Melbourne’s Advent Brass won the Open C Grade Brass Bands category at the 2019 Victorian State Band Championships, held in Ballarat, Victoria, from August 17-18.
The 39-member Advent Brass band, resplendent in their black with white trim uniform and under the baton of guest conductor Dr Matthew van Emmerik, competed against five other C grade bands across four pieces of music.
All bands played a hymn, a “test piece”, a traditional march and a song of their choice.
One of the highest points for Advent Brass was when the adjudicator praised the band for their excellent performance: “I hardly heard playing in the A grade hymn selection like the Advent’s played their rendition of the Swedish hymn in C grade. Astounding. The quality of the band playing was quite extraordinary given the band are C grade. Their warmth and lyricism is a strength for the whole ensemble.”
Advent Brass received the highest score of any band competing throughout the entire weekend, achieving 24 points for playing Peter Graham’s arrangement of the Swedish folk song “How Great Thou Art” for their hymn performance.
Band members paid tribute to the dedication of Advent Brass music director Reynold Gilson, who made the win possible.
Advent Brass was formed in 1925 by William John “WJ” Gilson and has a long history of serving God through music, with many performances at local churches, aged care facilities, charity concerts, and many other community functions and outreach projects.