Australian National Brass 2005

6 February 2005

It is with much regret that the National Band Council of Australia Inc, announces that the proposed tour of the Australian National Brass Band to Kerkrade, Netherlands in July 2005, has had to be cancelled.

Although self-funding for the tour was indicated from the start, it was intended that as sponsorships became available, the cost to individuals would be reduced. Unfortunately, it has recently become apparent that sponsorships will not be available in time, if at all, which consequently loads the entire financial burden onto the individual members. Even with a change in the tour schedule, which resulted in a reduction of cost for the individuals, it is not financially possible to continue. Coupled with this is the lack of information and confusion about the contest details. Very recent attempts to clarify several issues, in the hope that the project could still proceed, have been unsuccessful.

Regretfully, this also means that the Australian National Brass Band 2005, as from the date of this letter, is now defunct

Brian J. Dodds
Executive Officer
National Band Council of Australia Inc
Tel: (08) 9479 6796; 0402 458 015

National Band Council of Australia Press Release
18 January 2005 

While the administration of the Australian National Brass Band has been seeking financial sponsorships for the band, it has been concerned for some time about the reality that some players may find they have to pull out of their position for personal reasons, predominantly cost. Several players have already resigned their positions and been replaced, but the concern is that there may be more.

To reduce costs, the time that was to have been taken up with the European tour (other than the contest itself) will now be spent in rehearsal in Melbourne. This workshop period might also include regional concerts in Bendigo, Ballarat and Geelong. The rehearsal period will conclude with a concert in Melbourne at which it is intended to record a DVD to commemorate the band and tour.

The goal of the NBCA is and always has been, to get the best Australian brass band possible, playing at their peak, to compete in Kerkrade. The non-availability of the test piece by January 1 st has also meant a change to the rehearsal requirements. There was little point meeting in Melbourne in January to rehearse if the test piece was unavailable.

Consequently, the following rehearsal schedule has been arranged:

* Workshop 1 : Sunday March 27 (Sunday after the Nationals) in Adelaide.
* Workshop 2 : Melbourne, starting evening of Friday May 13, through till Sunday afternoon May 15.
* Workshop 3 : Melbourne, Monday June 27, through till July 5 or 6, at which time the band will depart (flying out of Melbourne) for Holland/Kerkrade directly.

The rehearsal venues in Adelaide and Melbourne are yet to be determined.

The band will arrive in Amsterdam around July 6 and travel to Kerkrade. A few days of rest and rehearsal will be spent prior to the competition on July 9 & 10. The band is likely to depart Holland to return to Australia around July 11 or 12.

Brian J. Dodds
Executive Officer
National Band Council of Australia Inc
Tel: (08) 9479 6796; 0402 458 015

*      Howard Taylor agrees to take on the position of Assistant Musical Director for Australian National Brass 2005.
*      Meg Fixter is appointed Tour Administrator for Australian National Brass 2005 tour to the World Championships in Kerkrade next year following the resignation of Robert Bedwell

November, 2004
Australian National Brass 2005

The National Band Council of Australia is pleased to announce the following people as members of the Australian National Brass to tour Kerkrade, Holland in June/July 2005 for the inaugural World Brass Band Contest.

Soprano, Mark Fitzpatrick, VIC
Principal Cornet, Conrad Curry, NSW
Solo Cornets, Kevin Joughin, SA; David Barker, VIC; Robin Ford, VIC; Jason Mears, VIC
Repiano, Jamie Lawson, VIC
2nd Cornets, Marcus Salone, NSW; John Sader , VIC
3rd Cornets, Phillip O’Neil, SA; Jason Katsakaris, NSW
Flugel Horn, Laurie Pinch, VIC
Solo Horn, Steve Ridler, QLD
1st Horn, Alan Davey, VIC
2nd Horn, Charles Young, VIC
Solo Euphonium, Joe Cook, TAS
Euphonium, Geoff Coote, VIC
1st Baritone, Matthew Van Emmerik, NSW
2nd Baritone, Kristy Rowe, NSW
1st Trombone, Thomas Burge, ACT
2nd Trombone, Darren Cole, VIC
Bass Trombone, Colin Burrows, NSW
EEb Tuba, Chris Smith, VIC
EEb Tuba, Julie Woods, QLD
BBb Tuba, Tim Curnow, VIC
BBb Tuba, Michael Donohoe, NSW
Percussion, Ron Moore, VIC; Leon Duncan, VIC

Musical Director, Mark Ford, is now preparing rehearsal schedules and confirming the music programme to be performed on tour. A new Australian commissioned composition is also being prepared for premiere on the tour.

