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A MUSICAL VOYAGE - Royal Australian Navy

A MUSICAL VOYAGE - Royal Australian Navy

- 154 – RAN BAND NEWS

- 154 – RAN BAND NEWS EDITION NUMBER 8 5 JULY 2006 ABLE SEAMAN OTTENS AND ABLE SEAMAN MCGANN IN THE SHIPS FIRE ATTACK PARTY FROM THE DIRECTOR’S DESK We come to the close of another very busy period with many more articles in this edition of RAN Band News to add to the story of the Navy Band. As this edition goes to print, our 11 musicians embarked in HMAS Manoora are performing with the United States Navy’s Pacific Fleet Band for the 4 th of July celebrations in Hawaii. We look forward to reading stories in the next edition about the many performances that these musicians will undertake during their five weeks in and about Honolulu. Three of our musicians have just left Australia to provide technical and production support for a small musical tour of the Middle East Area of Operations, which is being conducted by the Forces Advisory Council on Entertainment. We wish them all a safe and successful deployment. Over the last two-year period 34 of Navy’s musicians have been awarded the Australian Active Service Medal with 11 also earning the Iraq campaign medal. This is a very significant achievement of which we can all be proud. The Melbourne detachment was force assigned to OPERATION ACOLYTE in March to support the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games. One highlight for the musicians during that operation was a performance at the formal luncheon held in the Exhibition Building in the presence of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. We provided musical and ceremonial support to a number of ship commissioning and decommissioning ceremonies held in Darwin and an inauguration ceremony for the Attack crew members of the Patrol Boat Force Element Group. Support to these ceremonies was provided by a mix of permanent and reserve personnel. In February, I was fortunate to be in attendance with the Queensland detachment when Petty Officer Alan Early was presented an Australia Day Commendation. I first met Alan when, as a young Navy cadet, I began to work with the Queensland Naval Band, as it was then known, as a bugler before enlisting as a reservist some 30 years ago. Alan has been a stalwart of the Navy Band and it was a personal pleasure for me to see his contribution being acknowledged. Royal Australian Navy Band: A Musical Voyage

- 155 – In March we embarked 11 musicians in HMAS Tobruk for a deployment to South East Asia and the South Pacific. Petty Officer Brian O’Kane led the group to much applause and his article, Musicians Fear Nought, contains a number of illustrations of how the musicians successfully integrated into the ship. We had planned a deployment for 20 of our reserve musicians in HMAS Kanimbla for June; but unfortunately, despite best effort, the deployment could not proceed due to a change in operational requirement for the ship. For all those reserves who volunteered and made preparations for this deployment, thank you: I share your disappointment. We recorded and released our latest CD, All Hands on Deck, which showcases each of our seven detachments and the many talented soloists and instrumentalists who regularly add value to Navy’s image across Australia and abroad. One of our members, Able Seaman Matthew Van Emmerik made it through to the semi finals of Symphony Australia’s Young Performer Awards. A very significant personal achievement: Well done Matthew. The band’s benchmark concert program continued but due to the heavy commitment to Fleet activities only one benchmark concert has been undertaken so far this year. The Flagship Recital in May, at the Robert Blackwood Hall, Monash University, Melbourne, utilised members from the Sydney and Melbourne detachments. I hope to follow this up with another benchmark concert in Melbourne in October. As we move into next financial year, I am pleased to report that, with the exception of the Tasmanian detachment, each of the reserve detachments is fully complemented. Difficulties associated with the Naval Reserve Initial Employment Training (NRIET) program are being overcome but medium risk to capability shortfall in some detachments remains a concern. Importantly, almost all of our people are in their posting of first choice, and exit and wastage rates remain under 10 percent. Furthermore, there is only one position vacant in the permanent component and the expected exit rate for the next 12 months remains less than ten percent. However, imbalances with regard to instrumentation requirements have resulted in a critical shortfall of clarinet and saxophone players. Thank you for your contribution to ensuring that the Royal Australian Navy Band remains ‘one of Australia’s premier military ensembles’ and that its story of service to the nation continues to be told. MUSICIANS FEAR NOUGHT! Article by Petty Officer Brian O’kane Five members from the Melbourne detachment and six members from the Sydney detachment of the Royal Australian Navy Band joined forces in the Sydney band studio and commenced rehearsals for the deployment. We were to join HMAS Tobruk on Friday 10 March and then sail with her on the South East Asian and South West Pacific deployment visiting Indonesia, Singapore and New Caledonia. Once we had been allocated our racks and had a quick familiarisation of the ship it was time to prepare for our first job as the Navy Band on board HMAS Tobruk. The engagement was to be us, on the vehicle deck playing well-known Australian tunes as the ship departed Sydney. This was a very proud moment for us, as well as one or two others alongside. The next job at hand was to prepare for OPERATION PERINGGATAN. This was the memorial service on the first anniversary of the 02 Sea King helicopter crash at the small village of Tuindrao, Nias Island, Indonesia. Once we arrived in Nias we were informed that only a bugler, singer and a sound engineer would be required for the memorial service. Able Seaman Musicians Salone, Bastians and Monk performed very well and the service was a success. Our initial week on board gave us the chance to be involved in a Unit Readiness Evaluation. Our contribution was purely Damage Control, and lots of it. All members of the band were found in many different areas of the ship working well outside of their comfort zones. Royal Australian Navy Band: A Musical Voyage

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