Music Director of the Brisbane Excelsior Band Howard Taylor is preparing his band for the Federation of Australasian Brass Bands’ upcoming BRASSFEST 2013.
The Federation of Australasian Brass Bands (FABB) is an organization that has, over the past five years, tried to make brass bands regain relevant in their communities. FABB achieves this through its annual brass festival which was held at Twin Towns on the Gold Coast until 2011. The event is designed to stimulate and encourage community brass bands to have a more professional outlook when considering their choice of repertoire and in the delivery of that repertoire.
I was very excited when FABB Chairman Rick Casagrande spoke to me about his initial thoughts on introducing a new competition for brass bands down under. It is always an easy decision for me as the Music Director of the Brisbane Excelsior Band to take part in the festival as I have a strong belief in the direction being taken by the FABB organisers.
Coming from the UK, I was used to competing in contests nearly every month – apart from a few weeks in the summer and Christmas, it was a continual stream of concerts and competitions.
‘The Australasian Open’ was launched back in 2008 and was the first competition to introduce major prize monies for the competitors. The inaugural FABB Contest was a great success, attracting 9 of the best bands from NZ and Aus. NZ Champion band Woolston Brass came away with top honours in both disciplines that year. Other winners over the years have been Kew Band, Gunnedah Shire Band and Brisbane Excelsior.
The event for 2013 (BRASSFEST) is now even more exciting with the concept gaining the backing of the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC). It will be held in association with Yamaha Music Australia who I understand have been a very enthusiastic supporter of FABB.
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