting Band.
The band won the 1997 National D Grade title & 1998 NSW State D Grade title & after promotion to C Grade, the 1999 NSW State C Grade title. Steve Nolan’s term ended in April 2004 after a highly successful 10 years at the helm.
Over the past 14 years, under the leadership of former State & National Tenor Horn, Baritone & Euphonium Champion, Jonathan Gatt., the band has won a number of Championships, Contests & Eisteddfods. The band currently competes at both state and national championships, most recently attending the 2018 National Band Championships in Melbourne. Parramatta City Band further contributes to countless community gigs including monthly play-outs in Church Street Mall, Parramatta and other performances.