Gunnedah Shire Band continues to showcase its musical talents on a national scale, winning the title of Junior A-Grade Brass Band champions for the fourteenth year in a row.
The award-winning band recently returned from Launceston where it competed in the 2017 Yamaha National Band Championships.
A number of the band’s members also competed in solo events to great success. Maja Heath won the Junior Flugel and Rhiannon Heath won the Junior Tenor Horn, while Oscar King won the Junior Low Tuba.
Placings were gained by Katelin Bush (Junior Tenor Horn 3), Josh Green (Junior Baritone 2), Ryan King (Junior Trombone 2), Peter McCormack (Junior Bass Trombone 3) and Patrick Grant (Junior Low Tuba 2).
The Open B-Grade placed a “very credible” fourth with fine performances, according to band master Laurence Rowe.
“The senior band competed against bands from across Australia to win the hymn tune section, but were outgunned by bands from Boroondara (Melbourne), Cairns and Marion City (Adelaide) in the test, own choice and stage march events,” Laurence said.
“Our band played to its potential and to be placed fourth overall is a great result for us.”
Band conductor Anthony Rowe said he was impressed by the ability of the junior band to defend its title every year.
“There were 30 players in our junior band for this competition. Many were under 12, competing in their first major competition,” he said.
“Our juniors continue to perform to a high level, and impress all who hear them. I am very proud of them.
“The future for the band looks right for some time yet.”
Laurence said adjudicator, Kevin Cameron, remarked on the “high standard” of the B-grade bands and said the top bands are on the verge of A-grade.
The band master said he accredits the band’s success to the special ability of its conductor, Anthony Rowe and “the willingness of members to commit wholeheartedly” to the band’s efforts.
“We have something very special at Gunnedah,” Laurence said.
“The results clearly reflect this.”
Band president Will Heath said he could not be prouder of the musicians’ performances at nationals.
“Their playing was outstanding and they are such great ambassadors for Gunnedah,” he said.