Ben Wicks – The Courier Mail
March 25, 2008 11:00pm

A BUNCH of Brisbane doctors, teachers and public servants want to take on the world after becoming Australian brass band royalty.

The Brisbane Excelsior band beat 13 rivals from across the country and New Zealand to win the Australian National A Grade title at City Hall at the weekend. It was the band’s fourth consecutive win at the titles.

“We’ve made history with our win and it was highly deserved,” Excelsior musical director Howard Taylor said.

“My band has the skill and talent and I’d like to see us perform at the highest level at the British Open Brass Championship.”
Watch the band perform

But with no major sponsor the band’s success comes at a cost.

They’re already saving for trips to Melbourne, Hong Kong and the US – all possible tour destinations in the next year.

“The money that we earn from playing shows goes straight back into the band and covers equipment costs,” Mr Taylor said.

“Whenever we have to travel around Australia or overseas each player has to pay their own way.”

He said the secret of their success was holding on to key personnel.

“I’d think our success comes from keeping the same core group of players,” he said. “I’ve tried to keep the principal players together for as long as possible.”

The band is made up of players from many professions and trades but it seems love has played a leading role in the band’s fourth win.

Acclaimed English tuba player Dean Morely had recently moved to Australia to be with his girlfriend and fellow band tuba player Julie Woods and was a late addition to the band.

Mr Taylor said the latest title fight went right down to the wire.

“It was by far the tightest competition I’ve been involved in since I moved to Brisbane in 2002,” he said.