Our First Horn player Leonie Wilks started playing at the age of thirteen in 1975. Her neighbours had joined a band and asked Leonie and her brother to come along. Little did she know that her future husband Dave was already in the band, and a mutual friend had told him that he was bringing along a girl who he thought Dave would really like. Not only did Leonie discover music and her talent for it, she found her soul mate and love of her life that day. All these years later, they are happily married and still playing in a band together.
Leonie played Cornet for about 10 years and switched to Flugelhorn before she joined Waratah-Mayfield Brass Band around 1988. Unfortunately only a few short years later, she left the band to start a family. Ten years on, her young family had grown and Leonie was ready for some more banding! She returned to the band on Tenor Horn, joining her daughter in the Intermediate Band and eventually moving back into the senior band.
Although Leonie is quiet and unassuming, in life as well as within the band, she is an immensely skilled musician who plays consistently and superbly. She is dedicated, hardworking and always prepared. Leading up to the 2012 NSW State Championships, Leonie ably stepped up into the Solo Horn position after Coralie Weber was sidelined due to a medical condition. Leonie worked tirelessly to master her part and executed the music brilliantly during the competition. In a gesture so typical of her, she then happily stepped back down to the First Horn chair upon Coralie’s return.
She is a steadfast member of the committee and is currently serving her second year as Vice President. Leonie is always willing to participate in or assist with whatever task is necessary to keep the band running seamlessly, most often with a smile on her face.
For over seventeen years it has been our great fortune to count her as part of our band and today on behalf of the members, committee and supporters of Waratah Brass it gives me great pride and pleasure to endorse Leonie Wilks as a Life Member of Waratah Brass.