Waratah Brass wins 2017 East Coast of Australia Championships

Waratah Brass Members with the East Coast of Australia Championship Trophies

Waratah Brass rejoined the competitive banding world on Sunday June 11th, 2017 competing at the HRBA East Coast of Australia Championships and Festival of the Bands at the Newcastle Conservatorium of Music.

The band presented the Sacred Item: I Know Thou Art Mine by Leonard Ballantine and the Own Choice The Year of the Dragon by Philip Sparke

The band played extremely well after working hard on their selected items and we were proud of our efforts.  The band won the A/B Grade section scoring 46/50 points for the Sacred Item and 95/100 for the Own Choice.

Image Courtesy of Hunter Region Band Association.

After the serious competition in the morning, the band presented a fun entertainment program for the Festival of the Bands:

Valero by James Swearingen (arr Sandy Smith)

Under the Boardwalk by A Resnick and K Young (arr Philip Harper)
Featuring Paul Grice on Flugel Horn

Who Wants To Live Forever by Brian May (arr Philip Harper)

Sparkling Diamonds by Leo Robin, Julie Styne (arr Sandy Smith)

Midwest by Richards (arr Derek Broadbent)

The band played very well and kept the large audience entertained throughout the program.

Waratah Brass Soloists Excel in 2015 Nationals

While the band did not attend the 2015 National Band Championships, a few of our members were on the stage in various capacities.

Greg Bennett played magnificently and became the Australian National Champion in the Eb Tuba.

Greg Bennett National Champion

Not satisfied with just one instrument, Greg also competed in the Open Tenor Trombone placing 5th. However, that was still not quite enough banding for Greg so he also played with the Hunter Wind Ensemble who were the Australian National Champions in the Open C Grade Concert Band section.

David Wilks St Marys Therese Curry St Marys
Therese Curry, David Wilks and part-time member David Kimpton played with St. Mary's District Band competing in the A Grade Brass achieving 4th Place.

David also competed with Castle Hill RSL - North West Wind Ensemble who were the Australian National Champions in the A Grade Concert Band section.

Clarence LeungClarence Leung competed in the Open Cornets achieving 8th Place.

Bob Akerman competed with Toronto Brass who achieved 6th in B Grade Brass.

Hannah Gibbons who is on leave from the band, placed 3rd in Open Tenor Trombone.

We surely know how talented our players are but there is something wonderful about that talent being recognized on the national stage. Congratulations to you all!

Waratah Brass Endorses New Life Members

Stephen Grice, Leonie Wilks, Therese Curry and David Wilks with their life membership plaques

Waratah Brass is proud to announce the endorsement of four new life members: Leonie Wilks, Stephen Grice, David Wilks and Therese Curry.  The new life members were presented with their life membership and commemorative plaque at the recent 130th Anniversary Concert held at Christ Church Cathedral, Newcastle on 16th November, 2014 by Waratah Brass President Rochelle Buckton.

Each member was endorsed following a speech on their history with and contributions to the band (full text of the speeches can be read on the Life Members page.

Waratah Brass Honors Milton Morris AO with Life Membership

Grahame Scott, Milton Morris, Jimmy McNeillWaratah Brass is proud to announce our newest Life Member The Honorable Milton Morris AO.  Mr Morris was presented with his life membership and commemorative plaque at the recent Proms at the Lake concert on 29th September, 2013 by another Waratah Brass Life Member Jimmy McNeill.  Grahame Scott gave a wonderful speech on Mr Morris' life, career and association with the band. 

Milton Morris AO is a most respected politician who represented the Electoral district of Maitland between March 1956 and August 1980. 24 years, which included 10 years as Minister for Transport. He was also Minister for Lands and Minister for Decentralisation and Development at various times.

On his departure from parliament, he was permitted by Queen Elizabeth II, on the Governor's recommendation, to continue to use the title "The Honorable”.   With regard to Honours, in 1988, he became an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for his contribution to politics, youth and the community.

Not one to sit on his afterthoughts, following his retirement Mr Morris has supported the local area by serving with a number of Community based organisations.

Chairman of Hunter Valley Training.
Honorary Chairman of Lewis House Apprentice Hostel, Mayfield
Patron of East Maitland sub branch, Returned Serviceman's League
Patron of Mai Wel Handicapped Association.
Honorary Prefect of Hunter Christian School (formally Mayfield Christian Community School)

And: Patron of Waratah Brass

During the time Milton has been involved with Waratah Brass he has taken a keen interest in the organisation, particularly to do with the training band, Wallsend Youth and Community Brass. As our patron, Milton has been generous in many ways to Waratah Brass and we as an organisation owe much to him, although, he would have none of that!

Waratah Brass Appoints Musical Director

Rowan Taylor, Musical DirectorWaratah Brass is pleased to announce the appointment of a new musical director, Rowan Taylor BMus(Hons) AMusA.  Rowan has been a member of the band for several years and has been acting Musical Director since July 2012.

Rowan graduated from the University of Newcastle Conservatorium in 2007, after studying classical performance on the tuba. His teachers include Steve Rosse, Brendon Lukin and James Campbell.

He is a well-established musician in the Hunter and Central Coast region, working as a private music tutor, performer, composer and conductor. Her regularly performs with the University of Newcastle Wind Orchestra, Waratah Brass, the Central Coast Symphony Orchestra and is a founding member of national champion brass quintet Lakeside Brass.

Rowan is currently finishing a Masters degree studying the role of the tuba in the orchestra, wind band and brass band.

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