Quarterly Newsletter January 2021

Welcome to 2021! Here’s hoping we’re in for a more ‘normal’ year this year. One of our New Year’s Resolutions is to be more involved within our community & with our followers! As a part of that, we will be sending out quarterly newsletters to let you know what’s going on. There’ll be a few additional emails going out as we approach concerts or as we book in new events for the year.
If you’d like to get in touch, please do! You can contact us via Facebook, Instagram or email.Please forward this email on to anyone who you think might enjoy keeping up with the bands. Or if you’ve received this email from a friend, and would like to sign up, click the button below!
Sign up here
2020 in Review
Without sounding too much like a broken record: it’s been a very different & difficult year!At the beginning of the year, Brisbane Excelsior popped out to the Royal Children’s Hospital to record part of a program for the Juiced TV program at the hospital. The band had a wonderful time being interviewed and conducted by the host of the episode, Zarhara.Back in March 2020, Windsor Brass had just performed at Movies in the Park at Manly Harbour Village. Meanwhile, Brisbane Excelsior were preparing for a fantastic contest to be held in Perth over the Easter Weekend when the 2020 Australian National Band Championships were cancelled. All of our flights & accommodation was booked, and our contest pieces were coming along well! At this point, both the Brisbane Excelsior & Windsor Brass bands cancelled all rehearsals, where our respective rehearsal nights were turned into online catch-ups & trivia nights via Zoom.
In June, both bands came back to rehearsals in reduced numbers. During the downtime, Brisbane Excelsior’s Musical Director, Howard Taylor, took the opportunity to have a hip replacement! Upon the bands return, Assistant Musical Director, Jared Proellocks, led the band for the remainder of 2020.In September, Brisbane Excelsior teamed up with Briefs Factory to perform at the 2020 Brisbane Festival in a series of popup concerts, “All You Need is Love”.October saw Windsor Brass’ recordings of ‘Lions of Legends’ – Thierry Deleruyelle, ‘Cornish Cavalier’ – W.E. Moyle, ‘MacArthur Park’ – Jimmy Webb, and ‘Peace’ – ::::::: for the Queensland Virtual State Band Festival, which was streamed online over the 24th and 25th of October. Of the four sections, Windsor Brass took out Gold in three, and silver in one!Brisbane Excelsior put on its final concert for 2020 in November, guest conducted by Brian Hurdley. For the first time, we also live-streamed this concert to YouTube! A big learning curve for the band, but we pulled it off and will be looking at streaming to the world much more in the future!
To finish Windsor Brass’ performing year, they took some Christmas classics to Mt. Coot-tha at the end of November.To round out a crazy year, the organisation head to the Everton Park Bowls Club for a social get-together and some….trivia! 2020 had one last surprise – torrential rains on our outdoor bowls day! The bands handed out their usual awards and had a great time socialising and talking about the plans for 2021!
Band Patrons
The Brisbane Excelsior Band and Windsor Brass Band are excited to announce our new patrons!The Right Honourable, the Lord Mayor of Brisbane, Councillor Adrian Schrinner and The Honourable, Tim Nicholls, MP join our family as the patrons of the Brisbane Excelsior Band & Windsor Brass Bands respectively.We’re looking forward to growing our relationships and working more closely with our new patrons to become more involved within our community.
Brisbane Excelsior & Windsor Brass Wine Fundraiser
During our off-time last year, we teamed up with Prospect Wines to offer a selection of 6 great value wines to help raise funds for the operational costs of our bands. Available wines are:
McLaren Vale Reserve Shiraz – 2016
Clare Valley Cabernet Sauvignon – 2018
Yarra Valley Pinot Noir – 2018
Adelaide Hills Sauvignon Blanc – 2018
Barossa Valley Chardonnay – 2019
Pinot Chardonnay Sparkling BrutWines are available for a limited time only, so please consider ordering some of this highly sort after label while you can. Thank you for your support!
2021 QBA Youth Band Camp
The Queensland Band Association is running its annual Youth Band Camp, this year, conducted by Mr. Brian Hurdley. Each year, the Brisbane Excelsior organisation sponsor two musicians to attend the camp.Unfortunately, due to the Greater Brisbane lock-down, this has been postponed until April. We’re looking forward to hearing the results of such an excellent program!
2021 Plans
2021 PlansWith the 2021 National Band Championships being cancelled back in September, the National Band Council of Australia, in consultation with the 2021 Nationals host, Bands Association of NSW, will be hosting the Australian National Online Festival of Bands (ANOFOB), to be streamed online over the Easter Weekend. Both Brisbane Excelsior & Windsor Brass will be participating in this festival and are looking forward to kicking off rehearsals again next week.Also on the cards for Brisbane Excelsior is the continuation of our concert series. Stay tuned early February for the announcement of our 2021 season.
Windsor Brass will also be featured out and about regularly as always.We look forwards to seeing you at our performances this year, and we’re excited to see what 2021 brings us!
Support the Bands
The Brisbane Excelsior & Windsor Brass Bands are very appreciative of any support we receive from our friends! If you would like to make a small donation to the band, head to to help us out.If you’re interested in supporting us in a more substantial way, please contact our Secretary on to discuss the sponsorship packages we have available.Thank you!

Brisbane Excelsior: Back in Action

The Brisbane Excelsior Band is excited to present its first concert of 2020! Conducted by Mr. Brian Hurdley whilst our Musical Director, Howard Taylor, is on leave, this concert is sure to fill the musical void COVID-19 has left on us during these trying times.

