Wayne Bowden Awarded Life Membership

Wayne Bowden Life Membership Presentation


At the recent VBL AGM the delegates present endorsed through acclamation the nomination of Wayne Bowden for Life Membership of the VBL. This is the highest accolade for any member of the Victorian Bands’ League.

Continue reading to learn more about a man who has had, and continues to have, such a positive influence on the banding world across our country.

Wayne was born with brass music flowing through his veins, and has been playing for most of his life. He is widely known and well respected as a brass musician, teacher, musical director, and adjudicator. His achievements are many and varied, and would be impossible to list in their entirety in this nomination. However we have summarised Wayne’s most notable achievements to support this nomination.

As a soloist, Wayne has won the Australian National Euphonium Championship 11 times, the Victorian Euphonium Championship 19 times, and Victorian Trombone Championship 3 times. As well as this, he has won several Champion of Champions titles, and is the only Australian to have ever won both the Australian and New Zealand Champion of Champions titles in the same year, being 1980. The Victorian Bands League has honoured Wayne by naming the Victorian Champion of Champions trophy in recognition of his accomplishments as a soloist.
In 1991, Wayne was awarded the prestigious Ern Keller Memorial international soloist of the year award, and he has represented Australia internationally in the Errol Mason Brass Musician of the year on two occasions.

Wayne has performed with many ensembles as a guest soloist, including the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, and the BBC in London with whom he recorded a euphonium solo. He has also toured throughout Australia and internationally as a guest soloist.

Many bands have been graced with Wayne’s musicianship and unique skill as a musical director over the years, including Concert Bands as well as Brass Bands. He currently conducts the Hawthorn Band, Sunshine Community Brass, as well as the Wind and Stage Band of Geelong Grammar School, where he has been employed for 29 years as Director of Bands and Brass Lecturer.
Previously, he has conducted Marist Brothers Band, Brighton Municipal Band, Malvern Municipal Band, City of Greater Dandenong Band, Melton Wind Symphony, Camperdown Fire Brigade Band, Strathfieldsaye Municipal Band, Bayside Brass Geelong, and the Victorian State Youth Band. He has lead Strathfieldsaye to a national C grade championship in 1980 and 2 national B grade championships in 1981 and 1984, Diamond Valley to a national B grade championship in 1986, Bayside Brass to a national D grade championship in 1994, and Camperdown to a National D grade championship in 2002. He took Strathfieldsaye Band from D grade to A grade within 6 years.

Wayne is regularly called upon as a clinician and guest conductor all over Australia, and internationally. In 2012 Wayne travelled to Singapore as a band tutor and clinician, and is currently in Western Australia as a guest conductor with the Kalgoorlie Band. Wayne is also regularly called upon to adjudicate at solo and party competitions, as well as band competitions.
As the current Musical Director of Hawthorn Band, Wayne is responsible for ‘challenging the norm,’ and is easily able to get the most out of each individual player, in turn improving the bands sound and musicality. He is more than a musical director, being involved both socially as well as being highly involved with the strategic direction of the Hawthorn Band in conjunction with the committee.

He supports local composers by regularly rehearsing compositions and arrangements from Australian composers, providing valuable feedback to them if requested, and premiering these compositions at various concerts, promoting their achievements and drawing large and varied audiences.

In closing, Wayne Bowden has devoted his life to Brass Music, in his profession as well as outside of work. He appreciates and promotes local composers, and is nationally and internationally sought after as a soloist, musical director, clinician and adjudicator. We believe his outstanding service to the Brass Band movement and Brass Music in general is worthy of receipt of a Life Membership of the Victorian Bands League.

— James Sileni
Committee Member
on behalf of Hawthorn Band Committee

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