Sean Priest to Adjudicate the State Band Championships

The VBL is pleased to announce the adjudicator of the 2014 State Band Championship is Sean Priest. Sean is a performer, conductor, teacher and academic. He currently teaches music performance and history at UTAS Conservatorium of Music, St Michael’s Collegiate, and the Hutchins School in Hobart. Please see below for an extract from his CV:

sean priest“My first ‘sound world’ was the Howrah Citadel band of the Salvation Army. I started on cornet when my parents bought me a cornet for my 8th birthday, and not long after joined the Returned Services Memorial Band under the tutelage of my formative teacher and mentor, Arthur Edwards. My earliest memories are of wanting to play Erik Leidzen’s “Tucker” like Derek Smith with the New York Staff Band. Along with early cassette tapes of the ISB and Melbourne Staff Band, I quickly came to know the names of Harry Mortimer, James Shepherd, Maurice Murphy and Ken Smith, these long before I heard about the Haydn Trumpet Concerto or Maurice Andre. At 13, I won the Junior Cornet Section at the Australian National’s. At the announcement of results, like most people, I was in shock. I burst into tears”.

“I entered my second sound world when at 16 I successfully auditioned for the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra the day after playing third trumpet in a concert featuring Leroy Anderson’s “Buglers Holiday”.  I didn’t cry this time.  Since 1988 I’ve held tenured professional principal positions with Orchestra Victoria and West Australian Symphony, and also enjoyed playing principal trumpet with Melbourne and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras”.

“Teaching, conducting and research have been integral to my continued growth as a musician and person.  Conducting concert bands and brass ensembles, and teaching in the tertiary sector through Monash University, University of Melbourne, University of WA, Edith Cowan University, and the University of Tasmania has taught me much about communicating musically.  For that, I am forever grateful to my students. I am equally indebted to professional colleagues and organisations for affording me opportunities to serve as an examiner and adjudicator. Serving as National Wind, Brass and Percussion Selector for the Australian Youth Orchestra, examining ensembles and soloists to the doctoral level, and adjudicating bands, ensembles, and soloists in the community sector for NBCA, TBL, VBL, and WABA, has been both personally enriching, and a chance to ‘give back’ to the communities and people that have enabled me in life. I’ve made a few ‘brave’ or ‘strange’ decisions in my time, but I do cry less these days.”

“The Brass Band Movement has been a constant in my career.  Musicians like Arthur Edwards at Glenorchy City Concert Brass, Eddie Martin at Midland Brick, and Mark Ford at Kew Band Melbourne have been significant influences, and competitive successes and losses on both sides of the Tasman the ‘results’.  However, whether in these bands, or in Footscray, or bands from Wodonga Citizens to Latrobe Federal, or my current youth development group BANDIT, or conducting the UTAS Wind Ensemble, the community and collegiality of the process is always as equally or more defining as the product”.

“I enjoy the ongoing globalisation of the brass band movement, and, the importance of brass bands in continental Europe, and the standard of our own bands in Australasia, has always been a close interest alongside listening to bands in the UK. I don’t differentiate between ‘brass band’ and ‘orchestral’ or any other music. I do differentiate between what I regard as intrinsically ‘good’ music and that which I might find less substantive or interesting.  It makes for a rich musical experience. And for the record, I don’t cry so much anymore”.


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