The Bands Get Back Together

It’s been a long road through months of lockdown, but today we’re on the verge of getting the bands back together! Now that vaccination rates are high enough, we’re allowed to run small group rehearsals at the band hall and we’ll slowly get back to playing live music.

We’re in the process of planning our concert series for 2022, and we’ll be participating in the NSW State Band Championships that were postponed from 2021.

There’s plenty of work to do and we’re just getting started, so watch this space for updates over the next few months.

P.S. Once again, a big Thank You to our dedicated Musical Directors for their efforts running weekly online get togethers to keep us all in touch and thinking about music!

Concert Cancellations

Sadly, we’ve had to cancel the remaining concerts we had planned for 2021.

While there is some light at the end of the COVID-tunnel, none of our bands are currently able to rehearse face-to-face at the moment and we expect that it will be a while before enough restrictions are lifted to enable us to prepare a concert.

We’re hoping that we might be able to hold an outdoor concert before Christmas, keep your fingers (and toes!) crossed and we’ll let you know!

In the meantime, we hope everyone is doing well in these difficult times, and that we’ll get back to live music soon.

Wollongong Eisteddfod Success!

Congratulations to all of our Junior Brass members who participated in the 2021 Wollongong Eisteddfod! We had a great turn out this year with competitors in a variety of Solo, Duet/Trio, and Ensemble events, with some great results:

QuinnWind Instrument Solo (13-16yrs)Highly Commended
Jerome20th/21st Century Wind Instrument Solo (13-16yrs)3rd Place
Sara & ThomasInstrumental Ensemble Duets and Trios (Open Age)Highly Commended
Joseph, Josef, Aaron, Nick & JaxonMini Groups 3-8 Players (13 years and under)2nd Place
Junior Brass BandInstrumental Ensemble 9 or more Players (Open Age)1st Place

A special mention goes to the Junior Brass Band who won their Open Age Ensemble event, they sounded great on the night and their success was well deserved.

A big thank you also to our Junior Brass M.D. Des Cannings who organised all the entries, backing tracks, accompanists and rehearsals for the competitors.

ANZAC Day 2021

We’re very excited to be participating in ANZAC Day services in 2021! Our band members will be up bright-and-early, playing hymns and national anthems in support of ANZAC Day events at Shellharbour (Harrison Park) and Windang (Windang Bowling Club), and we’ll also be providing a small drum corps for the march in Wollongong.

We hope you can join us to commemorate this very special day.

Nationals 2021: Illawarra Brass Results

Congratulations to the Illawarra Brass Band on their Australian National Online Festival of Bands 2021 awards!

Major WorkSinfonietta No. 2 (Etienne Crausaz)Silver
Stage MarchKnight Templar (George Allen)Silver
Sacred ItemMomentum (Thomas Doss)Silver
Concert ItemBatman: The Movie (Danny Elfman arr. A Catherall)Silver

A big thank you to our MD Des Cannings and all the players for their hard work and commitment to the band, and great results for a new ensemble in its competition debut in Open B Grade.

Nationals 2021: Senior Wind Results

Congratulations to our Senior Wind Band on their Australian National Online Festival of Bands 2021 awards!

Major WorkOpen Space (Brian Balmages)Platinum
Stage MarchThe Little Ripper March (David Stanhope)Silver
Sacred ItemIn Stillness (Brian Hogg)Platinum
Concert ItemOverture de Argentina (James Ployhar)Gold

A big thank you to our MD Leanne Walton and all the players for their hard work and commitment to the band.

Nationals 2021: Junior Brass Results

Congratulations to our Junior Brass Band on their Australian National Online Festival of Bands 2021 awards!

Major WorkThe Chronicles of Narnia (Harry Gregson-Williams)Silver
Stage MarchSt Kilda (C Trussel)Silver
Sacred ItemAmazing Grace (William Himes)Silver

A big thank you to our MD Des Cannings and all the players for their hard work and commitment to the band.

Nationals 2021: Senior Brass Results

Congratulations to our Senior Brass Band on their Australian National Online Festival of Bands 2021 awards!

Major WorkViking Age (Thierry Deleruyelle)Gold
Stage MarchArmy of the Nile (Kenneth J. Alford)Gold
Sacred ItemThe Day Thou Gavest (Phillip Wilby)Silver

A big thank you to our MD Kevin Skues and all the players for their hard work and commitment to the band.

Australian National Online Festival Of Bands 2021

It’s a wrap!

All of our bands have been working extra hard over the past few months to prepare entries for the Australian National Online Festival Of Bands 2021. The festival is replacing the National Band Championships this year because of the uncertainty and unpredictable state border closures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. All of the participating bands have prepared video/audio recordings of their performances and submitted them to the festival organisers for adjudication.

The performances will be streamed by BrassBanned over the Easter weekend (April 2-5).

Some of the performances with be streamed as audio only because we weren’t always able to get permission from the music publishers to prepare a video recording. We want to thank the composers, arrangers, and publishers who were generous enough to give us video synchronisation permission free of charge, including Brolga Music, David Stanhope, Etienne Crausaz. Other publishers like Hal Leonard/De Haske gave us permission to stream the videos during the festival, but the versions uploaded to YouTube after the festival will be audio only.

This year Wollongong has submitted entries for 4 bands, and a total of 14 individual pieces of music. Some of our junior members performed in all 4 bands, and have worked very hard to produce some great performances.

The 2021 festival will also mark the debut of the newest band Wollongong has to offer. “Illawarra Brass” was formed in January 2021 to record entries for the festival, bringing together past and present members of the Wollongong brass bands with a few guest performers into an incredibly talented ensemble. The local public were lucky enough to get a sneak peak at the Illawarra Brass debut concert on 7 March, but the rest of the world will have to wait until the BrassBanned live stream. The concert also featured the Wollongong Junior Brass band who played their festival program for the first time in public. It was a great success and a welcome return to live music performance, albeit with a relatively small and appropriately COVID-spaced audience.

We’re excited that all of our hard work will be presented to the world over Easter, and can’t wait to hear what the other bands around Australia have contributed to the festival!

Adult Beginners Band 2021

Not everyone is fortunate enough to learn a musical instrument in their early years, but it’s never too late to pick one up and give it a go.

Building on the success of our junior/beginner band programmes, we’re hoping to offer a new opportunity for adult beginners in 2021. Whether you’ve just always wanted to learn and never had time, used to play an instrument at school and let if fall by the wayside, want to learn a second instrument, or just want to catch up to your kids’ level of musical ability, this could be the chance you’ve been waiting for.

We’re still gathering expressions of interest and working out the details, but here’s what we’ve decided so far:

  • It’ll be for adult beginners, no prior musical experience required.
  • It’ll be a wind/concert band (brass, woodwind, and percussion).
  • We’ll teach you how to read music.
  • We’ll teach you how to play and maintain your instrument.
  • It’ll be great fun!

If you’re interested, contact us or come along to the kick-off meeting at 6:00pm on Friday 29 January 2021 at the Woonona High School Hall (entry at the end of Nicholson Rd, Woonona). Please bring a face mask in case the weather demands that we meet inside and COVID restrictions are still in force.

Hope to see you there!