Head to to find out more, and to book your tickets today!

Brisbane Excelsior & Windsor Brass Wines

The Brisbane Excelsior & Windsor Brass Bands have teamed up with Prospect Wines to offer a selection of great value wines to help raise funds for the operational costs of our bands.

The following wines are on offer:
McLaren Vale Reserve Shiraz 2016
Clare Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
Yarra Valley Pinot Noir 2018
Adelaide Hills Sauvignon Blanc 2018
Barossa Valley Chardonnay 2019
Pinot Chardonnay Sparkling Brut

CLICK HERE to order your wine today!

Jaime Rolfe – Excelsior “Ever Upward”

What an amazing year 2018 was for Brisbane Excelsior Soprano Cornet player, Jaime Rolfe.

Jaime’s year started with her winning the Soprano Cornet Solos at the Australian National Band Championships, on top of playing with Brisbane Excelsior who took out 2nd place in A Grade and were awarded the Gal John Trophy for Highest Placed Australian Band.

The New Zealand National Championships was dominated by Jaime, taking out not only the Soprano Cornet Solo, but the distinguished Champion of Champions as well! Jaime was also invited to perform in the Riki McDonnell Invitational Slow Melody competition where she took out the crown.

Jaime’s university lecturer, Mr. John Kellaway, commissioned a concerto for Jaime to perform with Brisbane Excelsior, written by the band’s composer in residence, Mr. Benjamin Tubb-Hearne. A Concerto for Soprano Cornet and Brass Band, subtitled ‘A Newcastle Novel’, Jaime writes, ‘It’s not every day that you get to perform a solo with one of the country’s most outstanding brass bands, but to do so with a piece commissioned and written for you is something few get to experience. ‘A Newcastle Novel’, explores some of the exports that made Jaime’s hometown of Newcastle the city it is today. The concerto is split into three contrasting movements, all of which focus on a different ‘export’. 

The year 2018 ended on a tremendous high for Jaime, being nominated for 4Barsrest 2018 Player of the Year. Jaime was one of ten world class players to be nominated and was the only Australian player in the mix.

Whilst she did not win the Player of the Year, she was awarded the Soprano Cornet Chair in the 4BarsRest 2018 Band of the Year. “These players were chosen as they showed the most significant impact on us with their performances, both on and off the contest stages during the past year” – 4BR.


Jaime Rolfe (Brisbane Excelsior)

There were a host of stunning soprano players to choose from this year — but here was a player that shone the brightest.

Her band playing was outstanding — adding a cultured topping to the boldest ensemble dynamics, but also able to mix vibrant dabs and dashes of colour and texture too. When the solo spotlight was on her she was exceptional — especially in winning the prestigious Champion of Champions title at the New Zealand National Championships.


Ten Years on Top – REVIEW by Dr. Bob Childs

Ten Years on Top – Brisbane Excelsior Band

The last ten years has seen unprecedented success from Howard Taylor and the Brisbane Excelsior Band. The Band is 100 years old, but the last decade has certainly been the halcyon period in their history winning eight Australian Championships and two New Zealand Championships as well as great performances in the UK. The Band is recognised as the finest Band in the Southern Hemisphere, and I would suggest, “one of the finest bands in the world.”

To mark this unrivalled period of dominance in the contest field they have released a CD recording “Ten Years on Top” and it’s a real trailblazer, featuring some historic performances from the past (From Ancient Times – Jan Van Der Roost, live from 2013 Nationals) and several looking towards the future.

Ten Years on Top begins with Stephen Roberts’ Another Opening Another Show and sets the scene for a ‘high -octane’ precise and musical performance that permeates the whole recording!

There are wonderful solo contributions from Paula Russell (Cornet) Jamie Brown (Soprano) Amanda Casagrande (Flugel Horn) Nigel John (Euphonium) and Chrislyn Hamilton (Voice) the latter proving to be a real contrast and a master stroke of programming by Howard Taylor! Special mention must be given to the Nigel John whose silk-like golden tone is only matched by his effortless technique in Phillip Sparke’s Pantomime (a piece I know quite well!).

Other works that are featured include: two marches, The Jaguar – Goff Richards and Melody Shop – KL King, both played with pizzazz and fizz. There are a handful of beautiful lyrical pieces, Candle of the Lord – Joy Webb, Abide with Me – WH Monk, and The Pilgrim’s Prayer – Eric Ball that pull on the heart strings and ably demonstrate the delicacy and finesse which Howard Taylor extrapolates from this fine musical unit. Abide with Me gave me goose-bumps all over whilst absorbing the pure tone quality and perfect balance which Karl Jenkins demands from this super arrangement. Other notable performances featured within include: Phoenix from War of the Worlds by Peter Graham, The Catskills from East Coast Pictures by Nigel Hess and the gigantic most technically demanding piece ever written for brass band, From Ancient Times by Belgian composer Jan Van Der Roost. If anyone is looking for proof that Brisbane Excelsior has out-grown the Southern Hemisphere this performance is it!! Technically perfect and musically sublime, the solo playing is outstanding and the interpretation by Howard Taylor is spot-on.

I unreservedly recommend this CD to the brass band community and ask the question why we don’t see Howard Taylor and Brisbane Excelsior Band as guests at the British Open and European Championships. Their standard of performance would enhance both events and push other ensembles to an even higher standard.

Dr Robert Childs
ARCM (hons) FLCM (dist) FRWCM M.Mus (dist) PGCE (dist) DMA