Report & Results: 2013 Australian National Championships

Brisbane Excelsior reclaims National title in Perth under the baton of Howard Taylor.

Brisbane Excelsior celebrate

Brisbane Excelsior has regained their premier position as Australia's leading top flight band by winning the 2013 National title amid the magnificent surroundings of Winthrop Hall at the University of Western Australia in Perth.


Conducted by Howard Taylor, they narrowly beat off the challenge of the Royal Agricultural Society of Western Australia (RASWA) conducted by Dr Robert Childs, with Darebin City Brass directed by Tom Paulin in third.

Top class performances of 'In This Quiet Moment', 'The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea', 'ORB' and 'From Ancient Times' gave the Queensland Band a four point winning margin in the four legged contest of hymn tune, set work, march and own choice selection — although the result was in considerable doubt as an inspired RASWA pushed the eventual winners all the way to the finishing line.

Iconic trophy

Brisbane topped the points scoring charts in the set work and march, but with Darebin claiming the hymn tune prize thanks to their performance of 'The Day Thou Gavest' and RASWA producing a top class rendition of 'A Tale As Yet Untold' in the own choice section, it was no wonder that MD Howard Taylor wore a relieved look on his face when collecting the iconic Fireman's Helmet National Trophy.

In the end though, the greater depth of quality throughout the four disciplines over two separate days of competition, gave them their sixth victory in their last seven appearances at the National event — although not many of their previous victories would have perhaps been as close as this.

Opened door

Although they appeared to have clasped the famous winner's trophy with two hands following their Friday afternoon performances of the hymn tune and set work, an uneven rendition of the Van der Roost own choice certainly opened the door for their local rivals, although they regained their composure with a rousing rendition of the old Oldham Rifle Brigade march to regain the title once more.

B Grade:

There was success to celebrate for Western Australian 'Sand Gropers' in the B Grade, as Perth's Canning City Brass under Dr Geoffrey Lowe claimed their first ever national title.

Their performances of 'I Vow to Thee My Country', the set work, 'Lyonesse', the march 'The Australasian' and their own choice of 'Mountain Views' saw them claim the title by a clear five point margin from New South Wales rivals Toronto Brass, with City of Greater Dandenong in third.

C Grade:

There was also a clear cut victory for Marion City from South Australia in the C Grade, as they claimed their first national success since 1973.

Their performances of 'In Perfect Peace', 'Northern Landscapes', 'Rolling Along' and 'Four Dances' from the ballet 'Checkmate', gave them an eight point winning margin over runner-up Warringah Concert Brass, with Town of Victoria Park Brass.

D Grade:

There was also another first time winner in the D Grade, as Goldfields Brass directed by Keith Nicholas claimed the title by a massive ten point margin from reigning champion Warriparinga Brass, with Bunbury City in third.

Goldfields delivered a quartet of fine performances on their hymn tune, 'Deep Harmony', set work, 'Prelude, Song & Dance', march, 'The Digger' by Percy Code and their own choice selection of 'Convergents'.

Other titles

In what was a very busy weekend if music making on the university campus, the Junior C Grade Brass Championship went to sole entrant Morawa DHS Senior Brass Band, whilst the prestigious Champion of Champions Solo Championship title was claimed by one of Australia's rising young talents, 17 year old cornetist, Dominic Longhurst of St Mary's Band Club Brass Band in New South Wales.

A full retrospective of the Australian National Championship will appear on 4BR in the next few days.

As it happened:

...it was no wonder that MD Howard Taylor wore a relieved look on his face when collecting the iconic Fireman's Helmet National Trophy4BR

Open A Grade Brass:
Venue: Winthrop Hall
Adjudicator: 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, 47/191/195/45=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

Open B Grade Brass:
Venue: Winthrop Hall
Adjudicator: 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

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

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

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