Creswick Brass Band has emerged with first place in open D grade in the Victorian Band Championships out of a record number of contenders this weekend.
Ararat City Band came a close second, followed by Croydon Citizens’ Brass Band.
The state’s premier band competition featured 31 bands with entries from as far as Tasmania and Canberra as part of Royal South Street’s 125th eisteddfod.
Performers drew more than their parents and spouses to the raked stage with a strong turn out from local crowds, Royal South Street Society business manager Brett McDonald said.
“Even though it is a competition, not a concert we do get a lot of people come along,” Mr McDonald said.
“They enjoy the quality of the music and they realise they’re seeing some of Australia’s best musicians.”
Record numbers meant a packed schedule over the two day competition, with the larger instruments like the tympani and xylophones unloaded late Friday night in time for an early Saturday morning start to competition.
“Each band averages 32 or 33 performers – that was a lot of people through the theatre this weekend and it was a good weekend for Ballarat,” Mr McDonald said.
The standard of the competition lifts with each year, Mr McDonald said.
“To me I always think the quality keeps getting better, I know it sounds like a cliche but these guys take their music very, very seriously, they want to win.”
The 2016 contest attracted Melbourne’s best metro bands as well as a host of locals including the Haddon Community Concert Band, Creswick Brass Band and Ararat City Band who are the reigning national ‘D’ grade champions.
The championship was adjudicated by Dr Kevin Cameron, a music educator and conductor from the University of Melbourne.
For the full results visit www.vbl.org.au.
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