Sunday 15 September 2019
The City of Greater Dandenong Band placed first in both the A and B Grade sections at the Latrobe Valley Eisteddfod!
On top of this, all 3 of our small ensembles placed first in their sections as well!
Congratulations to Rachael Shineton and Todd O'Shea for winning the Open Any Instrument Duet/Trio. Our Quintet with Rachael and Todd again as well as Colin Harrison, David Martin, and Paul Simmonds were awarded the Clyde Couch Shield for first place in the Open Any Instruments Quartet/Quintet. And our Dectet comprised of all those in the Quintet plus Cathy Bardi, Neil Bassett, Jenny Corcoran, Cass de Lacy-Vawdon, Malcolm Reid, Rachelle Thom and lead by Todd were awarded the Les Davidson Shield for first place in the Open Any Instruments Ensemble 6-10 Players!
A big Thank You also to the sponsors of the sections we competed in; Louis Couch, Alan Wilson Insurance Brokers, Mr & Mrs R Batten, Keith Chenhall Chariatable Trust, as well as all of the other sponsors of the many events over the weekend.
A huge thank you to all our Band Members, supporters & Committee, our helper - Caitlin Taylor, all of the Eisteddfod organisers & volunteers, adjudicator - Louisa Trewartha, and all of the other musicians and bands who performed.
It's always a great event and weekend - this year was no exception!
LATROBE VALLEY EISTEDDFOD WINS!
ONE SMALL STEP FOR BAND -
ONE GIANT CABARET FOR BANDKIND!
The City of Greater Dandenong Band marked the 50th anniversary of the 1969 moon landing in style with our space themed cabaret held on 20 July 2019. Performing to an audience of almost 300 people in Springvale City Hall, the evening was certainly one to remember. Featuring special guests including the Voices of Casey Choir, vocalist Danielle Matthews, and a world premiere performance of a Jared McCunnie work performed on euphonium by Fletcher Mitchell, the band took us from the Earth, to the Stars, and beyond!
The evening was ignited with a rendition of Strauss’s fanfare Also Sprach Zarathustra Sonnenaufgang (Sunrise), made famous for its use in Stanley Kubrick's 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey, before transitioning into the energetic and exhilarating Starburst by Dan Price.
Throughout the evening the Band was joined by Australian singer, musical theatre, and cabaret artist Danielle Matthews. Danielle inspired the audience to Imagine (John Lennon) all the people sharing all the world, and that From a Distance (Bette Midler) the world looks blue and green, before lifting us to new heights with a stunning performance of Kate Miller-Heidke’s Zero Gravity.
Once again, Band members Maddi Vargo Mathers (cornet) and Cassi de Lacy-Vawdon (flugel horn) showcased their talents beyond brass instruments. Maddi took the audience on a lunar experience with beautiful renditions of Jazz standards How High the Moon and Fly me to the Moon. Later in the evening, Cassi was joined by her sister Bronte de Lacy-Vawdon for a haunting rendition of David Bowie’s Life on Mars before performing Van Morrison’s Moondance as a big band arrangement with the Band.
Also featured within the Band was Rachael Shinetone in a stirring performance of Stars from Les Misérables featuring solo trombone. Having joined the Band only this year, Rachael has embraced her role as principle trombonist, more than doing justice to the song usually performed by a lamenting Javert in stage performances of Les Misérables. Paying homage to the late, great Freddy Mercury and the surviving members of Queen, The Band performed a song about humankind’s inability to live harmoniously. The epic, Innuendo, featured the solo cornet section, and particularly Band president, Timothy Hellyer, and Damien Lord.
The Voices of Casey Choir delighted audiences in their debut appearance at a City of Greater Dandenong Band concert. Performing the Irving Berlin classic Blue Skies, as well as other classics including Fire and Rain and Catch a Falling Star, before being joined by Danielle Matthews for 1966 R&B/soul rock song Ain’t No Mountain High Enough. Joining the Choir and Danielle on piano was accompanist Jodie Lockyer.
One of the standout moments of the evening was the world premiere of Freefall, composed by local Melbourne composer Jared McCunnie. Jointly commissioned by Fletcher Mitchell and the City of Greater Dandenong Band, Freefall is inspired by Red Bull Stratos, the 2012 project that saw Felix Baumgartner break the world record for the highest freefall jump from the edge of the Earth’s atmosphere. Freefall sees the euphonium soloist take the role of Felix, whilst the musical accompaniment represents the people on Earth. Featuring Fletcher Mitchell, Yamaha Performing Artist and Clinician based in Brisbane, on euphonium, Freefall is a musical marvel, demonstrating the superb capacity of instrument and performer alike.