The band will travel to and perform concerts in London, UK; Paris, France and Ghent, Belgium preceding the World Brass Band Contest in Kerkrade.

Guests: 2004

Katrina Marzella

This ‘wee lass’ entered our lives on February 25, 2004 and her influences made an enormous impact on so many of us.

Katrina’s Baritone playing, attitude and personality were sensational in so many different ways.

From her playing of Sun (Bruce Fraser) to that eerie, emerging “F” in Cambridge Variations, to the skill she showed whilst ‘tubing’ in Moreton Bay, Katrina will never be forgotten that is for sure.

We would love to have Katrina back VERY soon. Here’s hoping.

Good luck back in Scotland, Katrina.

Katrina Marzella…….XLCR salutes you!

Martin Ellerby

A week after our performance of Chivalry at the National Titles in Launceston, 2004, Martin Ellerby, the composer came to our rehearsal back in Brisbane at the Windsor School of Arts.

This amazingly talented composer talked and conducted his way through Chivalry with us. To have heard directly from the composer the thinking and inspiration behind this work was a very worthwhile and unique event.

His version of adjudication for the test selection event in Launceston was also very interesting.

Martin Ellerby pictured with Julie Woods and Rick Casagrande

Brett and Sarah Baker

How brief this visit seemed to be, yet the great time we had with this awesome couple will be remembered for a long time.

Brett and Sarah flew in on a Sunday late in March 2004. Fresh from the plane, Brett rehearsed with us, in preparation for a concert the next day. His professionalism was admired by all.

That evening, Brett agreed to give informal adjudication to those soloists who were playing in Launceston at the Nationals in the coming weeks.

This proved to be invaluable. To help show our appreciation, a few of us took Brett and Sarah to ‘the local’. Early to bed that night – as we all had to be in form for the concert the next day.

Brett and Sarah will be joining us again in 2005 – we can’t wait!

Lieutenant Colonel Robert Redhead

With the help of Rodney Everitt, we were very fortunate to have had this wonderful composer and musician pay a visit to our rehearsal. The Lieutenant Colonel was inspirational as he conducted us through two of his masterpieces – Reflections and Isaiah 40. To have been able to hear some of thoughts behind his composing was fascinating to say the least.

Roger Webster

Roger Webster is forced to drink Crown and eat prawns upon his arrival in Brisbane after travelling for 2 days!!

Without a blink – he finds the time and energy to spend time with Georgia and Cameron Hoy.

Roger Webster and Georgia Hoy

Roger Webster and Cameron Hoy

Thanks Roger, enjoy your time in Oz!!

Russell Gray

We are so grateful to have the services of this wonderful player and musical director on what almost seems like a regular basis. Russell is pictured here working with the cornet section of Brisbane Excelsior.

Russell and his lovely wife, Mareika, are again in Australia.

Russell is extremely busy as he undertakes short trips around Australia and New Zealand to run and partake in various concerts and workshops.

Russell will feature in the Lord Mayors Gala Concert in City Hall, August 14. Tickets available from August 3 from Ticketek.

Russell is pictured below rehearsing an item to be played at this concert. Ashley Gittins is conducting whilst cornet players include Howard Taylor, Ben Beavis, John and Edward Kennedy and our own Rodney Everitt.

Bryan Hurdley

Brisbane Excelsior were fortunate to have the services of Bryan Hurdley, to help in their preparations for Cathedral Brass, to be held at 7-30pm Saturday November 13 in St Johns Cathedral.

Led by XLCR’s musical director Howard Taylor, this concert is a hugely anticipated event both musically and socially with 4 players from New Zealand and one from Sydney joining us on the concert platform. Riki McDonnell, Kevin Moseley, Kevin McMorran, Gordon Lang and Ken Bradley have each decided to have a small holiday and have timed it to coincide with Cathedral Brass!

The program for the evening is both intensive and extensive. Major works to be performed by the band and Christopher Cook on organ, include Boellmann’s Suite Gothique, Finale from Saint-Saens Symphony No 3, and Jerusalem by C Hubert Parry. Other items include a Brassed Off segment, Variations on Laudate Dominum, Toccata in D Minor, Procession of the Nobles, Cornet Carillon, and a spot featuring Riki McDonnell on Euphonium.

Proceeds from the concert will go towards the completion of St Johns Cathedral and the establishment of Windsor Academy of Brass.

2004 News – General

December 2004

  • Congrats to Rachael and David Bendell on the birth of their son, Adam, on 29 Dec

  • Howard Taylor agrees to take on the position of Assistant Musical Director for Australian National Brass 2005.

