Home' Advance In Review : advance in Review December 2013 Contents Dear Friends and Colleagues,
This year, the Air Force Band exploded into the Australian music
scene, connecting Air Force with communities all over Australia.
2013 has been the realisation of over 12 months of strategic
planning, organisational restructure, and product development.
I would like to take this opportunity in this, our last edition of
Advance In Review for the year, to reflect on what has occurred
over the last 12 months, and where the Air Force Band is heading
Having spent much of 2012 developing the Air Force Concert Band,
we saw the Air Force Band take flight with the flagship concert
series at Iwaki Auditorium in Melbourne. That concert series has
been enjoyed by many hundreds of people and will be enjoyed by
many thousands of people in 2014 as that concert series expands
to performances in other capital cities.
The Air Force Band chamber groups have been developed through
the Air Force chamber music series at St Paul’s Cathedral in
Melbourne this year. In 2014, Air Force chamber groups will
be used to deploy into regional and more remote areas of
Australia to entertain audiences and connect Air Force with new
The Air Force Big Band has continued its journey and is rapidly
being recognised as one of the best Big Bands in Australia. This
year, the Air Force Jazz Group was created as a subset of the Air
Force Big Band, and is becoming a centrepiece of excellence and
innovation. Together, the Air Force Big Band and Air Force Jazz
Group are the most versatile music ensembles in our arsenal, and
will be deployed more widely in 2014 to support major Air Force
and Defence Industry events, as well as Air Force community
During 2013, the Air Force Ceremonial Band has emerged as an
exciting, innovative, and agile ensemble which can be reconfigured
and rescaled to suit different purposes. Within the ceremonial
band is the Air Force Drum Corps, whose performances have
already been widely acclaimed. That ensemble was expanded this
year to include piccolos as the Air Force Drums and Fifes, and will
be deployed to schools, capital cities and regional centres around
Australia in 2014 to showcase Air Force ceremony, drill and
precision. Next year, the Air Force Fanfare Team will be officially
formed, adding to ceremonial music capability.
I am proud of the achievements of the Air Force Band during 2013,
and am looking forward to another great year of even greater
achievement in 2014.
SQNLDR Mathew Shelley | Commanding Officer
The Air Force Band has been proudly supporting the Australian
commemoration of the Battle of Britain in Tasmania for over 15 years.
The band’s role during this year’s three-day event was a busy one. There
were no less than seven different engagements held over this period which
featured the Air Force Ceremonial Band, Fanfare Team, Drum Corps, Jazz
Group, Lone Drummer and a Bugler.
The Air Force Band took the opportunity to ask SQNLDR Alan Robertson,
the State Secretary of the RAAF Association Tasmanian Division, to provide
a greater understanding of the commemorations that take place at this
The Battle of Britain, fought over South East England during the late
summer of 1940, was both pivotal and unique. Pivotal in that the
successful outcome for the RAF meant that control of the air put a stop
to the German attempt to launch the proposed invasion of the British
Isles. Unique in that it was the first occasion in a major battle where the
aeroplane was used solely as a weapon of war without the use of any other
significant forms of weaponry to assist.
This single and significant demonstration of the use of air power as a
major weapon of war in its own right was a huge watershed moment.
This led to further significant employment of the aircraft as a weapon
of war throughout the remainder of the 1939-1945 global conflict. It is
for these reasons that we continue to mark the occasion as the birth of
modern air power.
Over 40 years ago, a group of then serving RAAF Officers, several members
of the RAAF Association and the Naval, Military and Air Force Club of
Tasmania decided to commemorate the Battle of Britain by holding a
dinner during the September commemorations. The first such dinner
was sponsored by the RAAF and held in the Naval, Military and Air Force
Club of Tasmania and was attended by some fifty people.
Today the National Council has declared that Tasmania have carriage of the
“National Commemoration of the Battle of Britain”. The RAAF Association
Tasmania Division is responsible for the planning and execution of these
events. This involves a memorial church service, a dining-in night and the
commemorative wreath laying ceremony.
This event has become a “supported commemoration” on the RAAF
calendar of events, and for the past few years we have had the privilege
of hosting the Chief of Air Force as the Guest of Honour.
“The support provided by the Air Force Band adds a dimension to the
overall ceremony that enhances both the dignity and the solemnity of the
occasion. The provision of background music and entertainment at the
formal dinner adds to the “Air Force atmosphere” as well as projecting
the image of the band into the community.”
SQNLDR A.W. Robertson CSM, RFD, JP
RAAFA (Tasmania Division)
Introduction by Corporal Lee Gray
Battle of Britain
Fly over by RAAF Hawk Lead in Jet Fighters. The Air Force Band has
been proudly supporting the Australian commemoration of the Battle
of Britain in Tasmania for over 15 Years. The band’s role during this
years three-day event was a busy one. There were no less than seven
different engagements held over this period which featured the Air
Force Ceremonial Band, Fanfare Team, Drum Corps, Jazz Group, Lone
Drummer and a Bugler.
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