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2013 Australian National Championships — As it happened

All the action from the 2013 Australian National Championships — as it happened.

General • Monday 1, 10:10:15

4BR Editor Iwan Fox talks to Russell Gray about the development of the new Yamaha Neo cornet.


A Grade • Sunday 31, 18:56:51

Interview with RASWA MD Bob Childs


A Grade • Sunday 31, 18:52:01

Interview with adjudicator Richard Evans


B Grade • Sunday 31, 18:39:41

Interview with Geoffrey Lowe, MD Canning City


A Grade • Sunday 31, 18:35:02

Interview with Howard Taylor, MD Brisbane Excelsior


General • Sunday 31, 18:01:38

Full Results - 2013 Australian Nationals

Results: Draw: Open A Grade Brass

Venue: Winthrop Hall
Adjudicators: Mr Richard Evans

Points: Hymn/Test/Own Choice/March

Marks to be verified

1. Brisbane Excelsior (Howard Taylor), 2/6, 48/193/194/47=482
2. RASWA Brass (Robert Childs), 5/4, 44/?/195/45=478
3. Darebin City Brass - Preston Band (Tom Paulin), 6/3, 49/189/190/43=471
4. South Brisbane Federal Band (Mareika Gray), 4/7, 47/185/191/44=467
5. Footscray Yarraville (Phillipa Edwards), 3/8, 43/185/191/46=465
6. Brisbane Brass (Bill Barker), 8/5, 46/187/184/39=456
7. K&N Spring Gully Brass (Dr Kevin Cameron), 7/2, 46/183/185/41=454
8. Tanunda Town Band (David Polain), 1/1, 42/181/187/40=450


Results: Open B Grade Brass

Venue: Winthrop Hall
Adjudicators: Mr Richard Evans

Points: Hymn/Test/Own Choice/March

1. Canning City Brass Band (Dr Geoffrey Lowe), 3/2, 43/186/191/40=460
2. Toronto Brass (Timothy O'Hearn), 2/1, 42/182/188/42=455
3. City Of Greater Dandenong (Michael Mathers), 1/3, 44/184/185/38=451

Results: Open C Grade Brass

Venue: Callaway Music Auditorium
Adjudicator: Mark Ford

Points: Hymn/Test/March/Own Choice

1. Marion City Band (Veronica Boulton), 1/1, 41/175/43/187=446
2. Warringah Concert Brass (John Saunders), 2/2, 40/172/41/185=438
3. Town Of Victoria Park Brass (Joshua Davis), 4/3, 37/168/38/179=422
4. Geraldton City Band (Joanne Sorensen), 3/4, H/35/165/36/176=412

Results: Open D Grade Brass

Venue: Callaway Music Auditorium
Adjudicator: Mark Ford

Points: Hymn/Test/March/Own Choice

1. Goldfields Brass Band (Keith Nicholas), 6/3, 36/163/38/166=403
2. Warriparinga Brass (Veronica Boulton), 3/4, 33/166/33/161=393
3. Bunbury City Band (Bill Curtis), 1/6, 32/161/34/162=389
4. Busselton Brass (Nicky Hair), 4/1, 30/160/36/163=389
5. The Challenge Brass Band (Les Sivwright), 2/5, 31/159/35/159=384

W. Melville AFA Brass), Brian Dodds), 5/2


General • Sunday 31, 17:07:08

Stay with us - we'll hopefully have some audio/video interviews for you soon...


A Grade • Sunday 31, 17:04:51

Results: Draw: Open A Grade Brass

Venue: Winthrop Hall
Adjudicators: Mr Richard Evans

Points: Hymn/Test/Own Choice/March

1.Brisbane Excelsior (Howard Taylor), 2/6, 48/193/194/47=482
2. RASWA Brass (Robert Childs), 5/4, 44/?/195/45=478
3. Darebin City Brass - Preston Band (Tom Paulin), 6/3, 49/189/190/43=471

Brisbane Brass (Bill Barker), 8/5, 46/187/184/39=456
Footscray Yarraville (Phillipa Edwards), 3/8, 43/185/191/46=465
K&N Spring Gully Brass (Dr Kevin Cameron), 7/2, 46/183/185/41=454
South Brisbane Federal Band (Mareika Gray), 4/7, 47/???/191/44=467
Tanunda Town Band (David Polain), 1/1, 42/181/187/40=450


A Grade • Sunday 31, 16:50:35

Richard Evans giving his comments for the Bands now...


A Grade • Sunday 31, 16:48:43

A Grade: Parade of Bands

Brisbane Brass


B Grade • Sunday 31, 16:39:48

Results: Open B Grade Brass), March & Own Choice

Venue: Winthrop Hall
Adjudicators: Mr Richard Evans

Points: Hymn/Test/Own Choice/March

1. Canning City Brass Band (Dr Geoffrey Lowe), 3/2, 43/186/191/40=460
2. Toronto Brass (Timothy O'Hearn), 2/1, 42/182/188/42=455
3. City Of Greater Dandenong (Michael Mathers), 1/3, 44/184/185/38=451


B Grade • Sunday 31, 16:32:14

Richard Evans talking to the audience now about the B Grade performances.


