Over the Easter Weekend, the fine city of Adelaide was treated to an array of talented soloists, ensembles and bands from all over the country competing in the Yamaha 2011 National Band Championships. Footscray-Yarraville sent in the most handsome band thus far in the competition’s long history, with great hopes and aspirations of a victory in the open A Grade brass band section.
On the Thursday, soloists from the band and the world famous FYCQ (Footscray-Yarraville City Quintet) competed against the best of the best, finishing in very respectable places. A special mention goes out to the FYCQ, who placed 4th. Well done to all our magnificent and extremely attractive soloists and ensembles!
Friday saw the start of the open A Grade brass band section, beginning with the hymn and test piece. FYCB were quietly confident, having won the hymn section at last years nationals. Of course, we certainly did not disappoint! The hymn soared through Elder Hall with beautiful solos from Jamie and Paul. Next came the test piece, Vienna Nights. Few can recall Mozart ever being this exciting, with excellent stylistic contrast between classical and contemporary and wonderful solos from Brenton, Jamie, Chris, Stuart, Nicole, Rachel, Kathryn, Steve, Paul, Patricia and Laszlo.
On Saturday morning was the street march, and FYCB lived lived up to it’s reputation! Performing the brass band classic, A Fifth of Beethoven, with a full line of percussion and Tim Kelly’s famous “Tattered Tinsel Tuba”, Footscray managed to secure the (self-invented) peoples choice award!
Later that day came the own choice and stage march section. St. Magnus went quite swimmingly with great solos from our amazing players. This was a great achievement given the difficulty of the piece. Lastly came our stage march, The Wizard. Footscray played with absolute metronomic precision and excellent dynamic contrast, a great finish to our nationals campaign!
When the results were finally announced (After an hour of yelling, random applause and an excerpt from St. Magnus), FYCB took out 2nd place overall! Other awards included the “Peoples Choice Street March” award, the “Most Handsome Band” award, the “Best Uniform Colour Scheme” award and the prestigious “Most Alcohol Consumed” award!
After a long few days of intense playing, nearly every FYCB member gathered at a local pub and indulged in a victory dinner. Many laughs, congratulations and drinks were shared, followed by a raucous round of karaoke till the wee hours!
A huge pat on the back is owed to all the players for their continued effort through thick and thin, and of course a huge thanks to our maestro musical director, Phillipa, for making us sound as amazing as we did! Go Scraggers!