News

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 www.ausbrass.com/event 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.


Soprano:

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

Brisbane XLCR Plays to over 2000 school children!

In an almost annual tradition, the Brisbane Excelsior Band recently performed at Runcorn State High School at the Karawatha District Music Camp. Music teacher and backrow cornet Craig Millar helped organize the event and excitedly invited the band to play a segment to inspire the students.

Deputy Conductor Jared Proellocks took the band through their paces with ‘Toccata in D Minor’, ‘Abide with Me’, ‘Bugler’s Holiday’ before joining with a student led ensemble for the finishing number of ‘This is Me’ from ‘The Greatest Showman’.

We were so thankful to be able to perform at this amazing event and hope to continue the tradition into the future.

Images courtesy of Amy Pannell