The Long Family – a part musical history.

(by Geoffrey Gaylor Long & Ian William Long)

With our grandchildren being seventh generation Tasmanians, and one of them starting piano lessons this year, there continues a long history of musical involvement in this state.

Our great-great grandfather James Long came out from England to Tasmania in 1835. One of his sons our great-grandfather John Long grew up in Launceston next door to a band practice hall. As a result he became a fine trumpet player and also excelled at band organisation. John Long was also keen for his children to be involved in music activities and as part of this he organized Juvenile Bands & Orchestras in Hobart including managing the Hobart City Band.

Our grandfather James Gaylor Long was reported to be an excellent trumpeter and conductor. At the age of 11 he was playing at the Great Exhibition (1894/95) on the Domain, and conducting at 13 years of age. His first charge being the Hobart Juvenile Orchestra, next the Hobart Model Brass Band and then the Hobart Juvenile Brass Band – often conducting musical afternoons at St David’s Park Rotunda. James Gaylor Long was appointed as bandmaster at Waratah (Tas) 1908 and Devonport Bandmaster in 1911. A few years later the Long Professional Orchestra (J Long, JG Long, CD Long, M Long, F Long & C Long) were resident at The Palace Theatre (Hobart) and The State Theatre (North Hobart).

Hobart City Band c1909, James Gaylor Long is in the 3rd row, far left, John Long (Band Manager) is in the 3rd row, far right.

 

Our father, also named James Gaylor Long, was the church organist and choir master at St James Church New Town for over 30 years. He began work at 14 years of age at W E (Bill) Pople Pianos & Organs Shop in Liverpool St Hobart. The building still exists in this location. Later he was employed for 30 years as workshop manager at McCann’s Music. He was then a founding partner in the musical instruments retailer/repairer Long & Langlois along with our mother Edna Long, and Reginald Langlois.

James Gaylor Long newly appointed Bandmaster at Waratah for the Mt Bishoff Band in 1908.

The main activities for the business at that stage was piano repairs, tunings and sales, pipe organ repairs and tunings. Music tuition was provided by Reginald Langlois who was an accordion teacher. With the advent of television in1960 the business was also involved in the retailing of tv sets. When electronic organs became popular we were at the forefront with the Conn organ products and later Kawai organs. For a time in the late 1970 and early 1980’s we were also retailers of home computers. A strong interest has been music tuition with ETM Organ Classes beginning in 1972. In 1999 we introduced the ISM early music education programs, Holiday Music Classes and in 2009 Piano for Pleasure Classes.

This business was later renamed Long, Langlois & Johnstone with Lindsay Johnstone entering the partnership, Geoff Long and Ian Long were also ultimately partners in the enterprise. Since 1992 the business has been re-named Geoff Long Music.

We have been proud to represent the Japanese Kawai piano brand since 1982, one of the oldest Kawai agencies in Aust.

Over the years the business has always been based from the same location at 41 Burnett St, North Hobart, but as well branch stores have operated at various times in Devonport, Bellerive and central Hobart.

Fifty seven people have worked at the business since it’s inception, and they are thanked for their contributions.

Personal Profile: Geoff Long B Bus, AFAMI, Adv Dip Mktng

Geoff began 8 years of piano lessons with well known local teachers Win Bollen and Mollie Rankin. As well he continued his general music studies throughout Primary & High and Matriculation Schools. In addition he was taught pipe organ by Godfrey Swanton & City Organist John Nicholls. Later an interest in group teaching led to study with organ teachers Evelyn Terell (USA) and Sue Woodland (QLD).

His first teaching appointment was with Adult Education where he taught for 22 years. As well for 39 years he provided a Tuesday Night Piano/Organ class for all comers, as well as individual lessons, including exam and eisteddfod preparation.

His playing experiences include, television and radio performances, Carnival Dance Band (8 years), duo and trio wedding gigs, as well as church and funeral work. Particularly in the popular home organ days Geoff played concerts in most parts of Tasmania from Smithton to Dover.

In total Geoff has been a musical instruments retailer, as well as playing and teaching music for nearly 50 years.

Aside of the above Geoff jointly founded the Theatre Organ Society of Aust (Tas branch) in 1975, assisting them to obtain a 1929 theatre pipe organ which is still in use at a private school. He has also provided continued support to the Tas Music Teachers Assn, Hobart Eisteddfod and Clarence Eisteddfod Societies and a number of charities. Outside of musical interests he is a director of the YMCA of Hobart Inc and the Tas Table Tennis Association Inc.