All posts by meganstapleton

Bandstand Sunday – a great day in the city!

Moonee Valley Brass had a great time performing at Federation Square on Sunday October 29th as part of the Victorian Bands’ League ‘Bandstand Sunday’ event.

Bands came from across Victoria to perform in the heart of the city and the large crowd enjoyed every performance.

With perfect weather and an appreciative audience it was the perfect day out for the band!

State Champions!

The band is excited to announce that we are the reigning Open C Grade Brass State Champions!

The State Band Championships are held each August and bands from around the state come together to battle it out for the title of State Champion!

Each band has to play a Hymn, Major Work, March and Own Choice item.

A full list of results from the competition can be found here

We would like to thank our conductor Greg Flood for all his hard work in preparing the band for this event.

Vale Len Barton

It was with great sadness that we said goodbye to Life Member Lenny Barton on August 28th, 2015. Lenny was the heart and soul of the band, always quick with a joke and happy to help wherever he could.

Below is the eulogy from band president Megan Stapleton that was read at the funeral:

Lenny has been part of the band since before records began. I remember meeting him at my very first band rehearsal. The band was a lot smaller back then and I felt quite nervous as everyone seemed about a million years older (in reality more like 30 – 40 years older). Len made a special point of coming over to introduce himself and making me feel welcome. As the band grew in size Lenny still continued to make a point of meeting every new member and making them feel part of the band family.

Lenny always had a story to tell. Whether it was the latest fact he had learnt or a dirty joke, he always had something to say. At band practice this week I heard many of the members repeating some of the jokes Lenny had told them over the years. Unfortunately most of them aren’t appropriate to repeat here! There is one story that Lenny told me that has stuck with me though. Lenny came into the band room one night and said “I have a riddle for you, hold out your hand” He then took my hand in his and said: “let’s pretend your knuckles are mountains and the dip in between is a deep valley. On one mountain lives a young girl and on the other mountain lives a young boy. They can see each other from their homes and long to meet but a fierce tiger patrols the valley. How do they meet each other?” I had to admit I didn’t know. Lenny then replied, “I don’t know either but it’s sure been nice holding your hand”.

Lenny was by far the most useful person in the band. If there was ever anything that was broken or needed fixing, Lenny was there. He replaced screws in stands, fixed clocks and built percussion stands. His most impressive offering though, came after weeks of lectures to band members to crush their cans before putting them in the recycling tub. One Monday night Lenny turned up with a Can Crushing Machine. He had specially built a machine that would crush cans and could be attached to the bench next to the bin. Problem solved! It still has pride of place in the bandroom kitchen today.

Len was also known for the beautiful batons he created. Each new band master was presented with a Lenny Baton, specially tailored to their individual requirements. One bandmaster, Sue, had a habit of breaking her baton by shutting it in car doors so Lenny made an unbreakable baton. John needed a baton for nighttime performances, so Lenny made one that glowed in the dark. One week somebody complained that it was hard to see the white baton against the white paint on the wall behind the conductor. Lenny’s solution – the next week he taped a black garbage bag on the wall behind the conductor. Problem solved!

For my 21st birthday Lenny presented me with my very first baton, beautifully made by hand. It was in a case that had been engraved ‘Happy 21st Birthday’. It is still one of my most treasured possessions. My birthday was a point of confusion between Len and I. My birthday is on December 29th. In 2001, rehearsals started back after the summer break on Monday January 29th. Not having seen me since before Christmas, a few of the band members wished me Happy Birthday. The next week Lenny gave me a card and said “Happy Birthday for last week”. I was too shy to correct him and just thanked him for the card. The next year on January 29th I got a phone call from Len. “How’s your birthday going?” I was so confused until I remembered the card incident from the year before. I panicked and said “It’s going really well, it’s lovely having a January birthday!” And with that the lie was born. For the last 14 years I have celebrated two birthdays, which has actually been a lot of fun. So thanks Lenny!

As Len got older he struggled to continue playing the tuba. He still wanted to be part of the band though, and graduated to the Bass Drum. Whilst he always loved playing the tuba, he discovered a new love with the Bass Drum. Marches became his new favourite pieces and you could hum a couple of bars of any march and he would be able to name it for you. He would set the tempo and make sure the band kept to it. If Lenny thought the conductor was going too slow, Lenny would just beat faster on the drum, dragging the band along with him! Even when the band visited him at Arcadia earlier this year, Lenny still found the energy to play the bass drum and keep the band at the tempo he wanted to play.

