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!
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.