Day 2: Another one Bites the Dust – Australian Nationals 2013

Hi Loyal Viewers,

Just a quick 2nd wrap of today’s action. Did you manage to catch the street march this morning? It was great weather, a great crowd and a pretty good spectacle. I’ve already written stuff about that so I won’t repeat myself.

Instead, I’ll talk about the Open A Grade Wind Bands. They were absolutely spectacular, and completely in a class of their own when it comes to musicality – and intonation (!). That’s when compared to the Open A Grade Brass section so far, anyway. There is another whole day of A Grade Brass to come, because they’re not hardcore enough to play an entire nationals program in one sitting (weak?). We’ll see if the brass band own choice works can bring them up to the same high level shown by the wind bands today.

I really enjoyed the performances of all the A Grade Wind Bands – I thought the NSW Band and Hobart Band were spectacular…But Rob McWilliams – the professional adjudicator – decided that the Hobart Band had the win by a whisker. I can’t rave enough about the musicality, tuning and incredible amount of work that was shown by the 4 bands that competed. If any of the Open A Grade Brass bandies had decided to come for a listen, I’m sure they would have been blown away…

It’s really interesting the way the brass band world is so isolated…bands rarely listen to each other and even more rarely listen to different genres of music. Which is a shame, because with the incredibly technical abilities of most brass bands, with a little more musicality and intonation would be really special to listen to! A few minds need to be expanded a little bit, I think.

Tomorrow is the final day of ensemble competition at the Nationals…looking forward to hearing the Open A Grade strut their stuff with the own choice selections

Continue Reading

Day 1: Done and Dusted

Hi Loyal Viewers,

I trust you all enjoyed watching the bands today – either in the hall, or in sparkling, crisp and spine-tingling high definition on the live stream.

Personally, I was mostly happy with how things went. Unfortunately the audio desk died on one channel during RASWA’s performance, which mean many Loyal Viewers were reduced to listening to the full stereo feed piped down a single mono channel. Fortunately – brains, skill and luck were on my side and I managed to re-route a completely different audio feed that had both channels for some more stereo separation. I was also very pleased with the internet available at the venue – I was able to stream out 3 separate encodes of the A and B grade bands, which I’m sure you all enjoyed. I know I would have, had I been watching.

I didn’t get to see any C or D grade bands unfortunately… but in the B Grade I thought Canning Street were slightly ahead – we’ll see what happens there on Sunday!

On the downside, it sounded like the audio wasn’t as crystal clear as it could have been. I’ll have a go at playing with some extra microphones for Sunday’s events, and see what we can do.

In terms of the bands that played, I personally (and I am a tuba player with terrible ears) had them grouped into 3 distinct sections….The top ‘bracket’ consisted of RASWA/XLCR and FYCB (in no particular order). The second ‘bracket’ consisted of Darebin, K&N and Brisbane Brass. The 3rd bracket had stalwarts Tanunda and the Feds. Again, I don’t really know what I’m talking about as I’m *just* a tuba player. That’s why tonight I’ve officially opened voting on the BPCA. You can vote on Facebook, or by sending me a message on twitter, or even an email to

Tomorrow morning I will be off to the Street March, to live stream the country’s finest bands strutting their stuff. Don’t miss it, it’s sure to be entertaining. I’ll also be streaming as many of the Wind Bands as I physically can.

Make sure you tune in!

Continue Reading

A New Dawn of Brass Banding

Loyal Viewers, I have breaking news…

On your behalf, I am incredibly pleased to announce a brand new award – and perpetual trophy – to be presented at the Australian National Band Championships. The award comes at your behest, Loyal Viewer. Ever since about 2010 this award has been presented informally, in accordance with (some) of your wishes. But, after a landslide of emails begging for formalization, Brassbanned has gone ahead and bought a trophy. “What is this award?!” I hear you ask, New Viewer?

This award is the ‘Brassbanned: People’s Choice Award’. And, Loyal and New Viewers, guess what? You are vital in determining to which band it will be awarded.

The award will be presented to the A Grade Brass Band that is voted by you to have performed the best across ALL SECTIONS of the National Championships. In many (if not most) ways, this award is superior to the “Fireman’s Helmet”, as that is awarded based only on Hymn, Test, Own Choice and March – and awarded on the opinion of one or two men sitting in the box.

The Brassbanned: People’s Choice Award – already known by many as the “BPCA” – is superior in that it will be awarded by 1000s of Loyal Viewers, and take into consideration the Street March, Overall Entertainment Value, Uniform Fashionability and a myriad other factors.

How It Will Work

  • Online Viewers can vote via Facebook, Twitter and Email
  • Audience Members can come see me and vote in person
  • I’ll very suspiciously look at all votes and work out if anyone is cheating too obviously
  • Brassbanned will collate the votes, cross check the number of fake votes, and award the trophy!
Can this ingenious method be beaten by crooks and scoundrels? Won’t this turn into one of those useless popularity contests?

Well, Loyal Viewer, I’ll do my best to make sure not too many obvious crooks and scoundrels get too much sway in the awarding of this prestigious Trophy. As to if this will become a popularity contest? It probably will. But, Loyal Viewer, think of this – the more popularity that brass bands and banding gets – the more we all win?

Continue Reading

Perth: Landed

Hi Loyal Viewers,

Team Brassbanned has landed in Perth, and are currently acclimatising ourselves and trying to regain inner zen after shifting through 3 hours of timezone changes.

We’re getting set to meet up with some of the organising committee tomorrow, to look through both Winthrop Hall and Callaway Auditorium – from where we will be streaming pretty much everything that happens. After some preliminary testing, it also looks like the Live Stream of the Street March will definitely be good to go.

As advertised, the A/B Grade Live Streams will be available on iPads/Androids/iPhones/maybe-even-blackberries-not-that-anyone-really-uses-blackberries. This year I will be streaming the top grades at around 950 kbps. This means to make sure you can watch smoothly, you should check that you have a quick enough download speed. You can do this by visiting As long as you’ve got something faster than 1 Mbps download, you’ll be good to go.

In an exciting last minute development, I think I’ll also be streaming the C/D grades in an iPhone/iPad/almost-Android friendly format. If you plan on watching these streams, you should also do a speedtest to make sure you’ve got at least 1Mbps of download speeds.

Pretty cool, right?

Continue Reading


Irrepressible media juggernaut

Follow us on:

Email Us


  • August: NZ Concert Band Festival
  • August: Victorian State Band Championships*
  • August: NSW State Band Championships