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What is the ideal age to start learning a musical instrument? Seven or perhaps eight? Virtuoso violinist Arnold Steinhardt recommends even earlier and says that starting the violin at the ancient age of say 13 will most likely be a losing battle.
Indooroopilly Chamber Orchestra, a local community group in Brisbane, has a member who started learning the double bass at age 65, and who is turning 100 in May this year. And he still plays with the orchestra, attending their weekly rehearsals and playing in all their concerts!
Richard Turner was living in the Atherton Tablelands where he was a key singer with the Atherton Choral Society when, after his retirement in 1975, he recognised the need for someone who could play the double bass. So he procured an instrument from Sydney, started to learn, and joined the local Atherton Light Orchestra. After moving to Brisbane in 2004, he joined the Indooroopilly Chamber Orchestra, and remains a valued and iconic member of the orchestra to this day.
In May of this year, to coincide with Richard’s 100th birthday, the orchestra has organised an afternoon birthday party, concert, and tea at which the orchestra will perform selected musical items. The event will be attended by many of Richard’s friends and members of his extended family.
The venue for the bash (Holy Cross Church Hall in Wooloowin) was organised by Richard’s son David and daughter Dona. David says that playing with the orchestra is one of Richard’s main interests.
Richard serves as a marvellous example of how to grow old gracefully with music. Which all goes to prove that it’s never too late to learn!
The Indooroopilly Chamber Orchestra is always on the lookout for new members of all standards and ages. They rehearse on Thursday nights in Chelmer and stage two to three concerts each year. For expressions of interest, visit their website or phone 0404050452