But of course, no space themed Cabaret would be complete without the likes of the march Mercury, Peter Graham’s Drums of Thunder from the Windows of the World suite, or the themes from space enterprises such as March of the Resistance from Star Wars, the Thunderbirds theme, or the main theme from Star Trek – The Next Generation. Finally, the Cabaret was rounded out with a massed performance of Elton John’s Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me.
One Small Step for Band was brought to you by the City of Greater Dandenong Band under the expert direction of Musical Director Jamie Lawson. Joining us for the evening, and tying everything together, was Phillipa Edwards as compere. Working behind the scenes were innumerable people for whom we are incredibly grateful. These people include (but certainly are not limited to) Cathy Bardi, Jonathan de Lacy, Cassi de Lacy-Vawdon, Phillipa Edwards, Benjamin Gebert, Stephanie Gilfedder, Timothy Hellyer, Catherine Hillman, Matt Hillman, Sharryn Lydall-Smith, Jamie Lawson, Todd O'Shea, Trudy O'Shea, Natalie Potenzi, Cameron Sanders, Rachael Shineton, Abby Smith, Em Smith, Sharon Tacey, David Taylor, and Rachelle Thom.
We would also like to say a very big thank you to out raffle sponsors for their very generous donations this year, including Australian Venue Co., Bright Chalet, Hepburn Bathhouse & Spa, HP Gaming, The Oracle Owl, Yarra Valley Lodge, and Woodfire Pizzeria & Cucina.
Most of all, though, the Band would like to thank the audience for their ongoing support. We look forward to seeing you all again next year for another spectacular night!
Article by Cassi de Lacy-Vawdon
Photography by Benjamin Gebert
CANCELLED NATIONAL BAND CHAMPIONSHIPS
Friday 17 January 2020
Today we are deeply saddened to hear the news of the passing of a true legend and gentleman of the brass band community, Ian Mathers B.E.M. Ian passed away peacefully, aged 89, at Angliss Hospital on Thursday night following a massive stroke on Wednesday morning. He was not in pain and was with family when he passed away.
Ian's contribution to Kew Band as well as brass banding not only in Victoria but across Australia can never be overstated and the City of Greater Dandenong Band was honoured to have his services and skills for a number of years while his son, Michael was our Musical Director.
It is clear from all of the posts and comments today that Ian was known, loved, and highly respected by so many in the brass band world. For those that may not have had the privilege of meeting Ian or may not know of his remarkable contribution to our community, then please take a moment to read on for a brief summary of Ian’s brass band life and thank him for all that he did and gave to us.
Ian joined the East Kew Citizens Band in 1941 at the tender age of 11 as a drummer. His association with that band would become legendary and it has been said on numerous occasions that Ian Mathers is Kew Band.
In 1953 (aged 23) he became secretary of the East Kew Citizens Band and oversaw the amalgamation of that band with the Kew City Band to create the Kew Citizens' Band in 1957. Following the formation, Ian remained as Secretary for some time 'retiring' only for a short three year period to be President before returning to the position. In total he held the position of Secretary for a period of 45 years before being compulsorily retired by his son Michael who was Band President at the time.... a move Michael insists was for his own good, not the band's.
During his time at Kew Band, Ian was not only the Secretary but was also an active playing member and Drum Major. He was elected President of the Victorian Bands' League in 1979 and immediately oversaw the formation of, and indeed was founding Band Manager of, the Victorian State Youth Brass Band. Ian was President of the VBL for four years before stepping aside. By popular demand, he was re-elected to the role in 1993 serving in that role for a further three years.
Ian was in charge of organising numerous overseas trips for Kew Band including the Phillipines in 1980, America in 1984 and Japan in 1999. In addition he was Secretary of Australian Brass (the annually formed national band comprising the 'best of the best') on several occasions. He was also Chief Drill Adjudicator for several National Band Championships and was highly sought after to adjudicate at various other State and regional championships around the country.
In 1981 Ian was awarded the British Empire Medal in the Queen's Birthday honours list ".... for services to brass banding in Australia". His other personal awards include a Life Membership of Kew Band, Life Membership of the Victorian Bands' League, Life Membership of the National Band Council of Australia and various other honour badges from the Victorian Bands' League.
We extend our sincere condolences and love to Wendy, Michael, Nicole, Maddi, Hannah, Sarah, Daniel, and all of Ian’s family and friends.
HELP IS ON ITS WAY
Friday 3 January 2020
Wow, what a year! 2019 was a yet another big one for the City of Greater Dandenong Band. We welcomed our new musical director, Jamie Lawson, who has slotted into our band seamlessly and is continuing to lead the band to new heights.
The band started the year with a bang where we had the opportunity to play at Government House for their Australia Day celebrations. Hosted by the Hon. Linda Dessau and Mr Anthony Howard QC, visitors were invited to view the historical State Apartments and enjoy a variety of activities and displays throughout the grounds. It was a great privilege for the band to be invited to be a part of the day.
