This June long weekend saw WA Brass competing at the WA State Band Championships. It was a great turnout for local AND international Bands! On the Saturday there were 8 Concert Bands competing across the grades, 2 Festival Concert Bands demonstrating all their hard work for the audience, and the St Stephen’s School and St Joseph’s Institution Band all the way from Singapore performing for us!
Sunday was our turn to shine! We had 6 Brass bands across the grades and a guest appearance by Melville AFA Brass Band as a Festival Band performing for us all.
The end of the day was our turn to perform, this year we took on the challenge of Fraternity by Thierry Deleruyelle.
This piece is based on the 1906 coal mining catastrophe in Courriéres, Northern France, considered to be one of the most significant mining accidents in the world. Fraternity is an emotional work composed of 7 contrasting sections, it certainly tested our abilities as a band with the ensemble work and the abilities of each individual member, with numerous solos and even a duet!
All the hard work we put in as a band, with additional rehearsals, sectionals, home practise, and with a phenomenal percussion section behind us we pulled together an amazing performance.
For our March we played The Australasian, which demonstrated our control and dynamic contrast, and our Hymn was an arrangement of Be Still My Soul by our very own Alan Lourens, featuring a beautiful solo on Flugel by Rohan Hardie.
Our adjudicator this year was John Saunders, a founding member and conductor of Warringah Concert Brass in NSW. He worked tirelessly this weekend, listening to every band and providing constructive criticism and positive feedback. For our performance he awarded us 44/50 for our Hymn, 91/100 for our Test and 43/50 for our March, giving us a total of 178/200, a very rewarding score for our efforts!
Not only did we have a great time as a band this weekend, some of our members supported other ensembles and performed solos for the competition.
Sarah Draper played with Town of Victoria Park Brass Band, Glyn Macdonald conducted the Combined Districts Concert Band, Geoff Ogden took some of the students from his school up for solos and a quintet, Alan Lourens gave a masterclass with the Goldfields Brass Band before they performed on Sunday and Kayla and Imogen performed with WA Wind Symphony, Kayla was also the lucky winner of the Ray Larner award for the best soloist from all the Concert Bands, and Ben Noonan was the well deserving winner of the Norm Snow trophy for the best soloist from all the Brass Bands.
The weekend finished off with the solos and ensembles section. WA Brass was well represented in the A Grade solos section, with Wayne Sullivan getting 82 points on Bass Trombone, Imogen Behan getting 87 points on Tenor Horn, Kayla Samson getting 88 points on Soprano Cornet, and Sarah Draper taking out 1st place with 90 points on Tenor Horn.
Now with States over, we can focus on our next concert, Carmina Burana with the UWA Choral Society, on Sunday the 8th of July at 2:30pm in the Winthrop Hall of UWA.