B Grade • Sunday 31, 16:29:38

B Grade: Parade of Bands

City of Greater Dandenong


General • Sunday 31, 16:26:48

Doing the Parade of Bands (March) results now...


General • Sunday 31, 16:20:41

Results ceremony now in full flow...


General • Sunday 31, 16:02:44

Check out our latest gallery update:

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A Grade • Sunday 31, 15:56:58

Official results expected in approx 1 hour.


A Grade • Sunday 31, 15:55:11

Overall, this could be a much closer contest than we first thought.

Brisbane XLCR seemed to have sown up on Friday but let things slip today and may have just let in RASWA with either K&N Spring Gully or Footscray then South Brisbane and Darebin just behind them.

Overall Prediction:

1. Brisbane Excelsior
2. RASWA
3. Footscray Yarraville
4. South Brisbane Federal
5. Darebin City


Other Grades • Sunday 31, 15:52:55

Results: Open C Grade Brass), March & Own Choice

Venue: Callaway Music Auditorium
Adjudicator: Mark Ford

Points: Hymn/Test/March/Own Choice

1. Marion City Band (Veronica Boulton), 1/1, 41/175/43/187=446
2. Warringah Concert Brass (John Saunders), 2/2, 40/172/41/185=438
3. Town Of Victoria Park Brass (Joshua Davis), 4/3, 37/168/38/179=422
4. Geraldton City Band (Joanne Sorensen), 3/4, H/35/165/36/176=412

Results: Open D Grade Brass), March & Own Choice

Venue: Callaway Music Auditorium
Adjudicator: Mark Ford

Points: Hymn/Test/March/Own Choice

1. Goldfields Brass Band (Keith Nicholas), 6/3, 36/163/38/166=403
2. Warriparinga Brass (Veronica Boulton), 3/4, 33/166/33/161=393
3. Bunbury City Band (Bill Curtis), 1/6, 32/161/34/162=389
4. Busselton Brass (Nicky Hair), 4/1, 30/160/36/163=389
5. The Challenge Brass Band (Les Sivwright), 2/5, 31/159/35/159=384

W. Melville AFA Brass), Brian Dodds), 5/2


A Grade • Sunday 31, 15:49:26

That's it here in what has been an enjoyable A Grade own choice and march section today - and one that has been of a much higher standard than yesterday.

one band stood out for us today and that was RASWA with Brisbane XLCR a little way behind and battling with K&N Spring Gully and South Brisbane Federal. The rest are very close behind them for the top six places.

4BR Own Choice Prediction:

1. RASWA
2. Brisbane Excelsior
3. K&N Spring Gully
4. South Brisbane Federal


A Grade • Sunday 31, 15:42:59

8. Footscray Yarraville City (Phillipa Edwards):

Superb start from horn leads into impressive ensemble playing that throbs with intent on 'Music of the Spheres', but is perhaps a bit lacking in balanced contrast: Like Channel 9 cricket commentary in these parts. It certainly retains the interest though.

MD has got this piece under her command, and her players are doing here proud - especially cornet and sop. However, a bit like a North Korean missile, the ambition is laudable but the reality means the target is missed more often than not despite the amount of work put in. The final ride for home sounds a little ragged but the is just enough stamina left in the lips to give it the right amount of welly to close.

ORB is taken at a cracking tempo - allowing it to swagger with hips that don't need replacing with surgery after a march. Good, bold, if slightly tired playing that held its form to the 'roll out the barrel' end.


A Grade • Sunday 31, 15:07:31

7. South Brisbane Federal Band (Mareika Gray)

Blast off is achieved with maximum effect on 'Earthrise', which soon flies along with a frenetic bounce - like Skippy on anabolic steroids. There is some clever MD work going on - bringing out the strengths of the ensemble without losing the purpose of the musical portrait. No Apollo 13 disasters here either.

The quartet of soloists emphasise the point - playing with clarity and class, whilst the ensemble stays in the background adding the odd touch of high grade rocket fuel when required. It's big, bold and re-entry finally brings Australia into the space race; One giant leap for Occa kind.

Impressive and a bit clever this.

The President has all the front of Richard Nixon - played at a dynamic that can be heard in Pittsburgh let alone down town Perth and Richard Evans. Just get a tad fruity, but both Tricky Dicky's weren't short of confidence were they now?


A Grade • Sunday 31, 14:34:12

6. Brisbane Excelsior (Howard Taylor):

A puzzler this from the word go. The Belgium homage to the artistic renaissance glories in 'From Ancient Times', doesn't seem to work technically - a bit like Tin Tin in 3D. There is some really top class playing on show from excellent lead lines throughout but so much of the ensemble detail is unclear or even misplaced.

If this wants to take the leadership today it will have to be better than this. Its a bit like Simon Crean's recent bid to topple the Aussie PM - doomed by a touch of hubris. Recovers with plenty of bluster and boldness - but will the fault lines have been noticed by Richard Evans we wonder?