  • Meg Fixter is appointed Tour Administrator for Australian National Brass 2005 tour to the World Championships in Kerkrade next year following the resignation of Robert Bedwell

  • Brenden Wheeler is announced as one of the 8 Semi-Finalists in the BBC Brass Musician of the Year.

  • Brenden Wheeler was named Best Instrumenalist at last weeks Scottish Open. Brenden played Principal Euphonium for Hepworth who won the Championship section.

  • Ashley Gittins organises an ensemble made up of players from XLCR and Windsor Brass to play for children at the Royal Brisbane Hospital.
  • Windsor Brass is regraded from C Grade to B Grade.

November 2004

  • Julie Woods and Steve Ridler are chosen in Australian National Brass 2005 for the World Championships in Kerdrade, July 2005.
  • Brass in the Country. Our own Julie Woods, with the help and support of family and friends, organised a highly succussful concert in Laidley. Hundreds of people were entertained by the band and local school choirs in the Laidley Cultural Centre for a leisurely Sunday afternoon concert.
  • It certainly will be a Happy New Year for Brisbane Excelsior who has been chosen by the Hong Kong Tourism Board to represent Australia and New Zealand in Hong Kong for the Chinese New Year to be held February 7-12, 2005.
    Each year, hundreds of school groups, marching bands and other musical groups apply to attend the celebrations but only one group is chosen.  Brisbane Excelsior, one of Australia’s top brass bands has this year won the gig.  Fully funded by the Hong Kong Tourism Board, the tour will involve internationally televised concerts and parades in and around Hong Kong and China.   The festival attracts more than 300,000 spectators to any one event and millions more in China and around the world watch on TV and the Internet as brightly lit floats and an incredible array of traditional chinese and international elements from Australia, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Mainland China, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, the UK and the USA perform. Hong Kong is the place to celebrate the Year of the Rooster, where the festivities in 2005 will be the most extravagant in history – and Brisbane Excelsior will be there.
  • XLCR performed to the Governor, Archbishop and Dean of St Johns Cathedral, in the St Johns Cathedral. Together with the organist Christopher Cook and soloists from within our ranks and New Zealand, XLCR performed to a packed Cathedral and received a standing ovation.
  • Airconditioning is turned on in the rehearsal room for the first time!

October 2004

  • Meg Fixter completes the design and construction of the vests for Windsor Brass. Windsor Brass express huge thanks to Meg for her efforts.
  • Sadly, Mrs Beryl Williams, wife of our Life Member Bert Williams, passed away Saturday 23 October.
  • Steve Ridler who stepped in at the last minute to conduct Windsor Brass at their recent performance in New Farm park.
  • Howard Taylor takes 3 weeks holiday. XLCR are treated to rehearsals and workshops by Peter Luff, Ashley Gittins and Steve Ridler.
  • Windsor Brass prepares for their first contest in C Grade under the direction of Dale Hosking.

September 2004

  • Brisbane Excelsior is awarded approximately $30,000 from the Gambling Community Benefit Fund for the purchase of new instruments
  • Phil Johnston on Bb Bass from Woolston (NZ) and Jason Katsikaris on Bb Cornet from NSW fly to Brisbane for the weekend to participate in our recording session.

August 2004

  • Windsor Brass is regraded from D Grade to C Grade
  • XLCR has moved its rehearsal to the Windsor School of Arts Lower Hall. Future plans are for the entire lower level to be opened up to include new soundproof rehearsal room and social area. Tenants now have exclusive use of Topp Hall.

  • It is with regret that we announce the passing of one of our supporters, Wally Fookes. Wally passed away on August 16 and will be sadly missed by us all.

  • Both Rodney Everitt and Warren Brewer purchase new Yamaha Maestro cornets.

  • Imelda Moore and Ben McLeod turn 18.

  • Isaac Latter leaves us to begin his ‘new life’ in Canberra.

  • Steve Whittington and Allan Lonergan swap instruments – Steve moves to Bb Bass and Allan to Eb.

  • Brenden Wheeler flies down from Cairns for his final performance (Lord Mayors Gala Concert) with the band before leaving for the UK.

  • Meg Fixter joins us as Secretary of our organisation.

  • Allan Lonergan is elected Treasurer of the QBA.

  • The funding from the Jupiters Casino Community Trust allows us to renew the roof and paint the Windsor School of Arts.

Carols by Candlelight 2004

Golden Casket Lord Mayors Carols-by-Candlelight, Riverstage, 2004

Brisbane Excelsior in full force!

The best 3rd cornet players in ‘THE WORLD’

Front row cornets and a sea of candles

Howard Taylor with Chanel 7 Newsreaders Kay McGrath and Rod Young