After a busy and hard-fought Easter long weekend here in Brisbane, the band once again brought the prestigious Fireman’s Helmet back to our home, the Windsor School of Arts. With Howard Taylor once again in the middle, Excelsior took out the Own Choice (playing A Tale As Yet Untold bv Philip Sparke) and Stage March (playing William Rimmer’s Ravenswood) to win the National A Grade Title for the seventh time since our first win in 2005! Two of the “missing” years the band chose not to contest in favour of attending other international contests, and the other was a close second – not a bad record in anyone’s books! We look forward to going for our second hat-trick next year in Sydney.
We also gained a second place in the Street March; many thanks to our Drum Major Ross Moloney.
Adding further to the band’s success at the contest were our soloists – Jaime Brown winning the Open Soprano event, Gen Smith gaining 2nd in the Open Bb Cornet, Ross Moloney 4th in the Open Baritone and it was great to see Helen Lashmar (retired life member of Excelsior) competing in the Open Tenor Horn section. Well done all.
Thanks and farewell – Steve Ridler
It was also a wonderful final contest for long-time member Steve Ridler (solo horn), who is retiring and moving back to his first home, England, with his lovely wife Tina. Over the past 14 years Steve has inspired many with his incredible technique and attention to detail. Always willing to help out and offer assistance, Steve has left an indelible mark on Excelsior, and we thank him for his contribution. He is one of few who has been in all seven National wins! Also a regular member of National Australia Brass led by Professor David King, Steve’s influence extended throughout Australia. At a recent farewell party, the band offered official thanks by making Steve a Life Member of Brisbane Excelsior. Combing this night with Bb bass player Steve Whittington’s 40th made for a great night for all! Many good memories were relived.
Thanks Steve, and all the best – we hope you enjoy your retirement!