Nominations for the NBCA Executive Officer

The National Band Council of Australia advises that nominations from interested persons are now being received for the position of Executive Officer of the Council as outlined in the NBCA's Constitution. Interested persons seeking to contribute to Australia's band world are encouraged to submit a nomination for this position.

Nominations and all inquiries should be directed to the current Executive Officer and all nominations must be received by the close of business on Thursday, 26th May 2022. Nominations received after this date will be declared ineligible in accordance with Section 14 of the NBCA Constitution. All nominations will be considered by the Council at its AGM as part of the Annual Conference to be held in New South Wales from Friday, 17th June to Sunday, 19th June 2022.

Nominations should comply with the NBCA's Constitution and nominee(s) should acquaint themselves with Section 14 and Section 17 which details the nomination requirements and duties of the position. These guidelines can be referenced in the Constitution which is available by clicking here.

Tony Schraven
Executive Officer
National Band Council of Australia

Cancellation of the 2022 Australian National Band Championships

The NBCA are disappointed to announce the cancellation of the 2022 Australian National Band Championships. While we had seventy-eight bands register for the event based on our initial plans for the Easter weekend, we made the decision to postpone the event to a later date due to COVID. This in turn created a number of issues which has left us unable to find suitable venues on appropriate alternate dates.

After postponing, we attempted to find a weekend in June or July that didn’t interfere too much with existing state-based events, where a suitable venue in their state was available, and that would allow for each hub to be able to run profitably or at break even. Unfortunately, several of the hubs had at least one of the above conditions that they weren’t able to meet.

Our mission had always been clear: run a good event with representation across the country that could break even to avoid placing further strain on bands and state bodies. Under the current circumstances, we are not able to deliver on this.

We understand the frustration that will be felt by the community on this announcement. The council, as well as Danny Alexander from NSW and David Bremner from NZ, have spent many hours on prepping and planning for the event. For the WA council members, this is the second nationals in three years they have had to cancel. For the Victorian and SA members, this cancellation follows on from the cancellation of their states last year. We are all disappointed by the outcome, but we didn’t want to deliver a second-rate product, especially given the effort you would be putting into your performances.

We will process refunds for bands in the coming weeks. Finally, thank you to Tim at Brassbanned and Yamaha Music Australia for their amazing support of this project. For now, we encourage you to participate in other Australian banding events in 2022 and gear up for our return to a traditional Nationals in Newcastle in 2023. The team from NSW have started planning in earnest and I know they will put on a great show next year. I can’t wait to see and hear you all at Easter next year when we finally get our Nationals back!

Regards

Paul De Cinque
President
National Band Council of Australia

Female Composers

Reading some of the responses to the selection of Test Pieces for the 2022 Australian Nationals made it clear that we need to be more involved in selecting and promoting works by a diverse range of composers. I have chatted with Dr Jodie Blackshaw on this topic, and one of her most powerful messages is that there is a lot of great music by diverse composers, but we as conductors need to search out this music which initially can be harder to find.

In association with Dr Jodie Blackshaw (NSW) and Rachel Howley (QLD), the NBCA have collated a list of works by female composers, both Australian and international, for concert bands at Grade 4+ level and above. This list is intended to be a “one-stop shop” for conductors when looking for engaging works to select as Own Choices for Australian and State Contests. In addition to the names, length, and grade level, we have included links to online scores and recordings where available so you can see and hear these wonderful pieces of music. We also hope this list will support music selection boards across the country in finding works that can be used as Test Pieces for upcoming National and State Contests. To view the list, please visit our new webpage here.

This list is in its infancy, and we hope it continues to grow over the coming years. If you have suggestions of works you would like to see added, please contact us at the NBCA with details of the works so we can consider them for addition. We are hoping to broaden the list as well with a list of hymns and marches by female composers as well, to provide further options for bands at contests.

I would like to make specific note of two other great resources in the community for diversity in programming. We have focussed only on Grade 4+ works as Dr Jodie Blackshaw already has a wonderful list of Grade 1-4 works by female composers for wind band on her website that can be accessed here. The Band Association of NSW are active in promoting Australian composers and publishers and has a comprehensive list on their website for you to browse Australian content. You can access the Composer & Publisher Databases here. More generally, there are a number of web-based resources on diversity in programming for you to consider, including searching for composers by nationality and gender at The Wind Repertory Project, ColourFULL Music, and the Institute for Composer Diversity.

We hope you take the time to listen and explore these wonderful works by female composers and hope to see a range of them selected as Own Choices in the coming years. Thanks again to Jodie and Rachel for your tireless work in our Australian banding community to promote diversity in programming.

Regards

Paul De Cinque
President
National Band Council of Australia

Delay to the 2022 Australian National Band Championships

As Omicron has spread around Australia over January, the NBCA has continued to assess the viability of the 2022 Nationals, and our ability to run a safe, fair, and financially viable event.

On safety, it is clear that many cases and sadly, a number of deaths have placed many bands into positions where they are either unable to rehearse, or would be significantly risking their health and safety in doing so. Band is meant to be an oasis of enjoyment, and to ask people to rehearse in a situation that makes them anxious for their safety is not something we want to do.

On fairness, the different peak times for Omicron around the country, risks of further peaks, and disparity of situations means an Easter event is not likely to be fair. Bands in some parts of the country may enjoy ten weeks of consistent rehearsal in the lead up to the event, where others may perhaps not be able to rehearse properly until well into March. This does not allow for bands to be on an even-playing field, one of the primary issues for running a fair Nationals.

While we have had amazing support with 82 entries, we understand bands would potentially need to withdraw due to the health situation around the country. Withdrawals, and refunds, could lead to multiple venues no longer being financially viable. This was of course a primary concern for us from Day 1 of organising this event.

As a result of these three issues, the organising committee has chosen to postpone the 2022 Nationals. We are currently investigating options for this event to be run at some point during June or July, and we are assessing the best weekends over that time period for each state. We will make a detailed announcement of this new date by the end of February, and bands will be given an option to reassess their entries at that time.

The Organising Committee will continue to meet. We fundamentally believe a Nationals is possible in 2022, but we want to make sure it is the best event it can be. By delaying, we believe we are giving Australian bands the best option to participate in a fair and healthy way.

For all our bands across the country, stay safe, and follow the health advice in your state. Our bands are our families, and we want to see our families all back together when it is safe to do so.

Regards

Paul De Cinque
President
National Band Council of Australia

About Us

The National Band Council of Australia is a representative body formed by agreement of the Australian State Governing Bodies which represent the six Australian States. It is incorporated under the relevant New South Wales legislation.

The NBCA acknowledges the Traditional Owners of country throughout Australia and their continuing connection to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to them and to their Elders past, present and emerging.


Tony Schraven
NBCA Executive Officer
0414 489 476
executiveofficer@nbca.asn.au

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