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2020 NEWS


14 October 2020

We are proud to present our isolation recording of ‘Zero Gravity ’ to mark Mental Health Week.


Since the beginning of the pandemic, bands have been unable to rehearse together as normal, with all of our usual events and performances having been cancelled for most of 2020. Instead, members have been keeping up their practice from home. Just as well, too! For now, we bring you a video recorded virtually in each of our homes.


In a collaboration between City of Greater Dandenong Band and Glenferrie Brass, with the support of Skunkworks Productions Ltd, and featuring the stunning vocals of It’s Danielle Matthews, we present our take on ‘Zero Gravity’. Made famous by Kate Miller-Heidke at the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest, and written by Kate Miller-Heidke, Keir Nuttall and Julian Hamilton, this version has been arranged perfectly for brass by Steve Semmler-Farr.


Bringing a message of strength and hope, ‘Zero Gravity’ is a song about overcoming depression and seeing the colour come back into the world again. Even though we are physically apart right now, music is something that brings us together. Hopefully this recording brings a little colour to your world today.


Thanks must also go to Dandenong Band’s own Cameron Sanders who has been working tirelessly to coordinate this project, and who has given his time and sound and video production skills so generously.


We hope to be playing live for you all again soon - but for now, we hope you enjoy ‘Zero Gravity’!



Saturday 25 April 2020

The Band commemorated ANZAC Day a little differently this year. For the past 60+ years we have participated in local services with the Noble Park RSL, Springvale RSL, and Dandenong RSL Branches. This year our Band members and supporters remembered and showed their respect to all our service men and women past and present, in smaller, more private services across Victoria and interstate.


Many of our members played the Last Post at the end of their driveways, and stood with their neighbours to remember Them.


Our Musical Director - Jamie Lawson, played the Last Post in the Melbourne Docklands for the residents in surrounding apartment towers standing on their balconies.


Dandenong Band Honour Wall and Life Member - Alan Collard - who last year made local news headlines for providing bugle calls at nine separate ANZAC services at age 80, again made headlines this year for the private Dawn Service he conducted in his street. Alan was joined by his Grade 6 neighbour Isabella who recited her poem - Stand Tall - for which she won the Glen Eira City Council 2019 My Brother Jack Literacy Award.


Although this year was a little different to ‘normal’, many of our members and supporters have commented on how special and touching their ANZAC Services were for them this year.


Lest We Forget.


Ian & Michael Mathers.jpg

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.

2019 RECAP

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

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