The Sunshine Coast Youth Band (“Bright as Brass”) participated in the Australian National Band Championships held in Launceston in April of 2017. The band (who has been considered a C Grade band) entered the B Grade section for this competition. Despite being the only band entered in this category the scores achieved indicated that they would have been successful if entered in the A Grade section. The test piece was “Diogenes” and all technical challenges were nicely met. The band left Launceston with 5 trophies.
The months of rehearsal were worth the time as the 30 member band have now gained greater confidence and knowledge of competition procedure.

The average age of the band is 15 years with some only 11 years old. Senior members of the band also entered the solo and ensemble competition which resulted in 4 members being crowned Australian champions – Bailey Comollatti – Junior Euphonium, Liam Reed – Junior Bass Trombone, Madeleine Fitzgerald – Junior High Tuba and Brady Foxley-Conolly – Open Bass Trombone.

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The Queensland Band Championships were held in October 2016 at the Redcliffe Community Centre drawing bands from around Queensland for this major event.   Because of commitments with the Qld Education Department many young brass musicians were also required to participate in a State ‘Elite’ program at the Conservatorium of Music that weekend, meaning that the youth bands had to complete their entire competition program on the one occasion, as against the senior bands who met over two days.

The Sunshine Coast Youth Band performed against bands from Brisbane where the test piece for these championships was Antarctica by Carl Wittrock  The band was successful in winning this test piece together their own choice and march.  This is the third year in a row that the band has been crowned Queensland Champions.  It the absence of their conductor, Kevin Brown, a guest conductor was invited and the band which to thank Phil Smith for conducting the band on this occasion.

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(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.”

Sunshine Coast Youth Band[758]

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The band entered its first National Championships in 2014. This was held in Brisbane at St. Laurence’s College. The band played an exciting program, however, the result meant that we tied with a band from Perth and as it gained more points on the test piece it was the eventual winner. The experienced gained from this competition was invaluable for the future music growth for the members of the band.

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The Sunshine Coast Youth Band was formed in 2012 to compete at the Queensland Band Championships. As the band did not have available traditional brass band instruments, French horns and trumpets were initially used. The result was that the band won their first competition held at St.Laurence’s College in Brisbane. It was another 12 months before the band was able to give players cornets and tenor horns.

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