ORB is played with the Aussie Empire of Excelsior at stake. They deliver the thin red line to repel Jonny Foreigner with just enough Oldham Rifle Brigade bravura and classiness to make sure they keep Friday's grasp on the old Fireman Helmet Trophy. Just though?


General • Sunday 31, 13:52:16

Check out our gallery update:

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A Grade • Sunday 31, 13:49:14

5. Brisbane Brass (Bill Barker)

A brave choice of 'Isaiah 40' is given an equally brave opening from the baritones and is carried on by the rest of the band. You do have to question the tuning though - one section is half a tone Isaiah than the other in places.

Lots of neat individual contributions with a fine lead from the solo cornet but the jazzy section swings like an old convict on a Perth prison gibbet. It recovers its poise and security in the strict moral sections of the biblical musical code and closes with a fire and brimstone ending. It had the makings of a good one but just needed the rough edges smoothed down a bit more.

'The Contester' is a bit of a tired, scrappy affair. Its lacks a bold pulse and security. The tuning once again reaches biblical proportions - parting company like Moses crossing the Red Sea.


A Grade • Sunday 31, 13:19:02

4. RASWA (Dr Robert Childs):

A confident opening to 'A Tale As Yet Untold' soon builds with the certainty of a Don Bradman century and not a single sign of an early Hollies googly to upset the master at the helm either.

This is high class playing with the main solo lines from euph, horn, sop and solo cornet played with aplomb and the percussion section adding subtle texture and colour to the great ensemble sound. Lovely second movement leads to briskly played finale that has the bite of a redback spider. Closes with thumping stamp of authority.

More Germanic splendour to follow with the Perth arm of the remnants of the Weimar Republic 3rd Brigade bringing back memories of All Quiet on the Western Force front with 'Old Comrades'. Its played with the swagger mix of Richard Evans wearing a pair of lederhosen.


A Grade • Sunday 31, 12:41:55

3. Darebin City Brass - Preston Band (Tom Paulin)

A well worked opening to 'English Heritage' is as tight as a Quokka's backside in a sandstorm, and that compact playing is a feature in a well structured reading by the MD.

There are some fine individual efforts on show too - with a lyrical tuba and a principal cornet who leads like Mal Maninga after an up and under. This is solid, no nonsense playing - perhaps in need of a little less artifice in the rubato, but delivered with a stamp of well rehearsed quality right to a full blooded end.

The march may have been written by a German, but they would have had little time to repatriate the Sudetenland with this one through run out. Neatly paced, but a little bit of a throwaway after such an impressive main course.


A Grade • Sunday 31, 12:13:59

3. Darebin City Brass - Preston Band (Tom Paulin)

On stage now with English Heritage and The President march.


A Grade • Sunday 31, 12:09:53

2. K&N Spring Gully Brass (Dr Kevin Cameron):

A fine start to Wilby's masterful 'Paganini Variations' has a touch of classy aplomb and is backed by the flashy bling of a cashed up Bogan in a pimped up Ute.

A pint to the kindly soul who picked up the euph's music off the hall floor before handed it back to them in time for a gutsy euph cadenza. The MD has really brought out the differing styles with subtle tempo changes in the variations and a desire to keep the slow movements flowing. Impressive solo contributions and bold, confident ensemble breath life into the music with the muscle of a '74 Holden convertible to end.

Not so sure about the tempo of 'The President' which would have had Lincoln's bodyguards running the 4 minute mile, but by heck its played with true American brashness and cocksure flash, despite the perc nearly putting in a blob at the end of the first time through.


General • Sunday 31, 11:54:33

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A Grade • Sunday 31, 11:40:24

1. Tanunda Town Band (David Polain):

A decent opening to 'Lowry Sketchbook', but the intricate detail is not really apparent and there are problems as it continues to the close.

The opening to the second movement has the structural stability of a unloved Easter Egg in the Perth sun - although MD does so well to get things back on track. The magical melancholic beauty of the movement never materialises despite some fine efforts from around the band.

The final section is taken at a good pace with touches of real class from a certain Peter Moore on trombone and some bravura playing from the rest of the band.

The march 'Washington Grays' is played with a fine bit of bluster and brio - and perhaps should have been played first given the nerves on show earlier.

Overall: Far too many problems in the own choice work, which was a bit like a Jackson Pollack sketchbook in places, although the march was good, but a little too late.


A Grade • Sunday 31, 11:16:25

Not a bad crowd in for the start of the A Grade. It's about the size of audience you get in the UK for most top section Area contests - although this is a sunny Sunday morning in Perth and not a freezing cold Sunday night in Blackpool.

The first of the top grade bands Tanunda Town will tackle 'Lowry Sketchbook' and the march 'Washington Grays' to follow.

Interesting that they want to do it that way around?


B Grade • Sunday 31, 10:58:37

All over in the B Grade Contest and we think Canning City Brass has done more than enough over the two days to take the title in some comfort.

There was plenty to admire about their playing and the clever choice of music by the MD, that placed it a comfortable margin ahead of their rivals this weekend.

