(Sunshine Coast Daily Newspaper – 4th May 2015)
THE Sunshine Coast has gained 27 new Australian champions, but their titles were not achieved in triathlon, surf lifesaving, swimming or any of the other pursuits traditionally associated with the region.
The Coast’s most recent national titleholders are the 26 members of the Sunshine Coast Youth Band and their musical director, Mr Kevin Brown. The young musicians returned to the Coast this week from Sydney, where they spent the Easter long weekend competing in the Australian National Band Championships at the University of Sydney – Seymour Centre. The youth band, whose members’ ages range from 10 to 18, won all sections in their category, the Junior C Grade Brass.
Mr Brown, a former trombonist with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra and now a music educator on the Coast, said the band performed the set contest piece, the hymn and the own choice almost faultlessly and deserved its aggregate 10 point victory.
“I am so pleased with the way our musicians performed, despite their understandable nerves,” Mr Brown said. “But more importantly, I admire the way they pursued their goal this year and the dedication they applied in the past six months of concentrated rehearsal.
“Last year the band returned from their first National Championship as second placegetters, a little disappointed because, although their aggregate equalled the winning band from Perth, we were relegated to second because of a lower score on the contest piece.
“This year we set our goals higher, determined to come out on top, and we did. The Sunshine Coast should be very proud of its new Australian champions.” As well as the band winning the national title, one of its members, soloist Bradley Foxley-Conolly won the junior bass trombone national title, outclassing his opposition.
Mr Brown said all the soloists from the Sunshine Coast who competed in their instrument categories performed well, and would be greatly improved by the experience gained. “The important thing to consider with our soloists, as with the band itself, is that they still have several years left to compete as juniors, Mr Brown said.
“There is tremendous potential for improvement before they enter the senior ranks and I have no doubt that several of them will go on to win solo titles in the years to come.”