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A MUSICAL VOYAGE - Royal Australian Navy

A MUSICAL VOYAGE - Royal Australian Navy

- 222 – She also added

- 222 – She also added some personal words, which I won’t reproduce here; but I want you to know that when she spoke with me immediately after the concert it was very clear that she was deeply moved by the band’s performance. Her Excellency Ms Quentin Bryce also spoke to me (a length) about the concert and our performance at Admiralty House on the previous evening. Let there be no doubt that she was exceedingly warm and generous with her praise of the Navy Band, its musicians and its role in Australia’s musical heritage. I also sensed a very strong level of care and pride amongst our musicians during the rehearsals and performance, and there were a lot of people doing good things behind the scenes and beyond what is normally expected. I wish to acknowledge Lieutenant Andrew Stokes and his event production team for their work towards ensuring a successful concert, and Leading Seaman Cathy Wainwright for ensuring a full house on the evening. I know that many valuable lessons have been learned by the experience of hosting a major event. The articles in this edition show that our activities range from relatively simple tasks to more complex ones such as A Naval Salute and the international deployments; and they continue to build the proud story of the Navy Band’s service to Navy and the wider community. Regardless of the level or complexity of the task you have all made a magnificent contributed to telling that story. FROM THE PR DESK Article by Leading Seaman Cathy Wainwright Phew, what a six months it’s been! I can honestly say it’s been the busiest six months of my eight years in the RAN Band - but then a Centenary Concert doesn’t come around every day of the week! Add to that a concert and live broadcast on ABC Classic FM in March, and two overseas deployments in February and May, and you are starting to get some idea of the frantic pace that has permeated the Director’s office this year. My roles in relation to the Centenary Concert were two-fold. Most significantly from my point of view has been the opportunity to research and help realise the commissioning of an indigenous art work acknowledging the contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders to the first 100 years of the Royal Australian Navy. This project began about nine months ago, with the germ of an idea put ‘out there’ by the Director, which captured my interest, and from which I have learned an enormous amount. I have also had the opportunity to meet some very committed and interesting people along the way. It was a great honour to be the ‘unveiler’ of the artwork on stage at the Centenary Concert in the presence of the Governor-General, representing the culmination of this fascinating project. The second part of this project was finding a way to reproduce the artwork and its accompanying story in a form that could be attached to the drummers’ slings as an enduring feature of the Drum Corps in all our detachments. My other main task was Ticketing and Front of House, and let me tell you, keeping track of over one thousand tickets and making sure that everyone ended up in seats that were suitable, and with the people they wanted to sit next to, was not without its challenges! I was assisted at various stages during this task by Able Seaman Paul Stiles, Able Seaman Alisha Coward and Able Seaman Kevin Orchard without whom I would never have got all those phone calls made, and all the envelopes addressed! My sincere thanks to each of you for all you did. Our work paid off and (contrary to the Navy News report) we had a wonderfully appreciative audience of approximately 900. No sooner had we started advertising than we were swamped with bookings, and the flyers never even made it out of the box! At one stage we had a waiting list of over a hundred people while we made sure we had kept enough seats aside for the VIPs, and I had to keep the tickets out of sight so that they didn’t disappear! A large number of people also accepted the invitation to be added to our mailing list thus ensuring new audience members into the future. The response following the concert was overwhelmingly positive, with many telephone calls and emails arriving in the following days as well as cards and chocolates! The one which summed it up best for me came from a member of the public whose teenage daughter is very keen to pursue a career as a Naval Musician. He wrote: Royal Australian Navy Band: A Musical Voyage

- 223 – The evening was indeed overwhelming and we feel privileged to have shared it; we felt we were in the presence of a very big, very special family celebration. … The evening before we attended the Capitol Theatre and saw Mary Poppins … I must tell you though that Sunday evening topped Saturday and my daughter was absolutely beside herself. She hasn’t stopped talking about it since. However, like the Roman God, Janus, we must always be looking forward as well as backwards. Whilst we paid tribute to our veterans and the legacy they have passed on to today’s sailors, we must continue to focus on investing in the future of the Navy and the Navy Band, through organisations and programs such as the Naval Cadets, the Work Experience Program and school visits. Many of our Musicians acknowledge that it was exposure to a military band in their formative years that sparked their thoughts about pursuing this as a career. This year has seen a dramatic increase in the number of applications from 16 year olds for Work Experience placements with the Band. Three have already taken place and another six are lined up for the remainder of year. Pleasingly two of these have resulted from a Band visit to the students’ school. Two of the schools that the Sydney detachment has performed for this year also organised large groups of parents and students to be in the audience at the Centenary Concert. These linkages, networking and added value that spin off from the Band’s performances are what for me make our job satisfying and meaningful. Likewise, interest in auditioning for the Band has been high with some 15 enquiries to date that have progressed, or will progress, to auditions. As a result of some sustained advertising we are even managing to recruit some of those rare and endangered species, bassoon, clarinet and french horn players! It is pleasing to be able to report that we now have a full complement of french horn players for the first time in many years. Our music continues to travel far and wide. In the last few months requests for our CDs have come from Alaska, Canada, Sweden and the USA. Our music is played in the operating theatres at Albury Base Hospital to calm both surgeons and patients, and only recently we supplied parts for I Am Australian and Waltzing Matilda to a community band in Ireland to welcome in a cruise ship of Australian tourists! ABU DHABI INTERNATIONAL DEFENCE EXHIBITION AND CONFERENCE 2011 Article by Leading Seaman Martyn Hancock Whoosh!...Aaaaaaaaaaagh!...Splat,ouch…splat,ouch..splat, ouch…phew, it’s over! Sitting in the front seat of the world’s fastest roller coaster, being catapulted from 0-240 kilometres per hour, in little over four seconds, has to be one of the most exhilarating rides that can be experienced. Add to that a few unsuspecting mosquitoes that, at those kind of speeds, become tiny painful exploding paintballs that make a mess of your shirt and you’ve got the ride of your life!...Ferrari World, Abu Dhabi. However, that of course is not the reason why we were enjoying our visit to the United Arab Emirates. Back in February, 30 musicians from Sydney and Melbourne detachments, including Lieutenant Commander Paul Cottier from the Defence Force School of Music, were fortunate enough to travel to Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates to participate in this year’s International Defence Exhibition & Conference (IDEX 2011). Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates and Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces, IDEX 2011 was the 10th anniversary of this biennial event. This year turned out to be the largest event to date with more than 60,000 visitors, 1,060 exhibitors, four naval ships from the United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and France, as well as military bands from New Zealand, the United Arab Emirates, and of course Australia. It was a privilege to be part of such a large international event, and our participation was a huge success, not only demonstrating our professional musicianship and drill but also for strengthening international relations. Royal Australian Navy Band: A Musical Voyage

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