Toronto may just claim second with City of Dandenong in third for us, in what was an entertaining and eye opening contest.

4BR Prediction:

1. Canning City Brass
2. Toronto Brass
3. City of Dandenong


General • Sunday 31, 10:57:11

Oh! And did we mention the weather? Scorchio!!!

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B Grade • Sunday 31, 10:54:41

3. City of Greater Dandenong (Michael Mathers):

Eric Ball's classic test piece was more a 'Journey into Freemantle' on a jam packed Bank Holiday freeway than into the glories of God given 'Freedom' in places, but it was a brave effort played with commitment, enthusiasm and brio. Good efforts too from horns and troms.

MD captured the musical shape of the music and there was some excellent individual contributions, but overall the technical execution was as fragile as the recent Aussie batting order on a Mumbai sticky dog.

Great old march, 'Brilliant' brings things back on track. A touch of old country stiff upper lipped Empire building musicality, played with a neat lightness of touch and adherence to proper tempos and dynamics.


B Grade • Sunday 31, 10:29:45

2. Canning City (Dr Geoffrey Lowe):

Dare one say it? 'The Australasian' march played in a very Un-Australian manner - not a hint of misplaced Glen McGrath bombastic swagger. It's all the better for it too - with neat solo lines, a fine handle on the tempos by the MD and not a hint of last stanza pull back that destroys the true musical flow of a classic march. Bravo MD!

Bertrand Moren's homage to all things alpine - from Eric Ball's 'High Peak' to 'One Day I'll Fly Away' by Randy Crawford is played with real verve and spirit.

Not everything quite comes off, but there is plenty of bold, confident playing on show with a summit ascent of Hilary & Tensing proportions to round things with the Canning flag perhaps planted in triumph with a B Grade title.


General • Sunday 31, 10:20:21

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B Grade • Sunday 31, 09:58:07

1. Toronto Brass (Timothy O'Hearn):

It seems that 'The Plantagenets' remains one heck of a stuff test for bands in both hemispheres.

A brave effort this, with some fine individual contributions from the main soloists, but it was the rhythmic dislocations and the need to capture the Machiavellian drama that just eluded the band. The Brits topped off an old Prime Minister here a few years back, so this wasn't quite up their in the regicide stakes, but it did show why a few Aussies may like a Cromwellian banding future.

Good, hard working playing, intelligently directed by the conductor, it led into a spirited piece of Heaton whimsy and his march, 'Praise' - played at a nice non swagger lick and full of plenty of character.

It's laid down a decent marker this.


B Grade • Sunday 31, 09:47:32

Three interesting own choice selections today in this section.

This is the equivalent of the UK First Section, so it will be interesting how Toronto fare with 'The Plantagenets', whilst Canning City, who seem to be pole position from Friday will tackle Bertrand Moren's 'Mountain Views'. City of Dandenong round off the contest with Eric Ball's classic 'Journey into Freedom'.

With marches from Ord Hume, Wilfred Heaton and William Rimmer to add, it promises to be an intriguing morning.


B Grade • Sunday 31, 09:34:21

Running a few minutes behind schedule here this morning.

Hopefully we'll be underway soon...


Other Grades • Sunday 31, 09:20:27

Open C Grade Brass, March & Own Choice

Venue: Callaway Music Auditorium
Commencing: 11:45am
Adjudicator: Mark Ford

1. Marion City Band, Veronica Boulton
Rolling Along, Himes, Four Dances from the ballet Checkmate, Bliss
2. Warringah Concert Brass, John Saunders
The Black Knight, Rimmer, The Aeronauts, Richards
3. Town Of Victoria Park Brass, Joshua Davis
Star Lake, Ball, Rhapsody for Brass, Goffin
4. Geraldton City Band, Joanne Sorensen
Amsterdam Congress, Skinner, Music for a Festival, Sparke


A Grade • Sunday 31, 09:19:24

Draw: Open A Grade Brass, March & Own Choice

Venue: Winthrop Hall
Commencing:11:10am
Adjudicators: Mr Richard Evans

1. Tanunda Town Band (David Polain)
Washington Grays, Grafulla,
Lowry Sketchbook, Wilby
2. K&N Spring Gully Brass (Dr Kevin Cameron)
The President, German,
Paganini Variations, Wilby
3. Darebin City Brass - Preston Band (Tom Paulin)
The President, German,
English Heritage, Lloyd
4. The Royal Agricultural Society Of WA Brass (Dr Robert Childs)
Old Comrades, Tieke,
A Tale as Yet Untold, Sparke
5. Brisbane Brass (Bill Barker)
The Contestor, Powell,
Isaiah 40, Redhead
6. Brisbane Excelsior (Howard Taylor)
O.R.B., Anderson,
From Ancient Times, van der Roost
7. South Brisbane Federal Band (Mareika Gray)
The President, German,
Earthrise, Clarke
8. Footscray Yarraville City Band (Phillipa Edwards)
O.R.B., Anderson,
Music of the Spheres, Sparke


Other Grades • Sunday 31, 09:16:25

C Grade gets underway around 11:45am.


