The 2018 Yamaha Australian National Band Championships ("The Nationals") brings together musicians of all skill levels from diverse backgrounds across Australia and around the world to compete in a friendly and constructive environment to be crowned Champions of Australia. The Nationals is made up of three distinct events, the On-stage Championships, Marching Championships and Solo & Party Championships. The Nationals will be held over the Easter long weekend (30 March - 2 April 2018), at Xavier College and Methodist Ladies College, Kew.
The On-Stage Championships is open to brass and concert bands from across Australia and around the world. Bands are classified as Open or Junior. Each classification is comprised of multiple grades. Open sections have four grades A, B, C and D Grade (with A being the most difficult) while Junior sections have three grades (A, B and C Grade).
Bands are required to perform four items when competing at the National Band Championships, these are as follows:
- A tune from a recognised Church Hymnal or an arrangement based thereon;
- Test Piece
- This work must be performed by every band in that grade. For example all bands competing in Open A Grade Concert band section must perform Symphony for Band by Jerry Bilik;
- Own Choice Selection
- This is a major work chosen by the band which shows them off in the best light; and
- This comes from a special list called the NBCA Prescribed March List
These four pieces are performed to an audience and the adjudicators and marked out a total of 600 points:
The band gaining the highest number of points shall be the Australian National Champion for their grade. In the event of a tie in aggregate points the winner shall be the band gaining the highest number of points in the Test Piece.
For all Open Brass Bands entry into the On-Stage Championships comes with the requirement to also participate in the Parade of Bands held as part of the Marching Championships. Concert bands and Junior Brass Bands may also compete in the Parade of Bands if they so choose though this is not compulsory. Bands are free to choose a different march for the Parade of Bands from their On-Stage Championship.
There are four elements to competing in the Parade of Bands these are:
- Inspection (20 points)
- Bands are inspected prior to marching in the Parade of Bands. Points are deducted for a range of errors including incorrect spacing in ranks and files, unsteadiness in the ranks and other irregularities.
- Music (40 points)
- Points are awarded on the quality of the music being produced whilst a band is marching.
- Change of Direction (20 points)
- Points are awarded based on the execution and entertainment value of the change of direction.
- Drill (100 points)
- Points are awarded based on how well a band executes certain movements together.
The Band in each grade gaining the highest aggregate points for these four items will be declared the Champion Marching Band.
Solo & Party Championships
All soloists perform a test piece that has been chosen specifically for their instrument and age group (Open or Junior: U/19). Soloists generally perform their piece with piano accompaniment and are scored out of 100 points. The following sections will be contested at the 2018 Nationals.
|Eb Soprano Cornet||Piccolo||Side/Snare Drum|
|Bb Cornet||Flute||Mallet Percussion|
|Flugel Horn||Bass Clarinet||Multi Percussion|
|Eb Tenor Horn||Alto Saxophone|
|French Horn||Tenor Saxophone|
|High Tuba (EEb & F)|
|Low Tuba (BBb & C)|
Champion of Champions — Brass & Woodwind
For the competitors who win their respective solo championships they are then invited to compete in an additional Champion of Champions event. This event showcases the best of the best and let’s competitors perform a piece of their own choosing. Champion of Champion events are held for Open Brass, Open Woodwind, Junior Brass and Junior Woodwind sections.
The Champion Percussionist
The Champion Percussionist is determined by allocating 5, 3 and 2 points to competitors who come 1st, 2nd and 3rd and 1 point to competitors who don’t place in each of the four Open and Junior percussion sections. Those points are then aggregated to determine the Open and Junior Champion Percussionist.
Quartets and Quintets
The following party sections will be contested at the 2018 Nationals. Quartets and Quintets involve four or five players performing a work of their choosing and receiving a score out of 100.
- Open Quartet
- Junior Quartet
- Open Quintet
- Junior Quintet