Old and new players celebrate RASWA Brass’s 50th anniversary in 2010.

The Royal Agricultural Society of WA Brass has a long and successful history stretching back over fifty years. During this time it has established itself as the leading band in the Western Australian community banding scene.

Prior to Midland Brick taking up sponsorship of the band at the beginning of the 1990s, the band had been known under several different names over the history of the band. When the band originated it was as the junior band of the 11/44th Battalion of the City of Perth Regiment. In 1960 the band was incorporated as the National Youth Brass Band of Western Australia. After this, sponsorship was received from the City of Stirling and the band performed as the City of Stirling Brass Band. The band later became known as the 6KY Brass Band and in 1984 sponsorship was transferred to Swan Television and the Band performed under the name Channel Nine Brass Band.

The band has always competed at an A Grade level and has been A Grade Champions of WA for over 30 years. 2013 saw the band go to new heights – it was ranked second overall at the 2013 Yamaha National Band Championships, missing out on the top spot by only 4 points. The band gave a memorable performance which gave adjudicator Richard Evans “goose bumps”.

Timeline

1960
  • Band incorporated as the National Youth Brass Band of Western Australia
1977
  • The City of Stirling becomes the Sponsor of the band, which now performs as the City of Stirling Brass Band.
1979
  • Eddie Martin joins the band as Conductor
  • The Northern Districts Brass Band (also started by Norm Snow) becomes the official Junior Band. It now performs as the City of Stirling Junior Band.
1980
  • 6KY Radio becomes the sponsor of the band, now known as the 6KY Brass Band of Beautiful Music after adopting the station slogan.
1981
  • Band Tour to National Competition in Bernie, Tasmania. Awarded 3rd place in the Test Piece ‘A’ Grade and 1st place in the Marching Display. Don Guy was awarded Bass Drummer of the Marching Display.
  • Awarded ABC Brass Band of the Year
  • Band releases record Let’s Make the Music Together
  • After 21 years, Norm Snow steps down from the band. Edward Martin appointed as Musical Director
1982
  • Peter Wier represents the band at the Ern Keller Memorial Competition in Sydney
1983
  • Young members of the Junior and Senior band travel to Townsville (Qld) for the National Competition. They win the National Junior Quartet Championship, and second in the Open Quartet Championship.
  • The junior band decides to break away and reverts to its previous name, the Northern Districts Brass Band
1984
  • The parent company of 6KY, Swan Television, decides to move the Brass Band to the television division. The band now performs as the Channel Nine Brass Band.
1988
  • Band Tour to Singapore
  • Principal Euphonium Alan Lourens represents the band at the Ern Keller Memorial Competition
1990
  • Midland Brick becomes the sponsor after Swan Television changes hands and drops all cash sponsorship. The band now performs as Midland Brick Brass
  • Stuart Jones represents the band & wins the  Ern Keller Memorial Competition in Sydney
1991
  • Band Tour to National Competition in Adelaide
  • Principal Euphonium Alan Lourens represents the band at the Ern Keller Memorial Competition
1992
  • Rehearsal venue moved from the Rhein-Donau Club (Melville) to the Italian Club (North Perth)
1993
  • Soprano player Stuart Jones represents the band at the Ern Keller Memorial Competition
  • Eb Tuba Daniel Bessant represents the band at the Ern Keller Memorial Competition
1994
  • Band Tour to National Competition in Melbourne.
1996
  • Band Tour to National Competition in Sydney. Results include a second placing in the Own Choice.
1999
  • Band Tour to Morowa with ArtsWA support.
2000
  • Principal Euphonium Alan Lourens represents the band at the Ern Keller Memorial Competition
  • Rehearsal venue moves to the Lake Monger Recreation Club
  • Band Tour to Singapore. Soloists include Melvyn Bathgate and Peter Younghusband
  • After 20 years with the band, Eddie Martin retires as musical director. Dr. Alan Lourens appointed as musical director
2001
  • As part of the celebrations for Australia’s Centenary of Federation, the band tours to Greenbushes in WA’s southwest.
  • The band wins its 21st consecutive state ‘A’ championship, the first under Dr. Alan Lourens.
2002
  • Principal Euphonium Alan Lourens represents the band at the Ern Keller Memorial Competition
  • Tour to the Porongurup Wine Festival, South West Western Australia
  • Band hosts visit of Danbury Brass Band from Connecticut, USA
  • Band performs at the ANBOC Conference, WAAPA
  • Band performs at the Royal Schools of Music, UWA
  • Band performs at the Terrace Proms in Perth
2003
  • Principal Horn Sarah Ross represents the band at the Ern Keller Memorial Competition
  • Band performs at the C.Y. O’Connor Pipeline Centenary concert, Mundaring
  • Alan Lourens departs the band for Singapore
  • Bill McAlister appointed as Musical Director
2004
  • Paul De Cinque represents the band at the Ern Keller Memorial Competition
  • Band performs for Perth International Arts Festival, Mandurah Performing Arts Centre
  • Bill McAlister steps down as Musical Director
  • Paul De Cinque appointed as Musical Director
  • Band performs at the opening of the Perth Exhibition & Convention Centre
  • New Logo introduced
2005
  • Paul De Cinque represents the band at the Ern Keller Memorial Competition
  • Richard Evans conducts workshop with the band on his visit to Perth
  • Mike Willett steps down as Principal Cornet after 15 years – Ben Noonan appointed
  • Band undertakes concert tour to Singapore
  • Band performs at Perth Royal Show (each day)
  • Geoff Guy retires after 26 years in the Trombone section
  • Tony Turner made a Life Member of the band
2006
  • Principal Trom Matt Walker represents the band at the Ern Keller Memorial Competition
  • ‘Through the Ages’ Concert collaboration with the Perth Undergraduate Choir
  • Band receives Lotterywest grant for new Euphonium & 4th Tympanum
  • Players take part in the South West Band camp
  • Paul De Cinque departs for Europe
2007
  • Gareth Jones appointed as Musical Director
  • Principal Trom Matt Walker represents the band at the Ern Keller Memorial Competition
  • Band takes part in the National Championships held in Melbourne
  • Band performs in the inaugural WA Festival of Brass
  • Band performs at the Perth Royal Show (each day)
  • Band purchases 2 new Xeno Bb Cornets
2008
  • Principal Cornet Ben Noonan  represents the band at the Ern Keller Memorial Competition
  • Contingent of band takes part in the National Championships held in Brisbane
  • Midland Brick cease sponsorship of the band
  • Band performs & wins WA Festival of Brass
  • Band performs in Monster Concert with WA Symphonic Winds Ensemble
2009
  • Principal Cornet Ben Noonan  represents the band at the Ern Keller Memorial Competition
  • Allan Conroy retires as Band President
  • Gareth Jones retires as MD & Alan Lourens is appointed to the position
  • Band wins its 28th State Band Championships under the baton of Paul De Cinque
  • Royal Agricultural Society of WA takes over sponsorship of the band
  • Band performs at the Perth Royal Show (each day)
  • Band performs & wins WA Festival of Brass in Busselton
  • Well respected Past President & Percussionist Allan Conroy passes away after a long battle with Motor Neurone Disease
2010       Band takes part in the National Championships held in Hobart

