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May 1, 2011

Saving they call it, daylight saving. Well they must have been saving it somewhere on those first two dark and gloomy mornings that greeted Brisbane Brass members and supporters as we arose early for rehearsals and marches.


Then on the third day they let out all the daylight they had saved and things returned to normal for all of us.


And the good thing is that everyone handled the changes with nobody getting lost in time, place or space.


The 2010 Yamaha Australian National Championships campaign in Hobart was extremely satisfying for Brisbane Brass in many ways and Brisbane brass bands were to the fore right across the A and B Grade competitions.


It was a daylight margin for Brisbane Excelsior in the A Grade Aggregate with Brisbane Brass in third place just a point behind the venerable Kew Band.


A beautiful rendition of Wilfred Heaton’s “Just As I Am” gained Brisbane Brass a second placing in the Hymn contest while all the work put into tuning the bottles and refining that big rolling, tolling bell sound in the astounding composition “Extreme Makeover” earned the band a tremendous runner up position in the Test Piece. The composer and adjudicator Johan de Meij must have really appreciated hearing this interpretation.


This is the best result yet for Brisbane Brass in national competition and demonstrates great potential for Jon Christodoulides and this young band in the years to come.


Congratulations to Brisbane Excelsior for their fifth win in National Championships under Howard Taylor.


Hobart’s city streets were dominated by marchers from the north as South Brisbane Federal Band made 3rd place making it one, two and three for Brisbane bands in the A Grade Street March.


The Brisbane presence was felt too in the B Grade March as Brisbane Brass 2 tied with Windsor Brass for 3rd place and Steve Lawrence was awarded the Drum Major trophy.

Steve had to cross the room again in front of a chanting crowd to also accept the Champion Drum Major of the contest award.


Brisbane Brass 2 showed the result of a determined preparation with second place in the Test “Coventry Variations” and made 5th in the Aggregate on 405 points in a tie again with their fellow B Grade Brisbane band. Josh McKechie has good reason to be proud of his rebuilding work with this band.


The B Grade contest was won with terrific performances by an extraordinarily youthful Gunnedah Shire Band with Townsville Brass’ second placing keeping Queensland bands in the contest.


Queensland banding strength was also shown in D Grade with Pimlico State High School Brass gaining 2nd place. A terrific aspect of this band’s journey from North Queensland to the contest was that more than twenty of their young people had a go in the Junior Solo events.


Queensland Junior Cornet Champion, Brisbane Brass Repiano player Selena Rassmussen also had a go and won a 3rd out of a field of ten starters in the Junior Bb Cornet event.


Other Brisbane Brass representatives Jennifer Campbell and Mitchell Buckley were placed second in the Open Baritone and Eb Soprano Cornet respectively with Luke Aaron getting a handy 3rd in the Tenor Trombone.


A big Thank You goes to Kerry Thomas for accompanying all our soloists.



Current Queensland Flugel Horn Champion Shannan Lawrence did not make the podium in her event but this seasoned campaigner knows all so well that there is always another day, another contest.


It was a broad field in the Open Euphonium but there was no daylight at all between the Brisbane Brass Principal and Second Euphoniums Bill Barker and Josh McKechie who were 1st and 2nd with 95 and 94 points.


Bill went on to receive a unanimous decision to become the 2010 Australian Brass Band Champion Of Champions. Congratulations Bill !


Generally good venues and a pleasant hotel in a lovely city, expert attention to detail in the organisation of transport and accomodation for seventy or so people coupled with such solid performances made this trip a very worthwhile one indeed.


Well done everyone !

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