Home' Advance In Review : Advance in Review August 2013 Contents In 2010 my father was diagnosed with Motor
Neurone Disease, a fatal condition of the
nervous system which results in gradual
paralysis that can affect the entire body.
There is no cure. Dad passed away in May
2011 less than 12 months after diagnosis.
It is a terrible crippling disease. Like any
major disease, the effects of the condition
go well beyond the individual sufferer and
affect the entire family.
I decided to participate in the 2013 Age Run
Melbourne. I did the 10km run as part of
my return to fitness after a battle with the
debilitating effects of a trapped nerve in my
neck which threatened my career. I also did
this as a fundraiser for the Motor Neuron
Disease Association. Thanks to the support
of my friends and family I managed to raise
The Motor Neuron Disease (MND)
Association of Victoria did much to help
us as a family. They helped us come to
terms with the enormity of what Dad was
to undergo and how to negotiate our way
through the various levels of government
healthcare to get the assistance needed.
This allowed Dad to stay at home in some
comfort right to the very end. While there
is very little medical intervention possible,
the quality of life for the patient can be
massively improved through all sorts of
equipment, much of which was provided free
of charge by the Association. As a family we
were lucky to have the MND Association in
If you would like to know more about the
fine work done by the Association you can
follow the link.
Sergeant Andrew Boyle
NEW JAZZ GROUP FOR
THE AIR FORCE BAND
Leading Aircraftman Andrew Hammon
reflects on the Air Force Band’s exciting new
ensemble, The Air Force Jazz Group.
Consisting of seven members, the Jazz
group is able to serve several functions. It
provides a sophisticated musical backdrop
for vice-regal, state and defence functions,
as well as representing the Air Force in the
community. The addition of vocalist Leading
Aircraftman Troy McMillin provides scope for
the ensemble to provide a versatile product.
The history of small ensemble jazz goes
back to Louis Armstrong and his Hot Five
and Hot Seven in the 1920's. Following the
Big Band era of the 1930's Charlie Parker
came to prominence as a leading figure in
the development of bebop in the 1940's, a
new jazz style characterised by fast tempos,
virtuosic technique and improvisation.
Bebop's gestation was also in the small
ensemble tradition, later developing into
further styles in the 1950's such as Hard
Bop, Modal and Free Jazz. As the turbulent
60's ended, the merging of Jazz with more
popular styles such as Funk and Rock gave
rise to Jazz Fusion.
In the last 20 years there has been a
resurgence of interest in the genre of Jazz
and the art of improvisation. The versatility
and engaging nature of the music means that
the Air Force Jazz Group can service a wide
range of tasks, from community events such
as festivals to more formal occasions such
as Defence Force and state receptions. This
year the group has performed at events such
as the state reception for the International
Airshow at Government House, and the
celebrations for Air Force week at Briarcliffe
at RAAF Base Glenbrook.
The central art form of Jazz is improvisation,
the instant and spontaneous creation of music
within a compositional framework. That is,
making music up on the spot over an existing
piece of music. The mastery of improvisation
is a life long pursuit, an ongoing process for
the jazz musician requiring serious dedication
in the practice room and the highest levels of
teamwork in the ensemble room.
The most appealing aspect of Jazz for me
has always been its power to draw people in.
It is an inviting music, vibrant and alive. As
Art Blakey once said, "Jazz washes away the
dust of every day life".
The Air Force Jazz Group is a dynamic and
versatile addition to the Air Force Band and
we look forward to continuing and building
on the vibrant tradition of improvised music
in the Air Force.
Sergeant Andrew Boyle just completed his Run to Beat MND
ADVANCE in REVIEW
AUGUST, 2013 10
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