Yesterday we lost a great friend, and Australia lost one of its preeminent musicians, with the death of Paul Goodchild.
Paul was a prodigious talent, joining the Sydney Symphony Orchestra at the age of 18 and remaining an active member for 42 years, ultimately being appointed Associate Principal Trumpet.
Paul’s talent was widely recognised by Australian composers, many of whom wrote pieces especially for him, including Carl Vine, Ross Edwards, Barry McKimm, David Stanhope, Matthew Hindson, and Paul Stanhope. One of Paul’s proudest achievements was premiering Alan Holley’s Dopplers Web with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.
To celebrate his 40th anniversary with the Orchestra, Paul presented William Lovelock’s Trumpet Concerto, a piece composed for John Robertson, a former SSO Principal Trumpet. Paul’s commanding performance of this piece was inspirational, and a fitting tribute to a former great Australian musician.
Paul commenced his playing career as a member of Bondi Brass (formerly Waverley Bondi Beach Band), a community group of musicians formed by his father, Cliff. Paul always valued the musical grounding the brass band afforded him and would often guest with the band for community events and concerts. Paul eventually took over from Cliff as the Music Director and held that position until his diagnosis in 2019.
Paul was deeply committed to music education, both as a Music Director and as a private teacher. He was also a Board Director of the Australian School Band and Orchestra Festival, founded by Cliff in 1962 and now the largest event of its kind in Australia with more than 350 ensembles and 11,000 students participating annually. The Festival was last held in a physical capacity in 2019 and Paul attended every day, assisting young musicians back stage despite being in some obvious discomfort, his diagnosis not yet having been determined.
Paul had an unquenchable love of life. He was a great raconteur, a wine connoisseur, a fantastic cook, and he loved his South Sydney Rabbitohs.
We are the poorer for his passing, but Australia is a much richer place for Paul having been with us, albeit for too short a time.
Paul is survived by his wife, Yvette, children Morley and Alana, and sister, Louise.
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