Author Archives: VBL President
The Victorian Bands’ League is pleased to announce that the adjudicator for the 2017 Victorian State Band Championships is Simon Cawthorn.
Simon is a graduate from the Tasmanian Conservatorium of music where he studied trumpet and flugelhorn. Simon has played in various ensembles in Australia including The National Australia Brass (NAB), Hobart Wind Symphony, augmented with the Melbourne Opera company and has been privileged to travel with bands such as Derwent Valley Concert band to Japan, China, Canada and America. As a soloist Simon has won several state and national awards including winning the National open flugelhorn competition at the ANBC in Adelaide 2011. In 2013 Simon was one of three conductors in Australasia to be awarded a Lady Stewart Conducting Bursary to study under Professor David King from the Royal Northern College of music in the UK.
Simon has also been musical director for a number of concert and brass bands including the Hobart and Glenorchy City Concert Brass, Tasmanian Youth Orchestra Wind Ensemble and teacher in charge of bands in several schools and colleges. He also received the Tasmanian Bands League Badge of Honour for 2016 for outstanding services to community banding.
Simon has been an assessor and an adjudicator of musical performance and was chief adjudicator at the TBL State solo and party championships and an adjudicator for the National Solo Championships in 2017. He enjoys seeing wind and percussion players reach their full potential and in his spare time he plays drums for Hillsong Hobart.
Russell Gray is currently touring Australia and is available for workshops with bands.
Full Day Rehearsal: A$500.00
Rehearsal Night: A$250.00
Dates: Currently available from June 24th – July 3rd
Please contact Phillipa for further information or to book a session
Russell Gray’s career as a conductor began in 1998, when he was appointed as the resident musical director of the Stavanger Brass Band (Norway). Since then his reputation as an authoritative interpreter of brass band music has been acknowledged at home and aboard. Since 2008, he has been principal conductor of Molde Brass Band (Norway) and is Adjunct Professor of brass at Queensland University (Australia). Russell has enjoyed considerable success within the world of brass band competitions with leading ensembles in Norway, Denmark, Finland, France, Switzerland, Japan, New Zealand, and Australia.
Russell enjoyed periods as the principal conductor of Foden’s, Fairey and Leyland brass bands and since 2012 has been principal conductor of Reg Vardy Brass Band, the leading band in the North of England. A proud Scot, Russell was born near Glasgow, and came to prominence within the world of brass bands as a cornet virtuoso. During his student years, he was a member of the world famous Black Dyke Band and went on to enjoy a number of years as principal cornet of the Leyland Band. He has also produced six solo albums, including two acclaimed releases featuring historic cornet repertoire from the celebrated Arban collection of solos and studies. Russell is a Yamaha endorsed artist and is much in demand as a leader of workshops, clinics and seminars. He also leads Yamaha’s star-studded NEO Brass Ensemble. He has appeared to great acclaim at the Royal Albert Hall (London) and Symphony Hall (Birmingham) to the Grieg Hall (Bergen), Stravinsky Hall (Montreux) and the Sydney Opera House.
Russell dedicates much of his time to the development of young musicians. He has conducted the National Youth Brass Bands of Switzerland and Queensland (Australia) and in 2014 was appointed artistic director of the National Youth Brass Band of Scotland. He is a recipient of the prestigious Iles Medal of the Worshipful Company of Musicians in acknowledgment of his outstanding services to the brass bands.
Some of Victoria’s best bands are travelling to Launceston this Easter weekend to compete at the Australian National Band Championships.
We wish all these bands the best of luck and look forward to hearing about their success.
All the action from the weekend can be streamed live on Brassbanned
For further information about the event, you can visit the event website here
After the successful launch of Bandstand Sunday in 2015, the Victorian Bands’ League is pleased to announce that Bandstand Sunday is back for 2016!
The event features bands from around Victoria performing at Federation Square in Melbourne throughout the day from 10am to 5pm. Bands will be allocated around 30 minutes each to perform, including getting on and off stage. This is purely a concert entertainment program with no set music, however we would encourage bands to feature soloists in their program. There is no adjudication for this event; it is not a competition and therefore contest and registration rules do not apply. This is a free event and all bands are welcome to apply.
We are currently seeking expressions of interests for bands to be part of the entertainment on Sunday 6th November, and we would particularly like to encourage member bands from country and regional areas to participate in this concert extravaganza.
Please indicate your bands interest in participating in this event with an email to email@example.com by Monday 5th September 2016.
The VBL Executive hopes that this event sparks the interest of your band, and we look forward to hearing from you soon.
Please note: Places are limited and last year demand far exceeded the number of spots available so please get in early! Priority will be given to bands who did not perform last year.
The 2016 State Band Championships will be held at Her Majesty’s Theatre in Ballarat. Tickets are available at the door.
The running schedule for the event is as follows:
|Saturday 13 August|
|Section||Start Time||No of Bands|
|Open D Grade Concert||8:30 AM||1|
|Open C Grade Concert||9:05 AM||2|
|Open B Grade Concert||10:15 AM||1|
|Junior C Grade Brass||11:15 AM||2|
|Open A Grade Brass||1:00 PM||4|
|Open D Grade Brass||5:30 PM||7|
|Sunday 14 August|
|Section||Start Time||No of Bands|
|Open C Grade Brass||8:40 AM||8|
|Open B Grade Brass||3:00 PM||6|
As has become tradition, the Saturday night of the State Solo & Ensemble Championships weekend will see the annual Night of Champions concert at Our Lady of Mercy College.
