Having made the trip to the 2015 event in Sydney only to finish runner-up, Brisbane Excelsior returned to Gawler near Adelaide in South Australia to reclaim the famous Fireman’s Helmet Trophy by winning the Australian National title in what was truly ‘spectacular’ fashion.
That was the single adjective used by adjudicator Dwayne Bloomfield to describe the performance under MD Howard Taylor of their own-choice section of Oliver Waespi’s ‘Audivi Media Nocte’, which secured the title for the eighth time since 2005 in commanding fashion.
Earlier they had produced a fine account of the set-work, ‘Albion’ by Jan van der Roost, as well as their hymn selection ‘The Candle of the Lord’ by Joy Webb arr. Peter Graham, to lay the foundation of a victory which was sealed by a robust ‘Knight Templar’ march and a rendition of the former European Championship set-work that left the adjudicator breathless in admiration.
“Spectacular! Well done conductor and band. That’s all I have to say about this,” Dwayne Bloomfield scribbled onto his remarks sheet as Brisbane secured victory by winning all four disciplines of the contest.
Band President Gareth Lawless said: “We’re thrilled with the result and very proud that this remarkable group of musicians continues to perform at such a world class level.
The approach and determination of the band to push to new heights under Howard Taylor’s inspirational direction was shown on the weekend in Gawler. We are delighted by the success, but determined to add to it in the future.”
He added: “Being able to bring back the Fireman’s Helmet is only part of what we want to achieve – and we have a number of exciting new musical avenues opening up for us.”
Victory once again underlines their credentials as arguably the finest band in the southern hemisphere, as they Brisbane XLCR led home a brave but rather forlorn challenge from eight well beaten rivals.
Brisbane’s success has now likened to that of the great St John Ambulance Band from New South Wales who won six titles between 1948 and 1956 and Hawthorn who claimed eight titles from 1985 to 1995, as the Fireman’s Helmet Trophy (first presented in 1971) once again returned to their trophy cabinet.
(Edited and adapted, with thanks, from 4barsrest.com)