 After a couple of years in the band, Lenny and I struck up an unlikely friendship. Despite the 60 year age gap, we found we had much in common. I would listen for hours as Lenny would tell stories about the band’s history and his life. The way he told it, there was nothing he couldn’t learn how to do. And I believed him! No matter what the subject, Lenny was fascinated to understand how it worked. He would learn every detail about something until he understood it completely. A trip to his house would not be complete without a visit to the shed to see the latest project. Monday night before band sometimes became, as Lenny would call it “Date Night”. He would invite me over before band for dinner and after we had eaten we would listen to the latest band recording he had gotten. More often than not, we would end up re-listening to the recording of the group of his friends playing at his 80th birthday party. We would listen and re-analyse every bass drum beat and note played. Lenny was always quick to point out when he heard a wrong note coming from somebody else! If there was time, I was sometimes treated to an impromptu performance of his current tuba piece of choice. Even though he could no longer keep up with the band on tuba, he still loved to play. Even now, I can say with confidence that he had one of the nicest tuba sounds I’ve ever heard. Such a rich, deep sound that showed the love he had for the instrument.

 Lenny had a phenomenal memory. He could recall any bit of information, no matter how obscure and recite it back to you. For his 88th birthday a couple of years ago, I wrote him a special card. Every time he would see me after that he would recite the card back to me, even this year – two years later! The card read:

 I can’t believe you’re 88!

Especially when you’re still looking so great

Your Bass Drum playing is the best around

And everyone is jealous of your great tuba sound!

So stay on your feet and try not to fall

And hopefully you’ll celebrate 88 more!

 Despite his best efforts, he didn’t make 88 more and I know I can speak for the whole band when I say we’ll miss him everyday. We love you Lenny.

 

 

Moonee Valley Brass presents…… A Disney Spectacular

Moonee Valley Brass is proud to present……… A Disney Spectacular!

TDisneyhis year at our annual cabaret night we explore the world of Disney – from Mary Poppins to The Lion King and everything in between! Featuring songs from The Incredibles, Frozen, Star Wars, 101 Dalmations, Pirates of the Caribbean and more, there is sure to be something for everyone!

As in previous years we will be holding a number of games and activities throughout the night with plenty of exciting prizes to be won. Don’t forget your gold coins! BYO food and drink.

 

Email bookings@mooneevalleybrass.org to reserve your seats today!

Seating is limited so get in early to ensure you don’t miss out!

Watch Moonee Valley Brass LIVE online at the 2015 State Band Championships!

The band is busily preparing for the State Band Championships which are being held at Her Majesty’s Theatre in Ballarat this weekend.

Whilst Ballarat may be too far away for many to make the trip, it doesn’t mean you have to miss out!

Thanks to the support of Brassbanned and the Victorian Bands’ League, the Championships are being streamed live online!

You can watch online here: www.brassbanned.com

Moonee Valley Brass is onstage at 9.30am on Sunday August 16th and our performance will last about 35-40 minutes.

A full schedule for the weekend can be viewed here

 

Victory for Moonee Valley Brass at the State Solo & Ensemble Championships!

MVB - complete

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What a fantastic weekend for Moonee Valley Brass at the 2015 State Solo & Ensemble Championships!

The State Solo & Ensemble Championship is an annual event that sees the finest amateur brass, woodwind and percussion musicians from around the state come together to compete for the title of State Champion!

It was a busy weekend for the band, with 14 groups/soloists in 9 different sections. Preparation for the event started many months in advance, with extra rehearsals and the difficult task of selecting the perfect piece of music!

It was an especially exciting as our Development Band was competing for the first time as an ensemble and several of the members were also competing as soloists for the first time. We couldn’t be more proud of how they performed on the day!

We were thrilled to achieve a total of 3 x 1st place, 4 x 2nd place, 4 x 3rd place, 1 x 4th place and 2 x 5th place. A full list of results can be found below:

Open Hymn Quartet/Quinetet:
1st – Moonee Valley Brass – Team Brett, Dave, Fiona, Karen and Louise
2nd – Moonee Valley Brass – Team Trombone

Open C/D Grade Quartet/Quintet:
3rd – Moonee Valley Brass – Team Trombone
5th – Moonee Valley Brass – Team Brett, Dave, Fiona, Karen and Louise

Open Ensemble:
1st – Moonee Valley Brass (Senior Band)
2nd – Moonee Valley Brass (Development Band)

Open Duet/Trio:
4th – Moonee Valley Brass – Team Euphonium
5th – Moonee Valley Brass – Team Trombone

Open Non-Championship Solo:
2nd – Donald Wake, Moonee Valley Brass
3rd – Megan Stapleton, Moonee Valley Brass

Open Euphonium:
2nd – Brad Johnston, Moonee Valley Brass

Under 10 Years Any Brass:
3rd – Hector Wilson, Moonee Valley Brass

Junior Novice Other Brass:
3rd – Emma Conley, Moonee Valley Brass

Juvenile Percussion:
1st – Aurelia Wilson, Moonee Valley Brass

Congratulations to all those who took part!