  • Principal Cornet Ben Noonan  wins National Cornet title in Hobart
  • Band accompanies Trumpet Virtuoso Allen Vizzutti at the WA Performing Arts Eisteddfod in Bunbury
  • Band wins its 29th State Band Championships under the baton of Alan Lourens
  • Band celebrates its 50th anniversary with a concert including former members playing again
  • Band takes delivery of 5 New Yamaha Xeno Cornets courtesy of Lotterywest
2011
  • Band joins David Helfgott at a concert to raise funds for the Motor Neurone Disease Association
  • Band wins its 30th State Band Championships under the baton of Alan Lourens
  • Band holds its ‘From the New World’ Concert at St Joseph’s Church, Subiaco
  • Band holds joint concert with Leeming Concert band at South Perth Civic Centre
  • Band holds joint concert with WASWE Concert band at Morley Recreation Centre
  • Band accompanies Trombone Star Brett Baker & Tuba Virtuoso Les Neish  at UWA’s Brass Feast
2012
  • Alan Lourens represents the band at the Ern Keller Memorial Competition
  • Band takes part in joint concert with Canning City Band at Callaway Auditorium
  • Band takes part in the National Championships held in Melbourne
  • Band wins its 31st State Band Championships under the baton of Alan Lourens
  • Band accompanies Euphonium Legends David & Bob Childs at UWA’s Brass Feast
2013
  • Sarah Draper represents the band at the Ern Keller Memorial Competition
  • Band takes 2nd Place in the 2013 Yamaha National Band Championships under the baton of Guest Musical Director Bob Childs
  • Bass Trombone player Graeme Cruikshank wins National Bass Trombone title
  • Band makes the Ellie Eaton Pavilion its new home base
  • Band ranked in the top 100 brass bands in the world by 4Bars rest
  • Band launches updated website http://www.wabrass.com.  (Timeline transferred to News page.)

4 comments

  1. Just to add. The band, under Ed martin, competed in the Australian Championships in Melbourne, Easter 1994. Allan Conroy passed away October 2009. The 1981 Australian Champs in Burnie, Tasmania, also under Ed Martin, the Band was 1st Place in the Marching Display. Don Guy was awarded Bass Drummer of the Marching Competition.
    Regards Geoff Guy

  2. I think it was only the second time that I can remember, the band marched on Anzac Day and got really wet. Our Foundation Conductor, Norm Snow, was famous for the saying: “It never rains on Anzac Day.” Sorry, Norm, 2016 was very wet. Quite handy if you are a trombone player, though! Or the drum-major with a cap.
    Geoff Guy

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