Other Grades • Sunday 31, 09:13:27

Draw: Open D Grade Brass, March & Own Choice

Venue: Callaway Music Auditorium
Commencing: 9:30am
Adjudicator: Mark Ford

1. Busselton Brass, Nicky Hair
The Cross of Honour, Rimmer, A Saddleworth Festival Overture- Richards
2. Melville AFA Brass (withdrawn), Brian Dodds
The Cross of Honour, Rimmer, The Shipbuilders, Yorke
3. Goldfields Brass Band, Keith Nicholas
The Digger, Code, Convergents, Cesarini
4. Warriparinga Brass, Veronica Boulton
Midwest March, Richards, Oregon, de Haan
5. The Challenge Brass Band, Les Sivwright
The New Colonial March, Hall, Sway, Ruiz
6. Bunbury City Band, Bill Curtis
Death or Glory, Hall, Ross Roy, de Haan


B Grade • Sunday 31, 09:11:02

Draw: Open B Grade Brass, March & Own Choice

Venue: Winthrop Hall
Commencing: 9:30am
Adjudicators: Mr Richard Evans


1. Toronto Brass, Timothy O'Hearn
Praise, Heaton, The Plantagenets, Gregson
2. Canning City Brass Band, Dr Geoffrey Lowe
The Australasian, Rimmer, Mountain Views, Moren
3. City Of Greater Dandenong, Michael Mathers
Brilliant, Ord Hume, Journey into Freedom, Ball


A Grade • Sunday 31, 09:09:12

The A grade gets underway today at around 11.10hrs.


General • Sunday 31, 06:52:52

A wonderful morning once again in Perth (the sun shines here 90% of the time by all accounts) as we head off to the University of Western Australia for the contest climax of the weekend and the A Grade march & own choice selections.

Some ambitious choices there are too, with everything from Lowry Sketchbook and Paganini Variations to English Heritage, Isaiah 40, Earthrise, Music of the Spheres, A Tale As Yet Untold and From Ancient Times.

Could be an interesting one with the top section action starting around 11.10am local time (3.10am in UK).


General • Saturday 30, 18:06:26

4BR will be back at work covering the contest in the morning where the bands perform their second stint including their own choice selections.

It all kicks off back at the University starting at 09.30hrs.

We're off out now for a few local beers and some fine dining.


General • Saturday 30, 17:48:26

What's the matter skippy? 4BR Editor stuck down the mine shaft? Let's fetch some help quick...

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General • Saturday 30, 17:20:41

A wonderful sunny day in Perth enjoying three of the things that have made Australia great: Brass bands marching down the centre of the city playing classic William Rimmer marches; a visit to a Swan Valley brewery for lunch and a close up sighting of a mob of kangaroos at the local cemetery.

Brass bands, beer and marsupials at the local burial ground. No wonder everyone wants to come to Perth.

Another great day to look forward to tomorrow with all the contest marches and own choice selections on show.

The rumour mill has it that most people fancy the same top three as 4BR - Brisbane XLCR, RASWA and Footscray.

We'll see.


General • Saturday 30, 10:27:45

We have enjoyed a great morning in the centre of Perth with the bands providing the entertainment for the locals with their street marches.

Plenty of classic marches from William Rimmer and TJ Powell to the Dirty Dozen Brass Band too.

Great stuff, with Richard Evans adjudicating at the side of the road.

Off to the glorious Swan Valley for some wine and entertainment this afternoon.


A Grade • Friday 29, 14:20:41

4BR A Grade Round-Up

Well now. What an odd contest. One band stood out a mile from the rest, with a performance that had top level poise, refinement and consistent quality. After Brisbane Excelsior though it was hard to separate out seven very inconsistent efforts.

The hymn tunes were all pretty well played, even if you have to question just what faith inspired some of the arrangements - perhaps Scientology.

The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea caused all sorts of problems - with tempos and dynamics chief amongst them. There were a few strange interpretations too.

All that and we have to make our usual choice, so here we go. Brisbane XLCR by a wide margin, followed by RASWA and Footscray. After that its anyone's guess.

4BR Prediction:

1. Brisbane Excelsior
2. RASWA
3. Footscray Yarraville


A Grade • Friday 29, 14:04:05

8. Brisbane Brass (Bill Barker):

A very modern take on the old hymn tune 'Nicaea' is well played, but would be more at home at one of those happy, clappy, shiny sort of American revivalist Scientology get togethers. Confidently delivered, with excllent solo cornet, but strangely unengaging musically.

This has been an uber-confident Devil - and shouting about it from the satanic rooftops as if imbued with the spirit of Brian Blessed: Certainly exciting, but dynamically incoherent. If you are going to sell your soul to Beelzebub then you may as well go the whole hog - and this one as more hog than an outback pig farm. Brilliantly OTT - brash, brazen and bonkers.

The final climax would satisfy only a woman of Mae West's appetites and the final repose is the musical body of a spent husk - drained of all emotion. Wowee.


