Home' Advance In Review : Advance in Review June 2013 Contents Gordon Sellar served with the RAAF
Central Band from 1968 - 87. He has been
a musician in military bands for 49 years,
a keen historian of the Central Band and,
fortunately for us, a great supporter of our
concerts. He kindly took the time to share
his impressions of our performance at the
Iwaki Auditorium in April.
John Adams’ Short Ride in a Fast Machine is
one of the most significant works of the 20th
century. Its minimalist repetitive nature
can be tedious to the ear, but this is just
the setting of a musical mousetrap. This
leads one towards a cheeseboard of variety
in which Wensleydale and Cheddars can
represent the sharpness in attack, with Brie
and Camembert the more melodic marcato
leaps by trumpets and horns in the short
smoother parts of the work.
The ninth of May saw the first of three
concerts at St Paul’s Cathedral performed
by the Chamber Musicians of the Air Force.
Dedicated to the enjoyment of fine food,
this first concert featured the music of
the home of arguably the world’s finest
cuisine, France. The Air Force Brass
Quintet commenced with a fanfare by
Charpentier as a welcome to the series.
French provincial life and the joie de vivre
of Paris were celebrated in the woodwind
Included in the Brass Quintet’s program was
Un Peu D’amour. A little known fact is that
during the 1915 ANZAC campaign there was
a trumpeter amongst the ANZAC forces.
A letter from a Turkish officer mentions
hearing this cornet player performing Un
Pue D’amour, a little love by Lao Silesu.
This piece was popular at the time and
one can picture soldiers from both the
Turkish and ANZAC forces being taken to
more happy times as they heard the lonely
trumpeter sound this beautiful melody
across the trenches. Air Force Trumpeter
Corporal Brenton Burley arranged this
soulful melody for brass quintet. Sadly,
illness prevented him from performing the
The performance was delivered with
enthusiastic rhythmic drive, impeccable
clarity of tone and accurate intonation. The
soli trumpet and French horn leaps were
expertly executed, and the percussionists
movement between various instruments
added to the theatrical element.
A Moorside Suite is a good example of
Holst’s love for the folk songs and dances of
England and was played with great feeling
It brought back childhood memories of
being taken by my late father as an eight
year old, to the 1954 Royal Tournament in
London. Similar songs were being played
by the band of H.M . Royal Marines. The
muffled tramp of 400 feet of 200 plus
musicians, while playing pianissimo, must
have influenced a career choice seven years
later. Those of us who played at the same
venue in 1987 will never forget that sound.
A march is always expected by many who
attend a military band concert and Padstow
Lifeboat by Malcolm Arnold was very well
played as usual.
Paul Hindemith’s Symphonic Metamorphosis
is one of the most challenging works in the
repertoire; again the band coped expertly
with the technical challenges. The recurring
triumphant figure was given the right
amount of dynamic without becoming
ponderous, with fine solos by the flute, oboe
and E flat clarinet.
Dante Ricciotti would have been very
impressed! I hope more attend the next
Thanks for a great concert.
solo on Thursday. Leading Aircraftman
Jason Reeve filled in at the last minute to
play this poignant solo.
The Brass Quintet rounded out an excellent
introduction to this latest series of concerts
with music of Debussy and a delightful
work from Gershwin’s American in Paris.
Our next concert will be a weighty main
course of German romantic music on the
25th of July, featuring both our woodwind
quintets. An offering of delightful Australian
musical treats for dessert round out this
year’s chamber music series in October.
The Air Force Band has also established
a community outreach program. At the
end of May Sergeant Schlemitz took his
woodwind quintet to Karama Primary
School in Darwin as the initial performance
in this program.The musicians presented a
masterful arrangement of Prokofiev’s Peter
and the Wolf, narrated by none other than
our Commanding Officer, Squadron Leader
Mathew Shelley. This was well received
by both the students and staff of Karama
This is an exciting time for Air Force
chamber musicians. Future projects include
concerts in regional Victoria as well as
supporting a range of public and Air Force
I hope we see you at one of our performances
Sergeant Andrew Boyle
“The Brass Quintet
rounded out an
to this latest series of
concerts with music
of Debussy and a
delightful work from
in Paris. ”
IWAKI CONCERT REVIEW
Announcing Our Chamber Series
The Air Force Wind Quintet along with special guest musician, Corporal Duncan Rae on Percussion, play the musical suite of Peter and the Wolf. Commanding Officer Air
Force Band Squadron Leader Mathew Shelley fulfilled the narrative role for the Karama Primary School concert, Darwin.
Iwaki Auditorium, near capacity for the performance by Air Force Band. The vacant positions within the band enabled several civilian professionals to be engaged for the
performance. Acknowledgment to the following guest performers: Flute - Lina Andonovska, Clarinet - Nicholas Evans, Trumpet - Bruno Siketa, Harp - Megan Reeve. Assisting
from the Melbourne attachment of the Navy Band was Percussionist - Able Seaman Ben Smart.
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