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2017 New Zealand Champions!

A compelling battle between the two finest bands in the southern hemisphere ended in victory at the New Zealand National Championship for Brisbane Excelsior, as they won the 2017 title under the direction of MD Howard Taylor.

In a contest featuring a number of high class performances at Wellington’s Michael Fowler Centre, Brisbane Excelsior’s sacred item, ‘Swedish Folk Song’, the set-work, ‘Journey of the Lone Wolf’ and own-choice of ‘From Ancient Times’, saw them repel the challenge of defending champion Wellington Brass to the claim the Champion Band Gold Cup for a third time by the narrowest of half point margins.

Iain Culross and Tamaryn Heck share the soloist’s trophy after a small mix up at the contest venue.

An outstanding interpretation of Simon Dobson’s evocative portrait of composer Bela Bartok, aided by the superb contributions of the ‘Best Section’ percussion team, guest principal cornet Iain Culross from the UK and flugel horn Tamaryn Heck who won the ‘Best Soloist’ award, had earlier given them a two and half point buffer over their main rivals.

That was to prove crucial come the own-choice element on Saturday evening, as they secured their first New Zealand title since 2008 with a resounding rendition Jan van der Roost’s epic work to finish in second place — just two points behind Wellington.

Before the announcement of the results, adjudicator Nigel Seaman gave a perceptive analysis of the A Grade competition — stating that the best had ‘made light work’ of the Dobson composition, whilst he felt the ‘best in the frame’ on the own-choice had provided him with what he called, ‘a very musical experience’.

Jared, Rowan, Matt, and Tamaryn hold all of our new silverware as we board the plane home!

 

The victory however belonged to Brisbane Excelsior and MD Howard Taylor, who before praising the efforts of his own band and celebrating winning the world’s oldest National Championship title, gave a gracious speech acknowledging the outstanding contribution of David Bremner to Wellington Brass and to New Zealand banding in general.

The standing ovation that resulted was heartfelt and prolonged, and was a wonderful show of communal support to the young MD who now takes his leave from conducting the home town band after a decade of unprecedented success.

Howard also acknowledged what he called, ‘the unbelievable standard in New Zealand with the top bands’ that meant his own band had to ‘pull out all the stops’ .

Howard Taylor, MD and the fine bunch of ladies of Excelsior.

That was certainly backed up by the adjudicator’s written remarks which saw Nigel Seaman write about their rendition of the set-work; ‘A powerhouse performance’, whilst also singling out the ‘exceptionally controlled’ flugel and percussion.

He was also full of praise for their sacred item which he called, ‘rich and balanced’, whilst he thought their own-choice was ‘ a performance of not only exceptional virtuosity but one of immense musical stature as well’.

“Rehearsals went so well — and they had to,” Howard went on to say in his victory address.

“We came to do the business and we did,” although at that point his victory speech was cut short by his mobile phone going off in his jacket pocket. Much to the delight of the audience, he revealed it was from his mother!

The Whole Team Celebrating On Stage

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Article taken and abridged from 4Barsrest.com

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Major Works Concert 2017

Brisbane XLCR band are working diligently towards our second outing of the year after our very successful CD launch in February.

Performing one of our New Zealand nationals testpieces, the band will be joining Feds, Brisbane Brass and the Brisbane City Temple Brass Band for an afternoon of music in the centre of Brisbane.

It is free entry and begins at 2pm. It is the perfect opportunity to hear all of the bands in the height of their performance modes if you’re unable to go to Tasmania or Wellington.

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An Australian welcome for a talented Scot

Unfortunately, due to an on-going injury, the band’s principal cornet Paula Russell will be unable to join the band on their championship quest. However, Brisbane XLCR is extremely excited to welcome the talented cornet soloist and current Leyland Principal Cornet Iain Culross to the hot seat. Iain will be playing alongside the band as well as leading workshops and teaching private lessons on his little antipodean excursion.

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Australian Champions to tackle NZ’s elite

Australian Champions, Brisbane Excelsior Band are pleased confirm that they will travel to Wellington to compete in the 2017 New Zealand National Championships in April.

 

As a direct result of the decision to go to New Zealand, XLCR will not be travelling to Launceston to defend the 2016 National Australian Championship title they won in Gawler, South Australia.

XLCR has won the Australian Championship title eight times in the last twelve years but were pipped in Sydney back in 2015 by Wellington Brass. The opportunity for the band to compete against its NZ foe once again, especially in the current NZ Champions’ home city of Wellington, is just too great an opportunity to pass up.

As an organisation, XLCR look at a multitude of aspects when choosing where to travel with the band. Along with cost and logistics, XLCR’s friendly rivalries with New Zealand’s Elite Bands and the opportunity to perform in one of Australasia’s top concert venues in the Michael Fowler Centre have proved massive drawcards. Further to this, the band has history in New Zealand having won two New Zealand titles in the last decade.

Band president Gareth Lawless said:

“Whilst I accept it is unfortunate to not be going to defend our Australian title, it is the right decision for our Band. Both the MD and the committee feel that this years’ New Zealand Contest has the potential to be one of the most memorable in recent times for Australasian Banding. The world class concert hall and exemplary organisation of NZ contests make it such an attractive option for the band. When you add the rivalry with a number of the top NZ bands into the mix, the trip truly becomes a mouth-watering prospect for the playing members”.

GARETH LAWLESS, PRESIDENT

Brisbane XLCR have been in fine form in the recent months, recording 2 CDs, performing with award winning local choirs and taking stride in their own concert series. However, it is on the contest stage where the band really finds its footing. The band’s Musical Director, Howard Taylor cannot wait to conduct the band in NZ:

“I’ve been looking forward to returning to NZ with XLCR for many years now. I hope we can re-create that special magic from 10 years ago after a double win at the NZ contest in 2007/08.”

HOWARD TAYLOR, MUSICAL DIRECTOR

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New Year / New Website!

We’ve had a bit of a facelift and we’re super excited to finally launch our new website that has been in the works for several months now.

We’ve decided to include player profiles, an online ticketing system that allows our concert goers to purchase their tickets using their debit/credit cards, we’ve got a brand new shop and are planning on bringing in merchandise very soon. We’ve also included ways to share our pages through social media using the buttons below each of the articles.

Currently, we’re working towards integrating the Windsor side of the players profiles and the Windsor events – so watch this space!

If you have any questions please feel free to shoot us a message through our contact page.

Happy browsing!

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