General • Friday 29, 13:55:05

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A Grade • Friday 29, 13:35:10

7. K&N Spring Gully Brass (Dr Kevin Cameron):

There is a fine attempt to capture the same beauty of Kenneth Downie's 'In Perfect Peace' - although the main problem is that is wasn't in perfect tune in too many places. The lyrical phrasing was well maintained, but it just grated a little on the ear.

Boldness is the key as they open their Devil with confidence. Not too sure about some of balances and detail, but the fugue is maintained at a decent lick. Its just about stays in credit - a bit like a Cypriot bank account - but the pressure is on. MD maintains the flow but the stamina is waning in places. Just about keeps its form, but the scrappiness is taking the gloss off.

There was just enough Devilish intent left for a big old climax and relaxing close.


A Grade • Friday 29, 12:56:23

6. Darebin City Brass - Preston Band (Tom Paulin):

An engaging rendition of 'The Day Thou Gavest' is played with understatement and musical understanding, although there are a few tuning issues and a little fragility in some leading lines.

A nice touch of bombast to this Devil - that builds well from a confident opening. The fugue has got Mark Webber syndrome though - getting overtaken by something going quicker when the MD isn't looking. There are parts of the band going at different speeds here. When it is on track it sounds fine, but when it isn't it sounds as flimsy as a Sebastien Vettel excuse.

Gets back into gear in final sections, but tiredness creeps in and it loses it final majesty and the relaxed composure of repose to close. A bit of an odd one this.


General • Friday 29, 12:52:44

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A Grade • Friday 29, 12:28:27

5. RASWA (Dr Robert Childs):

The lovely treatment of 'Praise My Soul the King of Heaven' has the authentic hymn tune feel that has perhaps been missing today. Fine contrast with solid leads with the overall package having purpose and a sense of climax and meaning.

Fine start to the 'Devil' is enhanced by clever effect and solid solo lines. The fugue is taken at a proper satanic lick with clever use of detail to obfuscate the more obvious fragilities. Lots of broad shapes and detail is again brought through to be noticed. It gets as tightly defined as a pair of Perth lifeguards budgie smugglers so you can't miss what's on show...

More boldness as we get the final section of rousing climaxes and final chord of calm repose.


A Grade • Friday 29, 12:00:34

4. South Brisbane Federal (Marieka Gray):

A certain Russell Gray provides the lyrical opening to 'Mansions of the Lord' with standing front of stage side drummers and choreographed back row cornets adding visual interest to a piece that sounds curiously non hymn like in inspiration. Some tuning issues, but well delivered even if it is another slightly curious interpretation of the genre for us.

Great opening just falls away in the build to the fugue, which is played at a fizzing Tasmanian Devil's pace. The lively acoustic can't the technical problems though and at times its as difficult to play as a Shane Warne google on a Brisbane Bunsen burner. MD keeps the music flowing with purpose and style, but this has been hard graft to keep gelled together.

Keeps its sense of purpose and majesty in closing section followed by a lovely composed close to end on a neat blob of a final note.


General • Friday 29, 11:33:13

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A Grade • Friday 29, 11:29:42

3. Footscray Yarraville City (Phillipa Edwards):

There is a lot of good playing to admire with the hymn selection of 'Mid All the Traffic', which featured a very fine solo cornet lead and was enhanced by subtle shading of the textures in the accompaniment. Kept simple - and all the better for it too.

Good solid virtues on display to open the 'Devil' - with MD once again shaping the music with simplicity. The fugue isn't a ripper and it gets as scratchy as a junk yard dog with fleas in places, but the vibrancy and forward momentum is maintained.

Just loses focus and flow as stamina wanes, although the MD still seeks the lyrical qualities from the score. The lactic acid has really hit lips in final sections, but there is just enough left in the tank for a last hurrah and final repose despite the slow tempo.


A Grade • Friday 29, 11:00:59

2. Brisbane Excelsior (Howard Taylor):

The 'hymn' tune of 'In this Quiet Moment' is played with a touch of refinement and elegance. Solo cornet in particular provides a wonderful sense of warmly hued lyricism in solo line and is aided by fine sop and balanced ensemble. Not too sure about the arrangement but delivered with a stamp of classy authority.

Great opening to 'Devil' with baritone selling his soul to Beelzebub in return for a faultless display. The fugue was delivered very well too, although not all the inner detail really came through in places due to the boomy acoustic. Top marks again for sop and solo cornet and MD has used his noggin with the tempos.

Just gets tired and harsh in the latter stages with some scrappy playing on show in the ensemble, but a fine final section has majesty and a composed close. A very good performance this.


A Grade • Friday 29, 10:35:04

1. Tanunda Town Band (David Polain):

A slightly nervous start on 'It is Well With My Soul' just takes a time to settle, but then the band finds its feet and gets used to the acoustic. Nicely shaped by the MD and tastefully played by the lead solo lines, it became much more secure as it unfolded. Just a slightly uneven close though.