Next, it was heads down, pencils out in preparation for the National Band Championships held at Brisbane City Hall. This year saw the City of Greater Dandenong Band's tenth consecutive year of participation in the Nationals Competition. The B grade test piece for 2019 was 'The Legend of Pandora', it involved some very challenging solo sections that featured a number of players throughout the band. The band also performed the hymn tune, 'In Love for Me, own choice, 'The Saga of Haakon the Good', and the march 'Simoraine'. There were 16 bands in B grade, of which Dandenong placed 7th overall. The band placed 4th for both the stage march and own choice sections, and were the highest placed Victorian Band in the B grade Own choice category. A tremendous effort!
Another integral part of the Nationals weekend is the Saturday street parade; which Dandenong Band has become one of the crowd favourites over the year, as we are known for our entertaining right hand turns. This year, with our newly appointed Drum Major, Cameron Sanders, the players formed a choreographed circular dance to the song 'The circle of Life' from The Lion King. Our efforts managed to secure the band equal 2nd place in this category. Well done to all involved, it was another wonderful weekend of banding!
ANZAC was upon us not long after Easter this year, a smaller group than usual took to the Pillars of Freedom in Dandenong for the Dawn Service. After a bite to eat and a coffee, we were back again for a small march and 11am service to commemorate the ANZACS and to pay our respects for those serving both locally and abroad to keep our country safe.
After prepping for Nationals, it was time to take a giant leap into our spaced theme cabaret in July 2019. The City of Greater Dandenong Band marked the 50th anniversary of the 1969 moon landing in style. Performing to an audience of almost 300 people at Springvale City Hall, the evening was certainly one to remember. Featuring special guests including the Voices of Casey Choir, vocalist Danielle Matthews, and a world premiere performance of a Jared McCunnie work, 'Freefall', performed on euphonium by Fletcher Mitchell – one of the stand out moments of the evening. Thank you again to all of the incredible people behind the scenes that worked tirelessly to ensure the night was a success. We look forward to the next cabaret in 2020.
September saw the band competing again, this time in the Latrobe Valley Eisteddfod in Traralgon, Victoria. The City of Greater Dandenong Band placed first in both the A and B Grade sections. On top of this, all 3 of our small ensembles also place first in their sections! Congratulations, Dandenong!!
October was a busy month for the band with a number of playouts, including the annual memorial service for the National Servicemen's League. We also had the opportunity to join the Australian Welsh Male Choir for an afternoon of music at St Paul's Cathedral, Melbourne. It was an amazing experience for the band to play in such a prestigious venue. Following the concert, we joined the choir at Young and Jackson's for one of their famous 'singing in the pub' sessions; in true Welsh style!
In November we partook in the Annual State Remembrance Service at Springvale War Cemetery and the NASHO Cup Ceremony for the Tri-Service Cadet Parade. We were also very fortunate to be a part of the Help Is On Its Way Concert held at Bunjil Place Theatre. Help is on its way is a local choral initiative led by Jonathon Welch, offering an opportunity for individual singers and choirs to come together to sing, whilst raising awareness and fostering dialogue around family violence and positive mental health, particularly for males in our community. It was an honour to be a part of this event.
Before we knew it, December was here – which meant Christmas and the New Year were about to arrive once more. Dusting off the old red carol books for another year and heading out to the Dandenong Market and Springvale Bunnings for carolling, Harmony Square for the annual Carols service and Balmoral Gardens for another night of carolling with some of our favourite fans.
2019 was a big year but 2020 is looking to be just as big. Preparations are already beginning for upcoming gigs and for the next Nationals Competition, held in Perth. We would like to thank you all for your ongoing support in 2019 and look forward to seeing what the band gets up to in the coming year!!
– Natalie Potenzi
The City of Greater Dandenong Band is an Australian Red Cross Blood Service
Red25 is the group donation program of the Australian Red Cross Blood Service. Their goal is to rally organisations and groups across the country to achieve, together, 25% of the blood donations needed by Australia.
It’s about raising spirits and team pride - and about the sense of unity you get from working together for something bigger than yourself.
You can join our Red25 group HERE using our group name:
City of Greater Dandenong Band
And you can check out our Red25 Group Tally HERE
Saturday 14 March 2020
The City of Greater Dandenong Band was disappointed to hear that the 2020 Australian National Band Championships – due to be held in Perth, WA over the Easter long weekend – has been cancelled due to the impact of COVID-19.
Dandenong Band has been preparing for the competition over the past several weeks and we were very much looking forward to the event. However, of course, population health and safety has to come first and we know that this was not a decision organisers took lightly.
We would like to thank the National Band Council of Australia and the Western Australian Band Association organising committee for all of their hard work and efforts in putting together what we are sure would have been an amazing event.