Brothers take didge to the world

David Williams plays the didgeridoo on China's Great Wall. He has played at Westminster Abbey and at the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008.
David Williams plays the didgeridoo on China's Great Wall. He has played at Westminster Abbey and at the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008. Contributed

BRASS brothers Chris and David Williams may be champions in their respective instruments, but their dexterity on the didgeridoo has the world talking.

Descendants of the Wakka Wakka people from central south-west Queensland, David, 29, and Chris, 31, were brought up in suburban Rockhampton.

David learnt the trombone from an early age and would often cross over and play the didgeridoo. His skills as a brass player saw him develop his own style of blending traditional and contemporary music on the didgeridoo.

Chris started playing the cornet when he was 11, following in his father Peter's footsteps.

Knowing his sons were incred ibly talented, Peter decided to move to the Sunshine Coast where they could become better musicians.

"There's been a lot of sacrifices to put them on a long path to music," he said.

"I didn't have to push them; they wanted to be better. Both are junior brass champions, going back about 1998. Both are champions in their instrument.

"They both learnt piano when they were younger. I started teaching them piano and brass, but I had limited training, that's the reason we shifted down here.

"They had music scholarships at Matthew Flinders."

In 1997 Chris and David enrolled at Matthew Flinders Anglican College where their brass skills were nurtured.

While at Matthew Flinders, Chris toured Malaysia and Singapore with the Queensland Symphonic Winds band.

He then studied for Bachelor of Music and a graduate certificate in music studies from the Griffith University Conservatorium of Music before moving to Tasmania to study with well-known trumpet master Yoram Levy.

While Chris continued to grow as a brass player, David stuck to his roots and his didgeridoo playing has taken him around the world.

In 2008, David donned his traditional dress to play at the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games.

Chris has been asked to play didgeridoo at the London Olympics this year.

For the past two years, Chris has been living and studying in Great Britain and this week had a royal encounter as part of the Queen's diamond jubilee celebrations.

Topics:  didgeridoo, music, wakka wakka



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