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A MUSICAL VOYAGE - Royal Australian Navy

A MUSICAL VOYAGE - Royal Australian Navy

- 224 – The show

- 224 – The show itself, once all of the considerable preparations and rehearsals were over, ran for a five day period. Each day we were required to take part in an opening ceremony, our individual display, and a finale. The other bands ran similar routines and in addition, the daily show consisted of showing off immense military power and technology including Mirage and F-16 fighter jets, Chinooks, Black Hawk and Apache attack helicopter gunships, unmanned drones, tanks, armoured vehicles, stunt motorbikes, winged skydivers and a spectacular tactical demonstration of Special Forces storming a building. Our display concentrated on demonstrating Navy traditions with the use of bugle calls, boatswain’s calls, Beat to Quarters and a Cheer Ship. In addition, we also put an emphasis on producing a display with an internationally recognisable Australian theme. This was achieved by performing the acclaimed Waltzing Matilda, but with a twist! After forming our finale positions with a team of fanfare trumpeters at the front of the band, a formal flourish and chorale based on the melody was played, which led into a contrasting upbeat jazz version where the trumpeters relaxed and showed off their improvisation skills to the audience’s delight. Participating in international events such as these is always an enjoyable and educational experience, working closely with bands and military personnel from different and contrasting cultures. However, special mention must be made of our the New Zealand Army Band, with whom we worked particularly closely during our stay in Abu Dhabi, and who continued their spectacular routine even though their home town of Christchurch was devastated by the earthquake whilst they were in Abu Dhabi. In addition to the main show, both ourselves and the New Zealand Army band, entertained a large crowd at the Gala Dinner held at the Abu Dhabi Armed Forces Officers Club, each performing as a ceremonial ensemble and jazz group. The Armed Forces Officers Club, itself a highly impressive complex constructed of what seemed to be mostly gold and marble with a plethora of crystal chandeliers and an abundance of elaborate ornaments, will also no doubt be remembered by all band members for its extraordinary dining experience. This place was incredible and we were simply, and quite literally, spoilt for choice. For dinner, we were presented with an obscene amount of extravagant, sumptuous food from every nation thinkable. And only those wise enough to have left room were fortunate to have experienced the numerous desserts on offer! As well as the Gala Dinner and main show for IDEX 2011, the band also performed for a cocktail party and Ceremonial Sunset onboard HMAS Stuart, but it wasn’t all work, work, work. During our stay in Abu Dhabi, we also managed to cram in plenty of sightseeing, including a brief visit to Dubai. Of course there was the Ferrari World attraction mentioned earlier and close by our hotel there was plenty of action at the Yas Marina Formula One Circuit. Abu Dhabi, however, also offers a great cultural experience with an interesting history, friendly atmosphere, good food and shopping, as well as plenty of sights to see. In particular, the unique contemporary architecture stands out, with an array of interesting shapes and designs from modern day leaning towers to giant upright circular discs. Possibly Abu Dhabi’s most famous landmark though is the majestic Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Mosque. This remarkable structure boasts several world records including the world’s largest carpet and largest chandelier. Whilst we were there, we were lucky enough to have been given a detailed guided tour around this incredible building. All in all, our visit to Abu Dhabi turned out to be a very successful, enjoyable trip and an experience to remember. BRUNEI INTERNATIONAL TATTOO 2011 Article by Able Seaman Svetlana Yaroslavskaya The RAN Band and Precision Drill Team from Australia’s Federation Guard (AFG) joined together from 25 May to 2 June to represent Australia at the Brunei Darussalam International Tattoo (BIT) 2011. The rehearsals commenced at Garden Island, Sydney with AFG and band musicians arriving from all over Australia on 24 May. It was a unique experience for both the RAN Band and AFG Precision Drill Team to combine efforts in performing a new marching display on the international stage. Royal Australian Navy Band: A Musical Voyage

- 225 – From the first rehearsal everyone involved had the ‘right attitude’ and the display worked from the first run-through. The eight minute display included The Alert march, I Am Australian (sung by Able Seaman Damian Dowd), traditional Beat to Quarters and Waltzing Matilda presented in three sections – fanfare opening, Sea Chanters Choir sung by band members and a jazz segment featuring Leading Seaman Cam McAllister, Able Seaman Dayne Grindley, Able Seaman Tony Frantz, Able Seaman Andrew Hansch and Able Seaman Dave Coit on fanfare trumpets. The AFG Precision Drill Team enriched the display with more than 300 specific movements synchronised with the music. This was the first time some new dynamic moves were added to the AFG Precision Drill Team routine, including weapon twirling, throwing and catching. Both the Band and the Precision Drill Team agreed that not only did the combined display work very well, but it also allowed representation at the tri-service level. Upon arrival at the Brunei Rimba Air Base, each member of the Australian contingent was presented with the traditional Malay wedding ceremony gift Bunga Telur - paper flowers covered in glitter with a boiled egg attached to each one – a very nice touch and a warm Brunei welcome. On the same day Tattoo rehearsals commenced at the air-conditioned indoor stadium the Hassanal Bolkiah Sports Complex. A Reception at the Royal Berkshire Hall gave us an opportunity to meet Tattoo participants from twelve different countries. The cameras flashed non-stop taking pictures of band members, dancers and singers from all over the world. It was a fantastic experience to get acquainted with performers from the Singapore Armed Forces Band, the Chinese Acrobatic Team, the Pakistan Armed Forces Band, the Philippines Armed Forces Band and others. On 30 May the RAN Band joined the Combined Bands of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces, the Chinese Acrobats and the Singapore Armed Forces Band on a three hour boat trip to perform at the Temburong District Brunei Darussalam International Tattoo Roadshow. During the welcoming ceremony Commander Phillip Anderson presented one of the first prints of the Australian indigenous artwork ‘The Salute’ to the people of Temburong village. The Roadshow earned much praise and applause from the village crowd. On the way back to Bandar for yet another rehearsal, the banks of the river were alive with grey monkeys and crocodiles. It was hard to resist sending a quick text message back to Sydney: “Hi Darling, I am in the jungle 4 degrees north of the equator!!!” The Opening Show – what a banquet of traditional melodies, songs, and dances; what a carnival of different cultures, styles and languages! Australia was the first country to present its display to the people of Brunei. The Band and the Precision Drill Team performed at their absolute best, receiving tremendous applause from the five thousand people in the audience. ‘It must be one of the Band’s best performances ever’, enthused one of the RAN musicians. Bruneians absolutely adore Australia and our display received the biggest applause. Waving the Australian flag for the traditional Cheer Ship, joined by everyone in the audience, filled my heart with pride. Over three days and five shows of the Tattoo more than 25,000 Bruneians enjoyed our live performances. His Majesty, the Sultan of Brunei Darussalam, personally thanked the Director of Music, Commander Phillip Anderson OAM, and the Drum Major Chief Petty Officer Camille Martin. A NAVAL SALUTE – RAN CENTENARY CONCERT Article by ALLAN ‘SHORTY’ MOFFATT OAM PRESIDENT RANCBA (NSW) (REPRODUCED WITH PERMISSION) As one of the many functions that are being held to promote the Royal Australian Navy’s 100th anniversary, the RAN Band held a concert ‘A Naval Salute’ at the City Recital Hall, Angel Place, Sydney on 10 July 2011. The RAN Band under the Directorship of Commander Phillip Anderson OAM, RAN can take a Bravo Zulu for an evening that will long be remembered by all those that attended. Royal Australian Navy Band: A Musical Voyage

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