Mark Davey Interview: Playing 1st Trombone with Wellington Brass Band, Conducting Hutt City Brass Band & Improving the New Zealand Brass Band Scene
I was fortunate enough to speak to Wellington Brass Band's 1st Trombone player Mark Davey after the band achieved its second competition success for 2018, winning the 2018 New Zealand Brass Band Championships A Grade. We spoke about what it takes to succeed at a high grade, his role conducting Hutt City Band in the B Grade and his thoughts on improving the New Zealand banding scene!
Russell Gray Interview: Adjudicating the New Zealand National Band Championships 2018, His Progression as a Cornetist and Conductor, and The Role of Youth Bands in the Brass Banding Movement
I was fortunate enough to sit down with world renowned cornetist, conductor and adjudicator Russell Gray, just before he headed to the 2018 New Zealand National Band Championships. We discussed his progression as a musician within the banding movement, his thoughts on conducting, his approach to adjudicating and his upcoming performance with the Brisbane Philharmonic Orchestra with the world premiere of Bill Broughton's Symphony. Read it below.
Earlier this month, I returned home to Melbourne from my 5 month exchange from Manchester, and what a whirlwind 5 months it has been for me musically and overall! It will be difficult to summarise the last couple of months in a single post, but read below to find out what I experienced and what new music I've written!
Dave McGlynn Interview: Playing Bb Bass with Black Dyke, Approaching Playing Tuba and Dealing with Issues in Banding
I was lucky enough to sit down with Black Dyke Brass Band's Bb Bass player Dave McGlynn to discuss his experiences in banding with some of the best bands in the world, as well as how he approaches playing tuba and how brass bands should be dealing with issues in banding.
What an incredible weekend of music Melbourne has enjoyed this Easter weekend. The Victorian Bands' League have succeeded in hosting a fantastic event with over 3,400 competitors and 78 bands. Hear now from the VBL about the 2018 Nationals, the QBA regarding 2019's Nationals and from Wellington's guest Musical Director Nigel Seaman. Reflect on the results of the Open Brass Grades plus the Open A Grade Concert Bands below!
At last, the final instalment of my Preview and Prediction series for the Australian National Band Championships for 2017. With a week to go, it has been exciting to go through all the competing bands and recognise their achievements and motivations going into this year's very exciting competition.
This year's Melbourne Nationals see 12 bands (following Frankston's withdrawal from the competition) compete in the Open C Grade Brass. A new National Champion will be crowned, following Latrobe Federal's back to back victory in the C Grade in 2016/17.
For whoever is crowned champion, B Grade contesting will surely not be far away. The C Grade competition has proven in the last 6 years to be a strong predictor of formidable B Grade bands, with Northern Brass (2014/15 Winners) and Marion City (2012/2013 Winners) both winning back to back C Grade titles prior to Latrobe Federal, and going on to achieve various successes in B Grade, such as Northern's 3rd place finish at the Victorian States 2017, or Marion's 3rd place at the 2017 Nationals. Could this year's winner go on to be another strong B Grade contender in years to come? Only time will tell!
The B Grade at the Melbourne Nationals is set to be a close contest. There are 13 very strong bands competing, plus there will be a new National champion, as the 2015 & 2016 champions Boroondara Brass move up to A Grade. It has been really tough to pick a winner, or even a top 3 from an extensive but formidable list of contenders.
In the last handful of years, we have rarely seen a whitewash of all four of the on stage categories, and the contests have always been close, so every piece is of significant importance. As a usual B Grade competitor with Northern Brass, I am looking forward to seeing how the B Grade pans out. There's even a little of my own Brass Band music being played so keep your eyes peeled for my name!
The Australian National Championships are only a handful of weeks away, so I am preparing some preview and prediction articles for each open brass event of the weekend. First up are the Open D Grade Brass, which will see 9 competitors contend for the National title. While it may be the smallest of the Open Grade competitions, it may well be the most competitive with many bands looking viable to take out the title!
OPINION – How the 2018 Australian National Championships Will Make for a Great Brass Banding Competition
A new year, and for brass bands-people, it's time for a new Nationals quest! With less than 12 weeks until the Melbourne Nationals, I thought I'd just share my thoughts on what should be one of the most exciting Nationals in recent history. I unfortunately will not be attending the Nationals, as you can find out about here, but I will be very interested to hear how all the grades go, and what interesting musical selections bands have made!
In the midst of all the anticipation, I think there are three things that will make the 2018 Nationals particularly noteworthy and encourage a fantastic weekend of music.
Jared loves to share his passion for music and artists through music reviews and commentaries. These include a selection of reviews written for community radio stations 3MBS and Radio Monash.