Big sounding Devil chord, but things do not quite go to plan in the opening section. Nerves played their part and it really did take a while to gell. The acoustic is kind to the lack of detail - there was a great deal that wasn't quite in place. The sensible tempo made the lack of precision a little too obvious too. Got back on track, but the Devil was in command here and not the other way round.


Other Grades • Friday 29, 10:34:38

Open C Grade Brass, Hymn and Test Piece
Venue: Callaway Music Auditorium
Date: Friday 29 March
Commencing: 12:15pm
Adjudicator: Mark Ford

Test: Northern Landscapes - Peter Graham

Draw

Marion City Band (Veronica Boulton), 1
In Perfect Peace, Downie
Warringah Concert Brass (John Saunders), 2
Reflections in Nature, Redhead
Geraldton City Band (Joanne Sorensen), 3
In Perfect Peace, Downie
Town Of Victoria Park Brass (Joshua Davis), 4
I Vow To Thee My Country, Holst


A Grade • Friday 29, 10:21:07

This could be a tricky one for Richard Evans who is sat so far back and perched high up in Winthrop Hall.

The lively acoustic bounces all the filigree detail of 'Devil and the Deep Blue Sea' off the walls so it becomes a musical miasma of half heard clarity and precision. Split notes still sound awful though....

Good to hear the old piece again, and you wonder if the Aussies with their renowned sense of ironic humour really get the tongue in cheek Eurovision Song Contest references of Dana circa 1970.


General • Friday 29, 10:19:15

We've started our first gallery...

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B Grade • Friday 29, 10:08:38

That's it for the B Grade today. The three bands will be back for the march and own choice work on Sunday morning.


Other Grades • Friday 29, 10:06:42

Junior C Grade Brass
Venue: Callaway Music Auditorium
Date: Friday 29 March
Commencing: 11:50pm and 2:00pm
Adjudicator: Mark Ford

Test: The Territorians, Bill McAllister

Morawa DHS Senior Brass Band (Dean Carslake)
Blaenwern, Rowlands


B Grade • Friday 29, 09:56:50

3. Canning City Brass Band (Dr Geoffrey Lowe):

A confident ensemble plays 'I Vow to Thee My Country', which is perhaps stretching the hymn tune element a bit, but is well played. The warm ensemble sound is a real feature and so too the elegant solo lines.

More good playing to note in the set work too - with atmosphere created throughout. The soloists play with confidence and the MD draws the colour and texture from the score in a performance of musical merit and a touch of Cornish drama.


A Grade • Friday 29, 09:32:25

We're 30 minutes away from the A grade bands taking the stage.

Here's the draw

Tanunda Town Band (David Polain), 1
It Is Well With My Soul, arr Broughton
Brisbane Excelsior (Howard Taylor), 2
In This Quiet Moment, Bosanko
Footscray Yarraville City Band (Phillipa Edwards), 3
Mid All The Traffic, Ballantine
South Brisbane Federal Band (Mareika Gray), 4
Mansions of the Lord, Glennie-Smith
5. The Royal Agricultural Society Of WA Brass (Robert Childs), 5
Praise My Soul the King of Heaven, Goss
6. Darebin City Brass - Preston Band (Tom Paulin), 6
The Day Thou Gavest, Scholefield
K&N Spring Gully Brass (Dr Kevin Cameron), 7
In Perfect Peace, Downie
Brisbane Brass, Bill Barker, 8
Nicaea, Dykes

Test piece: The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, Derek Bourgeois


B Grade • Friday 29, 09:21:41

2. Toronto Brass (Timothy O'Hearn):

John Ireland's lovely 'Love Unknown' is well shaped and phrased, but is a little fragile in ensemble and solo line security at times.

In contrast, 'Lyonesse' is played with real boldness and sense of atmosphere. Great dipped bells from the perc team and solid solo lines. There was security in the ensemble with darkly balanced sounds. A fine close rounded off a performance that grew in stature.


B Grade • Friday 29, 08:41:57

1. City of Greater Dandenong (Michael Mathers):

A confidently played opening hymn tune of 'I Know Thou Art Mine' opens the contest, and is greeted by generous applause by a rather sparse audience. It's a compact sounding ensemble with a warm sound.

The set work is given an equally confident approach too, with plenty of well worked effects. The excellent percussion section made full use of the water dipped bells and there was some excellent work from the main soloists too.

A good marker to start off the day.


A Grade • Friday 29, 08:25:45

The A Grade hymn tune and set test will kick off here at around 11.00am after the B Grade event.

Richard Evans is the man to be impressed by eight bands playing The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, as well as their hymn tune selections.

The title is decided by an aggregate score system that is 100 points for set test, 100 points for own choice work and 50 each for hymn tune and march.


B Grade • Friday 29, 08:21:24

The B Grade contest kicks off in 15 minutes with three bands playing their hymn tune and the test piece of Lyonesse by Simon Dobson.

Richard Evans is perched high up at the back of the hall sat behind a curtain rather like the Wizard of Oz, whilst outside in the beautiful grounds of the University, the familiar sight of bandsmen and women in band uniforms nervously warming up with their instruments can be heard in the sunshine.


