Well we’re already well into 2016, and it’s shaping up to be another exciting year for the Ballarat Municipal Brass Band.
2015 was another fun and successful year for the Band. After our strong performance at the VBL State Championships at South Street, the Band went on to perform at a number of community events and fundraisers, before finishing the year with our annual trip to Mt Gambier for the Blue Lake Brass Band Festival, where we won the C Grade contest this year, and of course our regular appearance at Meredith Music Festival.
Here are some snaps from the second half of the year:
Light the Night Leukaemia Foundation Fundraiser
Putting the ‘Fun’ into ‘Fun Run’
At attention for the Mt Gambier Street March contest
At the start of the Mt Gambier Christmas Parade
Just after our contest performance at Mt Gambier
The Band has recently resumed rehearsals at our newly refurbished band room at 212 Ripon Street Sth.
Be sure to keep an eye on our calendar for details of rehearsals and upcoming gigs and contests. We always welcome new members, so just pop in and introduce yourself if you’re keen to be a part of the action. Otherwise, we hope to see you in the audience at one of our shows in 2016!
It’s been a fun year so far for the band, and there are some big plans for the next few months, so it’s time for a little update to keep you in the loop.
So far this year we’ve played at the Australia Day celebrations at Lake Wendouree, and made our regular appearances at the Begonia Festival and the Ballan Street Festival. Thanks to everyone who has come out to listen and support the band.
Begonia Festival Parade – 9 March 2015
Ballan Street Festival Parade – 22 March 2015
April is a big month for us, with two important events to mark ANZAC Day. In May we’ll be on the balcony at the George Hotel once again for Heritage Weekend. Check our calendar page for details and times for all upcoming events.
In other news, our band room is undergoing a major renovation at the moment, so we’re practicing at the Memorial Band Room in Barkly Street for the next month or two. Also, our new uniforms are on the way, so expect to see a really different look for the band soon.
Thanks for checking in to the web site, and we hope to see you soon at one of our gigs!
It’s been a busy few months for the band, so we’d thought we’d better give you an update of what we’ve been up to and what’s coming up for the rest of the year.
August was a big month for competitions. We had a strong performance in the VBL State Championships at South Street, finishing just two points off the winner, Croydon Citizens’ Brass Band. You can check the results here.
We also played at a contest in Maryborough, where we were lucky enough to take out first prize.
We’ve got a busy schedule coming up too, including a trip to Mt Gambier, Christmas Carols on Sturt St, and our famous regular appearance at the Meredith Music Festival in December. You can check out the schedule here.
Be sure to follow us on Twitter, or even better, come and support us as we play during the festive season.
The Band recently announced the permanent appointment of a new Music Director, Mr Mark Witham, who has been acting in that role since the departure of our previous MD.
Mark brings with him a wealth of experience as a player (euphonium and trombone), band leader, music teacher, arranger and composer of band music.
His distinguished career includes many successful years in the Australian Army Band, followed by several leading and teaching roles in Sydney schools. He is currently the Director of Performing Arts and Director of Music at St Patrick’s College in Ballarat.
The band has already had a great time with Mark at the helm, and we’re looking forward to working with him in the months and years ahead as we continue to grow and improve.
We just wish he’d let us play Hootenanny from time to time!
The band continued its close association with the Begonia Festival again in 2014.
This year we played a 45 minute set on the main entertainment stage, cranking out some of our crowd favourites like Aces High, Angels and a barnstorming finale in the form of the World’s Greatest Hits medley.
And of course we once again marched in the famous Begonia Festival Parade, where we played our old favourite, St Kilda, for the thousands of people that lined the streets.
The Begonia Festival web site can be found here if you’re looking for more details about the event.
Playing at community events is a big part of what we do in the Ballarat Municipal Brass Band. It’s always great to get out in public and meet and entertain the people of Ballarat.
The Australia Day festivities in the gardens near Lake Wendouree is always a lovely afternoon, as people come down with their picnic rugs and have a listen as they wait for the big firework display later in the evening.
We start proceedings with Advance Australia Fair, then play some classic Australian songs mixed in with some contemporary arrangements to get people in the mood to celebrate.
Here are some photos from this year’s Australia Day gig: