*This article was written for the British Bandsman Magazine*
Sydney City Brass, under Jason Katsikaris, have claimed the Australian National A Grade title for 2019, conquering some of the biggest names in Australian banding in the process. Finishing 10 points clear of WA Brass under David Bremner in 2nd place, the newly formed Sydney group left a lasting impression on the banding community, not least of which being Steven Mead in the adjudicator’s box. Brisbane City Hall’s Main Auditorium’s rich reverb proved to be a popular acoustic for the event.
At last, the final instalment of my Preview and Prediction series for the Australian National Band Championships for 2019. 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 lively competition.
The A grade this year is set to be a sensational event, with 11 bands competing for the top spot (after the withdrawal of both Footscray Yarraville City and Holroyd Brass Band). There will be some regular contenders as well as some seemingly new bands to the A Grade competition.
The Open B Grade Brass will be the largest of all the band events at the Australian Nationals in 2019. There are an incredible 16 bands competing in Brisbane, three more than last year’s Melbourne Nationals. Cairns Brass’ promotion to the Open A Grade leaves the B Grade title open for a new winner in 2019.
In the last few 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 will be significant. As a B Grade competitor myself with Northern Brass, I am looking forward to seeing how the B Grade pans out. There's even a premiere or two of my music in the Open B Grade this year, so keep your ears perked for some new music through the weekend!
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.