Other Grades • Friday 29, 08:08:39

Draw: Open D Grade Brass, Hymn and Test Piece

Venue: Callaway Music Auditorium
Commencing: 9:30am
Adjudicator: Mark Ford

Test: Prelude, Song & Dance, John Golland

1. Bunbury City Band (Bill Curtis)
The Day Thou Gavest, Scholefield
2. The Challenge Brass Band (Les Sivwright)
All In The April Evening, Robertson
3. Warriparinga Brass (Veronica Boulton)
The Day Thou Gavest, Scholefield
4. Busselton Brass (Nicky Hair)
The Day Thou Gavest, Scholefield
5. Melville AFA Brass (withdrawn) (Brian Dodds)
Deep Harmony, Parker
6. Goldfields Brass Band (Keith Nicholas)
Deep Harmony, Parker


B Grade • Friday 29, 08:06:50

Draw: Open B Grade Brass: Hymn and Test Piece

Venue: Winthrop Hall
Commencing: 9:30am
Adjudicator: Mr Richard Evans

Test piece: Lyonesse, Simon Dobson

1. City Of Greater Dandenong (Michael Mathers)
I Know Thou Art Mine, Ballantine
2. Toronto Brass (Timothy O'Hearn)
Love Unknown, Ireland
3. Canning City Brass Band (Dr Geoffrey Lowe)
I Vow To Thee My Country, Holst


General • Thursday 28, 16:26:35

Iwan Fox introduces the 2013 Australian Nationals from the University of Western Australia, Perth.


General • Thursday 28, 15:38:03

The impressive stained glass window in Winthrop Hall

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General • Thursday 28, 14:48:17

The University of Western Australia and Winthrop Hall in particular offer a great venue to hold a National Championship.

The main hall is very impressive with its stained glass rounded window, huge organ and raised wooden stage. It has that air of refined academia. We have found our spot high up at the side of the hall and have met the excellent band of organisers who are very helpful.

The good news for anyone coming here is that they have a special licence to serve alcohol on campus on what is usually a 'dry' Good Friday in Perth.


General • Thursday 28, 10:05:43

Off for some authentic Australian breakfast with Anthony Banwell and a look around the city of Perth, before we head to the University of Western Australia to see the venue for the National Championships.

It's a lovely balmy day - not a cloud in the sky. And to think I left 3 inches of snow back home in Wales.


General • Wednesday 27, 17:25:18

A relaxing few hours at Changi Airport before the final leg of the journey onto Perth.

The Singapore locals are so helpful you wonder if they would be the perfect hosts for a World Championship Brass Band Contest some time in the future.

19.40pm flight out and hopefully picked up at the airport ready for a weekend of great music making at the University of Western Australia.


General • Wednesday 27, 14:53:12

The 4BR Editor has finally touched down in Singapore and is enjoying some warmth on his old bones from a sticky climate.

Not a bad journey - with a decent stab at the hefty book and the chance to enjoy the film Quartet.

Looking forward to the next leg of the journey to Perth which should see touch down in the early hours of Thursday morning? (I'm having trouble knowing what day it is at present) and meeting up with some old friends and reuniting the original 4BR reporting team.

A bit like that film really...


General • Wednesday 27, 07:35:30

Wonderful to hear the Championships getting a good 20 minute slot on local radio 720 ABC Perth just after 7am today.

Well done to Geoffrey Lowe too.


General • Tuesday 26, 22:28:02

Get a flavour of where you'll be playing this weekend.



Foden's Band - Matt Ford - Lichfield Cathedral

Friday 24 November • 19A The Close, Lichfield WS13 7LD


Lofthouse Brass Band - Pudsey Churches Together Christmas Concert

Saturday 25 November • Pudsey Parish Church, Church Lane, Pudsey, LS28 7BD LS28 7BD


Lofthouse Brass Band - Lofthouse Christmas Fair

Saturday 25 November • Lofthouse Methodist Church, Leeds Road, Lofthouse, Wakefield WF3 3NE


Enfield Citadel Band -

Saturday 25 November • The Salvation Army. 42 Clarence Road. Southend. SS1 1AN SS1 1AN


Newstead Brass -

Saturday 25 November • John Godber Centre. Ogle Street. Hucknall. Nottingham NG15 7FQ


The Corsham Band

November 23 • With promotion to the 2nd Section from January 2018 the band are now looking to fill a couple of vacancies. One back row cornet (2nd or 3rd) plus an EEb Bass.


Thoresby Colliery Band

November 22 • Sadly due to work commitments we are looking for an experienced Percussionist to join our friendly and progressive Band. The Band has experienced a recent run of good form and is currently enjoying a sensible mix of contests, concerts and recordings.


Thoresby Colliery Band

November 22 • Sadly due to work commitments we are looking for an experienced BBb Bass player to join our friendly and progressive Band. The Band has experienced a recent run of good form and is currently enjoying a sensible mix of contests, concerts and recordings.


Martin Heartfield

GGSM, ARCM, PGCE
Conductor, Adjudicator, Educationalist