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Keith Ford Awarded OAM on Australia Day 2016

Respected member of the brass band community, Keith Ford, received a well-deserved award on Australia Day 2016. The Huffers and Puffers founder was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM). Read the article from the Whittlesea Leader (26 Janurary 2016) below:

THE founder of Huffers and Puffers, a band for retired musicians, has received a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) today.

Keith Ford, 86, was recognised for his life long dedication to community bands.

The Mill Park resident first picked up an instrument at the age of eight when he played the tenor horn in the West Coburg State School band.

Mr Ford has been part of a number of bands over the years including the Moreland City Brass Band, formerly Brunswick City Municipal Band, Coburg City Band, Greater Bendigo Concert Brass Band, Heidelberg Brass Band and the Victorian Bands League.

“Plenty of things stand out. Winning our first B Grade championship at the Australian National Championships with the Brunswick Brass Band,” he said.

Another highlight for Mr Ford was his involvement with the youth training band program at Brunswick in 1967, which he ran through to the 1990s.

During this time he also helped set up the Victorian State Youth Brass Band.

“A motion was put up at the Victorian Bands League to start a Victorian State Youth Brass Band and I had something to do with that motion, I think I seconded the motion,” he said.

In 1993 Mr Ford founded the Huffers and Puffers Band, for retirees.

“There were six of us who started from the Brunswick City Municipal Band,” Mr Ford said. “We’re all retirees and we play at nursing homes and retirement villages.”

In 2002, Mr Ford gave up playing instruments and took up conducting.

“I’m not sure who nominated me, but I thank my supporters,” he said.


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Silent Film Competition – Oakleigh Brass Band

Picture Night Poster

Picture Night Poster

Oakleigh Brass Band are seeking silent films to be part of their film festival “Picture Night” in October 2015, as part of their ANZAC contribution. Picture Night is supported by the Victorian Government and the Victorian Veterans Council.

December 1915: on the home front in Oakleigh, Victoria, the Oakleigh Band played music to accompany silent movies – newspaper articles from the time suggest that this was the first time that movies were shown in Oakleigh.

A century later in October 2015 Oakleigh band will recreate this event, this time with locally made films.  Short listed entries will be shown, with the Oakleigh Band again providing the live sound track.

First prize for the best film is $500, second prize is $250. Continue reading

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New Website

Thanks for everyone’s patience while we migrated our site over.

E-mails should be working again now and the rest of the site will start to appear over the next few days. First priority will be the results, then publications and then everything else will be added.

We hope that this new site will be easier to navigate, and work on all browsers.

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Victorian State Youth Brass Band Awards 2011

An integral part of the Victorian banding movement, the VSYBB plays a vital role in the development of the youth of our movement. Through rehearsals, performance opportunities and the chance to play under guest conductors, the VSYBB offers unique opportunities to young and developing players of all abilities. The Band undertook a tour in Europe in 2011. Continue reading

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Goff Richards – Banding Loses a Great Man

The President, Executive and members of the Victorian Bands’ League have been saddened to hear of the death of Cornish musician, composer & teacher Goff Richards, who has passed away after a long illness.

Goff RichardsMany VBL members will remember Goff from his visit to Melbourne in April 1998 as the Chief Adjudicator at the Australian National Band Championships organised by the VBL, and held at Monash University. Ian Douglas was VBL President at the time, and Chairman of the Organising Committee for the Championships. He remembers Goff as a truly gracious gentleman, to whom nothing was too much trouble, and who encouraged all the competitors in their banding endeavours. Victorian Bands will have played many of his beautiful band arrangements, and will have appreciated his skill as an arranger. Continue reading

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Albert Edward “Bert” Bowden OAM (30/7/1926 – 5/9/2004)

It is with very sincere and deep regret that the Victorian Bands’ League wishes to inform of the passing of Bert Bowden OAM, former Secretary and Administrator of the League, on Sunday 5th September, 2004. Continue reading

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Jack Butcher OAM

The League extends hearty congratulations to Jack Butcher on the occasion of his receiving the Medal of the Order of Australia in the 1999 Australia Day Awards. Jack has had a long association with the VBL as a both a Musical Director and as a Champion flugel horn player. The award was given “for service to the community through brass bands and choirs”. Continue reading

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Lewis Lloyd Zilles OAM

Born 17th February 1904 in Ballarat. Died 6th July 1998 int Ballarat at the age of 94.

On leaving school at Intermediate Certificate level Lew was apprenticed to the printing trade. On completing his apprenticeship he worked as a printer with the “Ballarat Courier” before finding a place at Horsham with the Wimmera Star print shop. During that time he became associated with the Horsham Pipe Band, the Swimming and Rowing Clubs and founded the Horsham Harriers Club. Continue reading

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Ron Jarrett

It is with great regret that the VBL advises its member bands, registered players, and the public, of the death of VBL Vice-President Ron Jarrett, on Friday 20th February 1998.

Ron came from a banding family, well known in Portland, and spent a lifetime in banding. He was Secretary and a Life Member of the City of Dandenong Band for many years, playing baritone with them. He started banding at Portland, and also played with Caulfield (now the City of Glen Eira). Continue reading

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