All the Open Brass Solo Champions will take to the stage to battle it out for the title of Champion of Champions for 2016.
A night filled with fantastic music, played by some of the finest musicians in Victoria.
Tickets available at the door – $10 each, $5 concession
Every two years, there is a review of the Victorian Bands’ League Contest Bylaws. This is a great opportunity for bands to reflect on which rules are working and those rules they feel could be improved.
Bands are asked to send through any recommendations to the VBL Office by Monday 1st August 2016.
The suggestions will then be compiled into one document and circulated to all bands at the start of September. The proposals will be then be voted on at the October Delegates Meeting.
The current Contest Bylaws can be found here
The Victorian Bands’ League warmly invite you to participate in the 2016 Victorian State Solo & Ensemble Championships to be held at Our Lady of Mercy College, Heidelberg (entry to both venues is off Yarra Street). Entries close Friday May 27th with late entries still being accepted until Friday June 10th. Please note that late entries will attract a late fee of 50% of the entry fee.
The exact running schedule will depend on entry numbers however we can confirm that the Open Brass sections will take place on the Saturday and the Junior Brass, Open and Junior Woodwind and VCE sections will take place on the Sunday.
All information for the event can be found here
At the 2016 Victorian Bands’ League Annual General Meeting, the delegates present endorsed through acclamation the nomination of Megan Stapleton for Life Membership of the Victorian Bands’ League. This is the highest accolade for any member of the Victorian Bands’ League. Congratulations Megan!
The following bio was read out on the day:
Megan Stapleton started playing the trombone in 1997. Since then she has been a longtime member of the Victorian State Youth Brass Band, involvement from player to mentor and committee member.
She joined the VBL as a Delegate for Moonee Valley Brass in 2003 and an Executive Member in May 2004. In 2007 and 2012, when the VBL was running the Nationals she not only worked as a member of the Organising Committee but when volunteers were not available for certain jobs she dragged her whole family in to assist. Since then she has served many roles on the VBL Executive which include Councillor, Minute Secretary, Contest Administrator, Contest Supervisor and, since 2012, President and VBL Delegate to the NBCA and ex-officio of the MAB.
As well as being involved on the VBL Executive, Megan has been President of Moonee Valley Brass since 2010. Prior to that she served as Treasurer of the band from 2003 – 2010. She started the Moonee Valley Community Choir in 2011, started the Mooney Valley Brass Development Band in 2013 and in 2015 she was awarded Moonee Valley City Council ‘Spirit of Moonee Valley’ Award for contribution to Arts and Culture and named “Local Hero” for 2015.
Plenty of guys have been dubbed “Mr Brass Band” over the years, but none have made such an impact on the movement at such a young age. Megan is a truly dedicated “Stateswoman” for the banding movement and gives willingly everything she has to offer. Megan is a peace-maker, a motivator, a director and a true friend to all that know her. She embodies all the attributes that make a true leader.
The Victorian Bands League Executive Members take great pleasure in nominating Megan Stapleton for Life Membership of the VBL.
Marlene Davies Danny van Bergan
Ian Douglas Helen Gray
Brenton Burley Brett Pyke
Jeremy de Korte Angelique Lele
At the 2016 Victorian Bands’ League Annual General Meeting, the delegates present endorsed through acclamation the nomination of Clifford Jervis for Life Membership of the Victorian Bands’ League. This is the highest accolade for any member of the Victorian Bands’ League. Congratulations Clifford!
The following bio was read out on the day:
Cliff commenced his banding at East Kew Central School Band at the age of 10 years, playing the Tenor Horn. On leaving school, Cliff joined the East Kew Citizens’ Band which eventually became the Kew Citizens’ Band in the 1950’s. He was a member of this band for 33 years and was awarded the Victorian Bands’ League (VBL) Badge of Merit. During his membership of Kew Citizens’ Band, Cliff was appointed Delegate to the VBL Executive Council.
In 1969, Cliff was appointed VBL Delegate overseeing the ABC Radio Bands’ contest. He was also appointed VBL Delegate to the inaugural VBL Music Camp. In the early 1970’s, Cliff was elected Vice President of the VBL where he remained in this position for the ensuring year. He was official Pacing Adjudicator for the State Quickstep Championships in Ballarat, and at VBL contests in Ivanhoe and Kew.
Cliff joined “Melbourne & Metropolitan Tramways” Band in 1978 on EEb bass and also BBb tuba. He joined Corowa Border District Band in 1990 where we was awarded the VBL Certificate (& Badge) of Honour (1993).
Cliff served as President of Kew Band, Vic President of Melbourne and Metropolitan Tramways band (MMTB), President of Corowa Border District Band and is currently President of Murray Brass Inc. Rutherglen.
Cliff was appointed Librarian at MMTB and also at Corowa Border District BAnd. He was a playing member on BBb bass and occasional percussionist with all bands and also Drum Major as required. He currently plays EEb bass and side drum with Wodonga Brass on a regular basis.
Cliff is a Life Member of Kew Citizens’ Band, MMT Band and Corowa Border District Band.