2019. What a year! And, there is still more to come, as the band heads into the final 'Brass in the Park' themed Christmas Concerts with the City of Darwin.
We thought that we would have a quick look at the year in review for the Darwin City Brass Band. Perhaps an opportunity to post some images or video's that have not previously seen the light of day, but an opportunity for the band to look at the year in review.
2019 kicked off nice and early for the band. An invitation from the Airport Tavern with an invite to have the band perform for Australia Day. This meant that the band had to convene slightly earlier for rehearsal and for some, 'tongue in cheek', this meant that the instruments came of their cases a few weeks earlier than what would have ordinarily happened. This was an enjoyable event and our first performance for 2019, all on a monsoonal afternoon jam packed hard core Australiana. Well done to Musical Director Ron Roberts, Deputy Musical Director/Band Sergeant Henry May, vocalists Sand Williams and Kat Lee, as well as members of the band.
International Womans Day Walk
On Saturday the 9th of March, the band participated in the International Women's Day Walk in Darwin City including some great bass drum work by Hollie from our percussion section in what was her first official play-out with the band. No pressure Hollie!
Once again the band was honoured to be involved and continuing the long tradition of a brass band marching for the citizens and service personnel of Darwin and surrounds. But this year there was a twist, with the band notably short in the 'bang crash' department.
A combination of circumstances indicated the very real prospect of the band marching without any percussionists this year, most notably side drummers. So, we took to print with an article in the NT News, and this was quickly picked up by ABC Radio, who subsequently interviewed MD Ron Roberts. (Listen here)
Brass In the Park Twilight Series.
In his annual report, outgoing President Andrew Stone spoke of the importance of the 'Brass In the Park Twilight Series'. Andrew said;
'The mid-year ‘Brass In the Park’ concert series saw the band perform on 4 occasions through May and June in key parks and reserve’s around the City. The City of Darwin was delighted with the final outcome of these concerts, and they now form the catalyst for more ‘Brass In The Park’ styled concerts in just a few weeks’ this time with a distinct Christmas flavour'
The Brass In Park Concert series was a huge commitment for the band members, and proved ultimately highly successful. There were some wonderful pictures captured as the band performed into the beautiful dry season evenings. This was an opportunity for the band to take 'live' music into the community, and it all dove tailed nicely into the City of Darwin's key objective of bring community events and performances into the City's park and reserves. Highlights, well, there were many. We think the following image best sums up the success for Brass in the Park.
Darwin Sailing Club - Opening of the Sailing Season - May.
And, if May wasn't busy enough with Brass In The Park the band also performed at the Darwin Sailing Club, Commodores Opening Day.
The band performed light entertainment music, with a nautical theme. After the official event had finished the band headed down onto the beach, for the now traditional band photo, complete with Chief Minister Michael Gunner who just happens to be the Territory MP for Fannie Bay.
Sanderson Family Fun Day - June
Darwin City Brass Band had the pleasure of performing at the Sanderson Family Fun Day 30 June 2019. Kate Woden MLA is a great supporter of the band, and the band, naturally was pleased to support this family event in the electorate of Sanderson.
Darwin Military Museum - 50th Anniversary Celebrations - August.
In August the band was invited to perform for the ‘Darwin Military Museum’s 50th Anniversary Celebrations’. This was billed as the bands major concert performance for the year, and some considerable preparation and planning went into this performance. To supplement key positions within the band, 3 musicians joined our ranks from inter-state, namely Julie Dorey on Cornet and Janet Carey on Baritone both from Adelaide, together with John Kellaway on Cornet from Newcastle. John is a regular addition to the band.
The addition of these musicians presented an opportunity for the band to perform at that next maturity level in what ultimately proved to be a difficult operating venue.
The band also performed for a flag lowering ceremony and later on the same evening, a smaller ensemble went on to perform cocktail music, for the invited guests and dignitaries at an after function. Having regard for the day, it was a solid commitment and the band performed to a high standard.
Celebration of Aviation - September 2019
In the September, the band went on to perform at the Darwin Aviation Museum in celebration of the Great Air Race of 1919. The band was joined by guest vocalist Shalom Kaa, as well as one the the band's talented vocalists Sand Williams.
The band performed and accompanied by Shalom singing a specially commissioned arrangement 'Our Flying Boys' all about the Great Air Race of 1919.
Remembrance Day - November
Members of the Darwin City Brass Band participated in the 2019 Remembrance Day service in Darwin held at Bicentennial Park, Darwin on the 11th of November.
Band member Bill Buckley (who was MC for Remembrance Day proceedings) and Musical Director Ron Roberts are pictured here shortly after the service.
Well done to the Darwin City Brass Band for their contribution to the Remembrance Day service and our thanks to the Darwin RSL for inviting the band to play.
Indian Coast Guard Visit to Darwin - November
In November, members of the Darwin City Brass Band were invited to assist the Australian Boarder Force welcome the offshore patrol vessel ICG Ship (ICGS) Shaurya.
At 105 metres in length and with a crew of 110 officers and sailors, the ICGS Shaurya is one of the latest generation offshore patrol vessels built by India to significantly bolster its coast guard fleet in the wake of the 2008 Mumbai attacks. The band was delighted to be involved in providing music, with a 'nautical theme' at the formal welcoming event held at Fort Hill Wharf.
End of Year Function and Awards Night - November.
A great night was had by all, who attended this years end of year function and awards night. It was a great honour to have Lord Mayor Kon Vatskalis in attendance. Congratulations to Julie-Anne Lubke who was conferred the honour of a Life Membership for extraordinary service and dedication to the Darwin City Brass Band. Julie-Anne has been involved with the band since the 1990s and has fulfilled many roles, some of them simultaneously, Tenor Horn player, Tutor, Secretary and Librarian just to name a few.
Congratulations to Terry Roth for the Presidents selection of 'Band-person of the Year'. Like a good wine, Terry improves with age, and is a key member of the Trombone Section.
Annual General Meeting - November
The Annual General Meeting of the Darwin City Brass Band was held on Tuesday 26th of November 2019.
Congratulations to the newly appointed committee for the next 12 months.
President: Carol Atkinson, Vice President: Terry Roth, Secretary: Geoffrey Coote, Treasurer: Barbara Eather, Committee members: Julie-Anne Lubke, Julia Schult, Oliver Locos, Bruce Cartwright and David Ambrose.
Sommerville Carols - December
The band was once again delighted to help Sommerville celebrate the magic and wonders of the Christmas season on Thursday the 5th of December. The band, joined the Sing Song Signers and the Vox Crox choir, for what traditionally marks the start of a very busy time for the band.
Our Intermediate Band however under the very competent tutelage of Craig McGiffen has seen musician numbers supplemented earlier this year drawn from our Saturday morning Beginners Program. Our thanks to Mr McGiffen for a very successful program for 2019.
As we conclude this wrap up, we remember past players that have passed away this year. In memory of Colyn Bierton.
And the final word, as we head into the last of the Christmas performances....
Have we forgetten something in this wrap up for the year. Quite possibly. Have we forgotten to acknowledge someone. Also, quite possibly. But.... Darwin City Brass Band, give yourself a big pat on the back, for a great year and for your part in bringing live music to the City of Darwin. Merry Xmas everyone.