Cathedral Brass

Cathedral Brass Concert
13 November 2004
Brisbane Excelsior
Conductor- Howard Taylor

Governor Quentin Bryce with Howard Taylor

Visitors from Sydney and New Zealand with Howard Taylor

The Concert was held in the magnificent St John’s Cathedral with proceeds going towards the completion of the building, this beautiful structure is based on the Truro Cathedral in Cornwall UK.

It was with some trepidation that I attended Brisbane Excelsior’s Cathedral Brass concert, with temperatures still in the high 30 degrees when the concert commenced. As a result the building was extremely hot and humidity was high.

However my fears were soon dispelled with the opening numbers from “Brassed Off” sounding balanced and tuneful. Amanda Casagrande’s rendition of Concerto de Aranjuez was beautifully executed, with clear articulation and a lovely mellow tone.

A haunting version of Londonderry Air, with the euphoniums carrying the melody line, was enhanced by the use of miner’s helmets, lights beaming in the darkness.

A perennial favourite, Cornet Carillon, displayed balanced bell-like cornet playing, with the sounds well suited to the echoing acoustics of the cathedral.

Laudate Dominum was generally well played, however the cornets were over powered at times. The acoustics of the church made it difficult for the basses to articulate their faster moving sections. The work finished with a very majestic climax.

A highlight of the night, and again a well-chosen piece for the venue, was Howard Snell’s arrangement of Arioso. A very controlled and tuneful eupho/baritone section really milked the moment. Great playing team!

Virtuoso euphonium player, Riki McDonnell, wowed the audience with Pokarekareana, followed by Let Me Try Again. Riki displayed his usual mellow rich sound and highly controlled playing. Riki teamed up with Australian Eupho champion, Ashley Gittins, to perform the famous duet Deep Inside the Sacred Temple. Unfortunately this was not as balanced as it should have been, but still a deeply moving performance.

Another highlight of the night was the Finale from Saint-Saens Symphony No. 3. Rich sonorous sounds, clear cornet work and fine organ playing by Christopher Cook, combined to create a majestic and powerful, finely played work.

Other highlights of the evening were James Curnow’s fine arrangement of Nicea, Toccata in D Minor (Bach, arr. Ray Farr) and Boellman’s Suite Gothique.

Due to the cathedral’s acoustics, some of the faster moving cornet and bass sections were lost, however this was not to the detriment of the concert.

In the presence of The Governor of Queensland, the Archbishop and the Dean of the Cathedral the large congregation gave the band a standing ovation after their final number.

The trip over from New Zealand to hear the band was well worth it.

Howard Taylor has worked his magic with Brisbane Excelsior. The band was well rehearsed, had few tuning problems and a mellow warm tone.

Kathy Moseley

Windsor Wins!

Nambour Festival of Brass, 2004

Windsor Brass, their first time contesting the C Grade section, achieved first place in the Concert program and Street March, and second place in the Hymn Tune, cementing their overall victory for the C Grade section which was contested by 8 other bands. In his debut conducting gig, an ecstatic Dale Hosking proudly ventured to the stage to collect the trophies for Windsor Brass. Adjudicated by Bryan Hurdley, this is truly an outstanding victory for Windsor!

Windsor Brass conducted by Dale Hosking

Dale Hosking and Bryan Hurdley

Other solo and enemble results for the weekend include:
U19 Any other Instrument – Imelda Moore 2nd
Junior Ballad – Imelda Moore 1st
Open Ballad – Dale Hosking 2nd, Cathy Spratt 3rd
Soprano – Dale Hosking 1st
Bb Cornet – Brent Hoy 1st, Paula Russell 2nd, Rodney Everitt 3rd
Flugel – Cathy Spratt 1st
Horn – Imelda Moore 1st
Eb Bass – Julie Woods 3rd
Ensemble – XLCR 1st, Windsor Brass 3rd

Brisbane Excelsior Ensemble – Lindon Weise, Imelda Moore, Ben McLeod, Allan Clark, Allan Lonergan

Brisbane Excelsior did not compete in the band events on this occasion.

Brisbane Excelsior record its first CD

On the weekend of 17, 18, 19 September, Brisbane Excelsior went to Ghost Gum recording studios, Cannon Hill to record tracks for their first ever CD. Tracks recorded include Blenheim Flourishes, Breezin Down Broadway, Goff Richard’s new composition American Trilogy, Old Rugged Cross, Praise, Be My Love featuring Ashley Gittins, Fever with Julie Woods on vocals, as well as Barrie Gott’s arrangement Australians in Song. This particular track features vocals from the band as well as a ‘guest’ appearance by Mark Ham.

XLCR Recording session

Phil Johnson and Jason Katsikaris flew to Brisbane for the weekend to help out. Phil on Bb Bass from Woolston in NZ and Jason from Sydney on cornet.

XLCR Vocal group and Mark Ham

It is planned for the CD to be released before Xmas.


Lord Mayors Gala Concert

Russell Gray leads the audience in the Finale of the Lord Mayors Gala Concert, held in Brisbane City Hall.

A capacity crowd of 1600 were entertained by Brisbane Excelsior, The Greater Gwent Youth Band, Russell Gray, the Ipswich Orpheus Chorale, The Highlanders and Irish Dancers.

Rodney Everitt, Brent Hoy, Phil Riesley – the Front Row

For a detailed reveiw, visit 4barsrest.

XLCR Dominate at 2004 Best of Brass

Best of Brass, Maryborough, 2004
Champion of Champions – Steven Pell (Euphonium)

The weekend began with an Excelsior domination of the solo events. In the Senior section, our members won the Soprano section (Dale Hosking), Flugelhorn Horn (Amanda Casagrande), Tenor Horn (Imelda Moore from Brisbane Brass on permit but who is now a member!), Baritone (Brad Hosking), Eb Tuba (Mark Wheeler from Cairns Brass on permit), Bb Tuba (Rick Casagrande), and in the Junior Cornet – Zaac Latter. In all, our two bands had 19 soloists entered. Mark Beilby, our accompanist for the day, was counted as performing 24 times!

Howard Taylor was once again sensational in his leadership of Brisbane Excelsior and Windsor Brass over the weekend. XLCR, along with the Brisbane City Temple band, entertained a packed Brolga Theatre.

……and then also performed the next day earning admirable comments from the adjudicator Ron Prussing.

XLCR and Katrina Marzella

Showing XLCR the way in the Parade of bands was Cameron James, pictured here with XLCR Drum Major, Rick Casagrande.

We were very lucky to have the services of Mark Wheeler who, at the last minute, agreed to help out as Julie Woods was unable to travel to the contest due to illness.