1983 – 2003
Colin Harper, AM MBE had a life-long career in the British and Australian Armies as a conductor of concert bands. He was promoted and sent to Brisbane in 1982 to direct the music for the Commonwealth Games in that year. His flair for entertaining production was well known and documented and he attracted a devoted following to band concerts, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for charity during his service in Brisbane.
Upon retirement from the military, he sought to keep doing what he did best and so the Queensland Pops Orchestra (“QPO”) was formed in 1984. His devotees came to these concerts and with much organisation and hard work, the orchestra became established as a Brisbane icon. Most of the QPO performances have been sell-outs.
The QPO has performed many types of venues and situations including Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, and Wellington concert halls, various Civic Centres and Town Halls, marquees, hotels, golf-courses, Convention Centres, Clubs, ballrooms and parks.
The Pops’ presentations, with versatility and warm-hearted humour, are second to none, playing music in typical Boston Pops style from Viennese operetta to music from the Shows, Big Band, and popular music of the 20th century, appealing mostly to people aged 45 and above.
2004 – 2012
Barrie Gott (b.1947) began his music career as a professional musician, studying trumpet with John Robertson and Harry Larsen at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. He subsequently joined the National Training Orchestra and was a regular casual player with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. He also played as a commercial player in Sydney, Los Angels and Brisbane backing artists such as James Morrison, Kenny Rogers and Petula Clark and working in studios such as Alberts, Oceanway and Martinsound. He has also been a regular arranger and player for the Lord Mayor’s Christmas Carols.
Barrie holds performance diplomas from the AMEB, Trinity College of Music, London and a Masters degree in conducting from Azusa Pacific University in California where he studied with Dr. Gary Bonner. He has also studied composition and arranging at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music with Ross Edwards and Don Banks. Other conducting studies were taken with Robert Miller.
Barrie has taught at all levels of education in private and government sectors and was Director of Instrumental Music at Azusa Pacific University.
As Director of Instrumental Music at Azusa Pacific University he was responsible for oversight of visiting teaching staff and all ensembles including bands, the orchestra and jazz ensemble. In addition he was a staff arranger for the university choir and orchestra.
He has also directed musicals such as Bye Bye Birdie, Chicago and Little Shop of Horrors. His classical repertoire includes major symphonic works both instrumental and choral having performed the Verdi Requiem, Messiah and Rutter’s Gloria on several occasions. Barrie has served as music director for Salvation Army bands in Sydney, Pasadena and Brisbane as well as the Brisbane Excelsior Band where he was successful in bringing a new dimension into concert programming.
Barrie has also served as Master of Ceremonies for City Council events and has performed as a soloist on Singing Brisbane programs at City Hall.
As a composer and arranger Barrie is published in Australia, United States, Great Britain and Europe and his works are on concert programs all over the world. He is a regular contributor to the Standard of Excellence repertoire for beginning concert bands in the education system.
Barrie is also an adjudicator for contests, festivals and eisteddfods throughout the world having officiated at regional, state and national contests in Australia and overseas in Norway and New Zealand and is a state examiner for the AMEB.
Barrie was the recipient of the 2004 Frank Wright Medal for services to banding in Australia.