Tenor Horn & Band Assistant Secretary
Meridith (Meri) comes from a very musical family as her father, Jim Gardiner (City of Greater Dandenong Band Life Member - Soprano Cornet, Hawthorn Band - Soprano Cornet, and City of Moorabbin Band – Musical Director) was heavily involved in the brass band sphere when she was born. So it would be a natural fitting that she would too, become part of the brass band sphere! Her two brothers are also musical, with Stewart former cornet player at City of Moorabbin Band and Aspendale Technical School Band, and Andrew plays the electric bass and double bass for various pub and ska bands.
At the age of 9, Meri’s father taught her the clarinet and she was ready to perform her first musical performance at her grade 5’s project presentation, playing “3 Blind Mice”. By the time she started secondary school, Meri started learning the Alto Saxophone and soon joined the Aspendale Technical School junior and senior bands. During that time, her father was running the City of Moorabbin Junior Concert Band. Meri joined this band as their 1st Alto Sax player. By the time she reached Year 9, the City of Moorabbin Junior Concert Band changed into a brass band and Meri made the choice to take up the tenor horn while continuing playing the saxophone at school, soon she was promoted to the senior band. During her time with City of Moorabbin Band, she joined the Victorian State Youth Brass Band and went on tour to Queensland and South Australia with the band where she had the opportunity to play alongside her peers.
At the time when her father retired as City of Moorabbin Band’s Musical Director, she joined Frankston City Band for a few years, and then over to City of Dandenong Band where she met most of her lifelong friends and also her first husband. By 1993, Meri temporarily retired from playing while she spent time raising her 3 boys.
In 2011 Meri relocated to Gippsland where she rekindled her love of brass band and joined Warragul Municipal Band to help fill the horn section. She also played Flugelhorn, Euphonium, and Baritone but always came back to the tenor horn … her first love! She also helped Warragul Municipal Band start up their Learner Band, played the Last Post on the Flugelhorn/trumpet for Noojee ANZAC’s Dawn Service and Remembrance Day at Neerim Cemetery. She also teaches music both at schools throughout Gippsland and privately at her home studio.
In 2016 after 5 years with Warragul Band, Meri decided that it was time to come back home to the City of Greater Dandenong Band.
When she is not playing her horn, Meri enjoys spending time with her 5 year old Standbred horse named Jesse, bike riding out among the hilly roads in and around her hometown Noojee in Gippsland, and trying to finish off her house renovation!