People

Megan Stapleton awarded Life Membership of the Victorian Bands’ League

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.

Nominated By

Marlene Davies                                                       Danny van Bergan
Ian Douglas                                                             Helen Gray
Brenton Burley                                                        Brett Pyke
Jeremy de Korte                                                     Angelique Lele

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Clifford Jervis awarded Life Membership of the Victorian Bands’ League

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.

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Success for Victoria at the 2016 Australian National Band Championships!

The 2016 Australian National Band Championships were held over the Easter weekend in Gawler, South Australia. Despite some tough competition from bands around the country and overseas, there were some great results for Victorian bands and soloists.

A special congratulations to the following:

Ararat City Band – Open D Grade Brass National Champions
Boroondara Brass – Open B Grade Brass National Champions
Footscray Yarraville City Band – Open A Grade Brass – 3rd place
Boroondara Harmony Brass – Open C Grade Brass – 3rd place
Keith Moore – Open D Grade Brass Champion Drum Major
Michael Mathers – Open B Grade Brass Champion Drum Major (for the fourth consecutive year) and the overall Champion Drum Major Jim Brill Memorial Trophy (for the second consecutive year)
Aidan Purdy – National Champion in all 4 tuba sections – an incredible achievement
May Thomas  – National Open French Horn Champion
Andrew McAdam – National Open Trumpet Champion
Sam Beagley – Junior Bb Cornet National Champion and National Junior Champion of Champions!
Llewellyn Morris – Open Tenor Horn – 3rd place
Steven Vlahek – Open Timpani & Open Snare Drum – 2nd place
Harrison Steele-Holmes – Junior Tenor Trombone – 3rd place

A full list of results from the weekend can be found here

Ararat at Gawler

 

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Kevin Hillier Awarded OAM on Australia Day 2016

Congratulations to Kevin Hillier who was awarded an Order of Australia Medal for service to Music through military and brass bands. 

Fittingly he celebrated by conducting the Stonnington City Brass at the annual Australia Day Citizenship Ceremony at the Malvern Town Hall.

Kevin Hillier

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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.

keith_ford_oam

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Walter Pope awarded Life Membership of the Victorian Bands’ League

At the 2015 Victorian Bands’ League Annual General Meeting,Wally LM award
the delegates present endorsed through acclamation the nomination of Walter Pope for Life Membership of the Victorian Bands’ League. This is the highest accolade for any member of the Victorian Bands’ League. Congratulations Wally!

The following bio was read out on the day: Continue reading

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Election of the 2015/16 VBL Executive Council

Congratulations to all those elected to the 2015/16 Victorian Bands’ League Executive Council.

The full list of those elected can be found below: Continue reading

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Ian Douglas awarded the 2014 Frank Wright Medal

Long serviniang member of the VBL Executive and Croydon Citizens’ Bands Ian Douglas has been awarded the 2014 Frank Wright Medal in recognition of over 40 years of service to Victorian Community Bands. It honours famous Ballarat musician Frank Wright who conducted bands in Ballarat before an illustrious career in London as a Professor at the Guildhall School of Music and as Director of Music for London County Council.

When conferring the award at the Victorian State Band Championships in Ballarat, VBL President Megan Stapleton told the audience that Ian has been President of Croydon Citizens’ Bands for 24 years, and has served on the VBL Executive for 35 years, with a total of eight years as President. He is currently a VBL Vice-President, and still plays in several bands.
Continue reading

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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”. Continue reading

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Victorian State Youth Brass Band Award Recipients 2013

The Victorian State Youth Brass Band is proud to announce the recipients of the awards for 2013. Continue reading

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