State Solo & Ensemble Championships – support Moonee Valley Brass!

There are a number of members from the Senior Band and the Development Band competing at the State Solo & Ensemble Championships this weekend at Our Lady of Mercy College (52 Cape St, Heidelberg).

As you can imagine, competing in a small group or as a soloist can be quite nerve racking and it would be great to have some friendly Moonee Valley Brass supporters in the audience!

Below is the list of events that members are competing in over the weekend. Please come along and show your support if you can!

Saturday July 25th

  • 9.40am – Open Hymn Quartet/Quintet
  • 9.50am – Open C/D Grade Quartet/Quintet
  • 11.00am – Open Ensemble
  • 12.25pm – Open Duet/Trio
  • 2.10pm – Open Non-Championship Solo
  • 3.10pm – Open Euphonium

Sunday July 26th

  • 9.00am – Under 10 Any Brass Solo
  • 11.15am – Novice Other Brass
  • 12.45pm – Juvenile Any Percussion Instrument

Please note: All times are approximate and we advise arriving early

Position Vacant – Musical Director of Moonee Valley Brass

Musical Director  – Moonee Valley Brass

An opening has arisen for a musical director to help Moonee Valley Brass continue to provide a high quality musical offering to the local community.  Moonee Valley Brass is a well known and highly regarded band which has been part of the Moonee Valley community for over 100 years.  We are both a competition band, competing at Open C Grade in regional, state and national competitions and a concert performance band with a strong commitment to performances in the local community.   We have high attendance at both practices and performances with a dedicated group of band members.  The band’s future is bright with the recent introduction of a development band.

We are looking for a musical director who preferably has prior brass band experience who will assist us in growing the skills of current and future players.  You will be accountable for setting the musical direction of the band and will be expected to support the Board in the running of the band.  We anticipate you will play a key role in retaining and attracting talented musicians to the band, including keeping abreast of the capabilities in the development band. A suitable stipend shall be provided to the successful candidate.

If you think you are right for us, we look forward to hearing from you. All applicants are asked to submit a one page cover letter and resume.

Applications are to be submitted by email to info@mooneevalleybrass.org by July 24th.

Please find a position description with further information in the link below:

Position Description – Musical Director – Moonee Valley Brass

2015 Annual General Meeting

In accordance with the constitution of Moonee Valley Brass this post is notification that the 2015 Annual General Meeting will take place on Monday March 30th at 7.15pm at the Bradshaw Street Community Hall, 9 Bradshaw St Essendon.

The ordinary business of the Annual General Meeting shall be:

(a) to confirm the minutes of the last preceding Annual General Meeting and of any GENERAL MEETING held since that meeting;

(b) to receive from the BOARD and EXECUTIVE reports (if any) upon the activities of the BAND during the last preceding financial year;

(c) to receive and consider the financial statements of the Band for the preceding financial year submitted by the Board in accordance with Part 7 of the Act;

(d) to ratify any changes in fees under Section 6.2;

(e) to award Life Membership in accordance to Section 5.1; and

(f) to elect the BOARD.

All Board positions are declared vacant at the AGM and all members are encouraged to consider nominating for a position on the Board. You must be a financial or life member to be nominated.

The Board consists of:

(a) a Chief Executive Officer;

(b) a Chief Operating Officer;

(c) a Chief Administration Officer;

(d) a Chief Financial Officer; and

(e) seven (7) ordinary members.

Should you wish to be nominated, please complete a Nomination Form and return it the Chief Administration Officer by Monday March 23rd.

The running schedule for the evening will be:

  • 7.15pm- 7.45pm – AGM
  •  7.45pm- 8.30pm – Combined rehearsal with the Development Band
  • 8.30pm – Supper (please bring a plate)

 

2015 Return Date

Moonee Valley Brass and the Development Band are both on hiatus over the summer.

Both groups return for their first rehearsal on Monday February 2nd.

Development Band: 6.00pm – 7.00pm

Moonee Valley Brass: 7.20pm – 9.30pm

New members welcome for both groups. Please contact info@mooneevalleybrass.org for further information.