Noel, 95, proves that you do not need to stay in an aged care facility 24/7

Noel Underwood is 95 and each week he attends rehearsals with the Hinterland Concert Band at the Mudgeeraba Music Centre in the town on Queensland’s Gold Coast.

“I’m the oldest gentleman in the band. I pretty much seem to be the oldest man wherever I go at the moment,” said Noel, a resident at Carinity Cedarbrook aged care home at Mudgeeraba.

The Hinterland Concert Band plays a mixture of contemporary, swing and popular music tunes from a variety of eras: everything from Coldplay and The Beach Boys to the Beauty and the Beast soundtrack.

The band performs at events such as Australia Day, the Mudgeeraba Show and ANZAC Day, but Noel says band members “have the view that we’re here to improve and play a bit better.”

“Music is a great outlet, and you make lifetime friends from it,” said Noel, who plays the euphonium.

Euphoniums are played in big bands such as military bands alongside an assortment of saxophone, trumpet and brass players.

“It’s a big instrument that belongs to the band because nobody could afford to buy them,” Noel said.

Not only does Noel enjoy playing the euphonium, but he is also experienced at playing saxophone, trumpet and clarinet.

Noel began playing musical instruments as a 12-year-old living in Palmerston North in New Zealand. He continued with music when he moved to Mount Morgan in Queensland in 1949 to work in the mining industry, at the age of 21.

“I played in a dance band in Mount Morgan with a couple of good musicians there. We were a trio,” Noel said.

“The thing about being in a small town is you can’t have a big band because there’s not enough people to play.”

Noel is a Life Member of the Hinterland Community Band Association and one of its foundation member musicians from 1995 with continuous attendance and ongoing involvement for almost 30 years.

Noel recently moved to the Carinity Cedarbrook aged care community where he says his care and lifestyle is “remarkably good”.

“I’ve been here three months and it’s a lovely place. I have a big room and everything you could wish for. The food is magnificent too,” he said.

He is as “fit as a fiddle” because he exercises regularly – taking two or three half-hour walks each day – to “set a good example for others”.

“I’m the oldest gentleman in the band. I pretty much seem to be the oldest man wherever I go at the moment,” said Noel, a resident at Carinity Cedarbrook aged care home at Mudgeeraba.

The Hinterland Concert Band plays a mixture of contemporary, swing and popular music tunes from a variety of eras: everything from Coldplay and The Beach Boys to the Beauty and the Beast soundtrack.

The band performs at events such as Australia Day, the Mudgeeraba Show and ANZAC Day, but Noel says band members “have the view that we’re here to improve and play a bit better.”

“Music is a great outlet, and you make lifetime friends from it,” said Noel, who plays the euphonium.

Euphoniums are played in big bands such as military bands alongside an assortment of saxophone, trumpet and brass players.

“It’s a big instrument that belongs to the band because nobody could afford to buy them,” Noel said.

Not only does Noel enjoy playing the euphonium, but he is also experienced at playing saxophone, trumpet and clarinet.

Noel began playing musical instruments as a 12-year-old living in Palmerston North in New Zealand. He continued with music when he moved to Mount Morgan in Queensland in 1949 to work in the mining industry, at the age of 21.

“I played in a dance band in Mount Morgan with a couple of good musicians there. We were a trio,” Noel said.

“The thing about being in a small town is you can’t have a big band because there’s not enough people to play.”

Noel is a Life Member of the Hinterland Community Band Association and one of its foundation member musicians from 1995 with continuous attendance and ongoing involvement for almost 30 years.

Noel recently moved to the Carinity Cedarbrook aged care community where he says his care and lifestyle is “remarkably good”.

 

“I’ve been here three months and it’s a lovely place. I have a big room and everything you could wish for. The food is magnificent too,” he said.

He is as “fit as a fiddle” because he exercises regularly – taking two or three half-hour walks each day – to “set a good example for others”.

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A special thanks to our contributors

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Caroline Egan

DCM Media, agedcare101

Caroline has a wealth of experience writing within the retirement and aged care sector and is a contributing journalist for the Villages.com.au and agedcare101 blog and accompanying newsletters.

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Ian Horswill

Journalist

Ian is a journalist, writer and sub-editor for the aged care sector, working at The DCM Group. He writes for The Weekly Source, agedcare101, villages.com.au and the DCM Institute fortnightly newsletter Friday. Ian is in daily contact with CEOs of retirement living, land lease and the aged care operations and makes a new contact every week. He investigates media releases, LinkedIn and Facebook for a good source for ideas for stories.

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Lauren Broomham

Retirement and Aged Care Journalist

Lauren is a journalist for villages.com.au, agedcare101 and The Donaldson Sisters. Growing up in a big family in small town communities, she has always had a love for the written word, joining her local library at the age of six months. With over eight years' experience in writing and editing, she is a keen follower of news and current affairs with a nose for a good story.

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Jill Donaldson

Physiotherapist

Jill has been practicing as a clinical physiotherapist for 30 years. For the last 13 years she has worked solely in the Aged Care sector in more than 50 metropolitan and regional facilities. Jill has also toured care facilities in the US and Africa and is a passionate advocate for both the residents in aged care and the staff who care for them. She researches and writes for DCM Media.

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Chris Baynes

DCM Media, agedcare101

Chris has been a journalist and publisher in the retirement village and aged care sectors for 11 years. He has visited over 250 retirement villages and 50 aged care facilities both within Australia and internationally. Chris is a regular speaker at industry conferences plus is a frequent radio commentator.

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Annie Donaldson

Nurse and Carer

Annie has a long career in both nursing and the media. She has planned and co-ordinated the medical support from both international TV productions and major stadium events. In recent years she has been a primary family carer plus involved in structured carer support.