Music has been part of the NSW public school curriculum for many decades. Initially, vocal music was taught from the time Government schools were first established in the late nineteenth century. From the 1920s percussion bands were introduced to some schools, and from the 1940s recorder playing. However, not until the 1960s was ‘instrumental music’ and ‘creative music making’ established as part of the curriculum. This development saw specialist music teachers employed in NSW public schools. Prior to the employment of specialist teachers, music was one of many subjects generalist teachers taught.
In the 1970s, Neville Keevers was appointed as the first teacher to specialise in music at Alstonville Public School. Neville’s passion for music established a strong interest in music among students at the school that continues to this day. Under Neville’s guidance, the school acquired instruments and formed its own band. Many of Neville’s students have gone on to have music careers. The Band Man highlights the important contribution the Alstonville Public School and Neville Keevers have made to shaping music education and culture in the district.
By Stephen, Sally, Emily, (Alstonville High School) Richmond (Alstonville Plateau Historical Society) and Duke Albada in collaboration with Neville Keevers.