Waratah Brass was excited to compete in the NSW Band Championships held at the Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre, Penrith, NSW on Saturday 25th August, 2012. After missing the competition the last few years, it was great to be back battling it out with the top bands from NSW.
The band played the Sacred Item: Meditation – Sacrament by Kenneth Downie, a piece that combines sweet and melodic sections interspersed with minor and serious-sounding elements.
The A Grade Brass Test Piece, set by the NSW Band Association, was Journey into Freedom by Eric Ball. A piece that vividly depicts the struggle of humanity against a materialistic, industrial machine-like society, eventually resulting in the joyous victory of freedom.
The band’s Own Choice selection was Tallis Variations by Philip Sparke. Based on the hymn tune written by Thomas Tallis 1567, the piece showcased not only the band’s melodic sound but also it’s technical abilities. Another point of interest in this composition is the use of mutes to achieve different sounds from the instruments. Indeed, at one point the entire band is muted and while the mute is a common tool used in the cornet parts, a muted Eb & Bb Bass is not something you see every day!
The band played well and we were proud of our efforts. We placed 4th in the A Grade section.
We want to extend our special thanks to Rod Lowe & Rowan Taylor for conducting the band, to the players who came in to cover some missing seats and to the players in the band who switched seats and in some cases even changed instruments to cover missing parts.