At the Annual General Meeting of the Darwin City Brass Band held on the 26th of November, outgoing president Andrew Stone reported on the bands activities for the 12 month period. Andrew's full report is re-produced for this article;
It’s with pleasure that I submit the President’s report for the 2019 Annual General Meeting.
I wanted to commence this report and speak to our special and warm relationship with the City of Darwin. This year we moved into our 2nd year of a 3-year operational funding arrangement with the City of Darwin. Our relationship with the City of Darwin is not something we take for granted and this year we worked closely with the City’s community engagement staff to run an exciting concert program thatunderpinned the City’s objectives of bringing live music into the city’s parks and reserves.
The mid-year ‘Brass In the Park’ concert series saw the band perform on 4-week successive weeks in key parks and reserve’s around the City. The City of Darwin was delighted with the final outcome of these concerts, and they now form the catalyst for more ‘Brass In The Park’ styled concerts in just a few weeks’ this time with a distinct Christmas flavour.
Musical Director appointment
In the 2nd quarter of this year, the bands committee agreed to call for expressions of interest for the role of Musical Director. An open and transparent advertising process saw this role advertised across various mediums. In late June the committee appointed the incumbent musical director Ron Roberts for a further 2- year term coming 1 July. I congratulate Mr Roberts on his appointment and note that he works tirelessly behind the scenes to make much of what happens in this band something that we all take for granted.
It’s my assessment that the band has commenced the journey of maturity and preparedness to perform publicly at a higher level. This journey started with the highly successful ‘In their Honour’ concert that was held in 2018. This concert remains the benchmark for this band in recent years. In August the band was invited to perform for the ‘Darwin Military Museum’s 50th Anniversary Celebrations’. Your committee supported my recommendation to have 3 guest musicians from inter-state supplement key positions within the band. The addition of these musicians presented an opportunity for the band to perform at that next maturity level in what ultimately proved to be a difficult operating venue. In September, the band performed quite successfully for the celebration of the ‘Great Air Race – London to Darwin’ at the Aviation Museum. In the preparation for this important concert our vulnerability was exposed due to poor rehearsal turnout.
Earlier this month, I had occasion to watch the Mt Gambier Brass Band Festival which was live streamed on the internet. This festival draws brass bands from SA, Vic and NSW. It was interesting to note the composition of almost all of the community bands with young musicians making up a significant component of each band. I mention this, as the key to our own bands future lies in making our product attractive to young (and older) people. Young musicians are the ones that will go on to fill key seats around the band, and again, the term I keep using is the ‘maturity’ of the band. There is a linkage in my view to the continued development and progression of our band(s) in attracting students from the various NT Schools to our banding program. We have not been particularly successful in this regard.
Our Intermediate Band however under the very competent tutelage of Craig McGiffen has seen musician numbers supplemented earlier this year drawn from our Saturday morning Beginners Program. My thanks to Mr McGiffen for a very successful program for 2019.
Unfortunately, the Saturday morning Beginners Program has not recommenced in the 2nd half of this year.
I set myself a number of key performance indicators in the role as your president for 2019.
Firstly, I wanted the band to have a modern, fresh and appealing web presence. Our band’s web-site is now precisely that, with linkages to Vimeo where the band has it’s own channel. All of the photographs and media taken at concerts are on the web within hours after our performances and are regularly viewed.
Next I wanted us all to be better off musically, both individually and collegially. In my view, we have begun that journey, and our preparedness to take on fee paying concert performances such as this Darwin Military Museum Concert and perform consistently at a high standard is a good example for this year. On the other side of the ledger, we must address the Beginners Group and support this aspect of our band. Moving forward, the band should now ideally attend a state or national competition which will only serve to raise the standard of our playing further.
I am a firm believer in process, governance and transparency. Your committee has worked tirelessly throughout the year to support the smooth and efficient and good running of the band.
Lastly, I would to thank our Musical Director Ron Roberts, Vice President Terry Roth, Treasurer Barbara Eather and all committee members for their work through the year.
To all members in our Association, it has been a privilege to be your president. I wish the incoming committee and the band every success as I step down from this role.