Australian National Band Championships 2017 in Launceston | Photos

NEW FRIENDS: Cornet player Jesse Spratt of Port Sorell, of Latrobe Federal Band, and clarinet player Sascha Graham, of Sydney, of Northern Youth Symphonic Winds.
NEW FRIENDS: Cornet player Jesse Spratt of Port Sorell, of Latrobe Federal Band, and clarinet player Sascha Graham, of Sydney, of Northern Youth Symphonic Winds.

From a packed gala concert at Launceston’s Albert Hall to a grand parade through the city streets, competitors at the 2017 Australian National Band Championships played with gusto for their Tasmanian audiences.

Monday was the final day of the championships which were held across the Easter long weekend.

More than 3300 musicians from every state in Australia took part over the four days, with a total of 63 bands and 400 soloists.

It was the fourth time Launceston played host to the National Band Championships and convenor Peter Quigley said it had also been the best ever held in Tasmania.

“The standard of performance, from especially the junior players, has been outstanding and the senior players have been exceptional, with some of the best players in Australia performing,” he said.

“I think that everyone is very happy with the organisation and it has just been a terrific culmination of the overall championships.”

Easter Monday was about the soloists and small ensembles after more than 1000 people attended the gala concert on Sunday.

“Today (Monday) has been a very, very interesting day, it’s probably one of the most complex days of the contest because we have to cater for up to 400 on-stage performers in nine competition rooms plus all the different warm-up rooms,” Mr Quigley said.

“I think that given the number of people who have decided to participate that we have done a terrific job in making sure everybody has a nice place to perform and I think everybody has played very well.”

A number of Tasmanian bands including Launceston College, the Hobart Wind Symphony and the Latrobe Federal Band had success gaining championship placings.

Mr Quigley said for its size Tasmania had certainly “lifted above its weight”.

“For the city of Launceston I think this has generated a lot of revenue into the city, with Launceston traditionally being very quite at Easter and a lot of businesses had been well supported, and restaurants had been well supported, and there is a lot of people in the city and I think it has brought the city to life,” he said.

“All in all it has just been a wonderful event and the city of Launceston should be very, very proud.”

Competitor Emily Solomon took part with a band from the Sunshine Coast where she has recently moved after living on King Island.

She’s competed all over Australia but Miss Solomon said Launceston’s event was a stand out. 

“This has been beautiful, we have been lucky with the weather and it has been really well organised ...it is actually running to time which is rare for an event,” she said.

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