MICHAEL MEARS ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT FROM FULL TIME BANDING

After 14 years with Preston Band, Champion Principal Euphonium player, Mr. Michael Mears, has made the heart wrenching decision to retire from full time banding to spend more time with his young family.

 

Before joining Preston, Michael had played Principal Euphonium for both Footscray-Yarraville City Band and the Hawthorn Band (winning 4 Australian Band Championship “A Grade” titles and an “American Brass Band Association” title, over a 12 year period, with the latter). He was also made a life member of the Footscray-Yarraville City Band for his outstanding service. 

 

Joining Preston Band in 2005 (then under the direction of his brother, Jason Mears) Michael’s impact was immediate. He set a new standard in musicianship and professionalism, which became the catalyst for a culture change that has seen Preston steadily rise to become one of Australia’s premier "A Grade" bands.

 

During his 14 years with Preston, Michael has held committee positions, taken numerous rehearsals and sectionals, and occasionally conducted the band in concert appearances. In 2015, he was awarded a life membership for his exceptional commitment and leadership to Darebin City Brass.

 

Undoubtedly, however, Michael’s greatest contribution to Preston Band has been his exceptional playing. With a sound and musicality matched by few, Michael delivered, time and time again, on both the contest and concert stage, earning high praise from adjudicators and concert goers alike.

 

Band President Chris Lee reflected on Michael’s time with the band:

 

“Michael changed our band and changed me as a musician. His approach to playing, his musicality and technical mastery was a real eye-opener. I didn’t know people could play like that! Aside from his skill as a Euphonium player, it was his dedication and commitment to the band that also impressed me - he is a true bandsman. He led by example and showed us what it took to be the best. Darebin City Brass will forever be in his debt.”

 

Musical Director Andrew Snell also had high praise for his departing Principal Euphonium player:

 

“Mick Mears is a legend, pure and simple. As a conductor, he's exactly what you want in your band. Dedicated, loyal, reliable and above all a truly great player. On top of that though, Mick's a great person to have in your band - he leads by example, has a wicked sense of humour and has been a great support to me in my time conducting Preston. I'm really sad to see him go, but am also incredibly pleased to see him go out at a time of his choosing while he's absolutely at the top of his game...not many great players get to do that. Our recent performance of Hypercube in Brisbane was a great one to finish on and absolute proof of his quality as a player. He'll be missed by all of us in Preston band, but his performances will be missed by all brass band fans across Australia.”

 

Principal Cornet player George Melitsis summed up Michael's time with the band as follows:

 

“Mick never missed rehearsal. He never missed a band engagement. He was always prepared and always nailed it to the back wall. His unfailing commitment, and his incredibly consistent musicianship have had a huge impact on the way I, and countless others, now approach banding. He taught us to take pride in all of our playing - that’s Mick’s legacy. It has been a great honour to sit opposite him for the last 10 years and learn from his example. Mick’s a true bandsman who leaves Preston with the respect and friendship of all our players and supporters.”

 

Michael’s final engagement with Preston was at the recent National Band Championships in Brisbane, where Preston won the Own Choice component of the contest. Michael (as always), played a blinder, in a performance that will long live on in the memories of all involved - a truly fitting end to a career of over 30 years in full time “A Grade” banding.

 

Everyone at Darebin City Brass sincerely wishes Mick and his beautiful young family all the very best for the future!

Community Banding is alive and well in the City of Darebin!

MEDIA RELEASE

5 May, 2019

Community banding is alive and well in the City of Darebin!

 

Over 60 brass musicians representing Darebin City Brass have returned from a successful campaign at the Yamaha Australian National Band Championship held in Brisbane over Easter.

Both senior bands performed magnificently with Preston Band (Open A Grade Brass) led by Musical Director Andrew Snell winning the ‘Own Choice’  with a stunning performance of Oliver Waespi's Hypercube to place fourth overall. Preston Band was the highest placed Victorian band in the Championships. Northern Brass (Open B Grade Brass), under the newly appointed Musical Director  Marc Nethercot, handled themselves admirably placing twelfth in a hotly contested field of sixteen.

Success also followed individual members of Darebin City Brass.

Jarrod McCunnie, an up and coming composer, had a number of his arrangements and compositions performed over the weekend. The highlight was his original work ‘Vengence’ being commissioned as the D-Grade test piece.

Darebin City Brass currently has a monopoly over outstanding Baritone Horn players. Jessica Crabbe is the reigning Open National Baritone Champion and Will Leslie won the Junior Baritone section. Llewelyn Morris was narrowly pipped by 1 point for the Open Tenor Horn title.

Darebin City Brass Youth program has undergone some changes, with a restructured beginner program and a newly established Youth Band. The revamped programs are under the musical direction of Hannah Trewartha and Andrew McAdam. All budding young musicians are very welcome!

For further information about your local community brass band and all media enquiries contact:

Andrew Rollason

Secretary

Darebin City Brass

secretary@darebincitybrass.com

2018 Grand Final Parade

Darebin players featured in the 2018 AFL Grand Final Parade. A combined band made up of players from Preston and Northern led the West Coast Eagles from Parliament House down to the MCG.

Despite the rain, it was a great day. Everyone involved had a great time playing for such a large crowd. There were plenty of cheers from West Coast fans in the crowd as well as a few boos from the Collingwood supporters!

We would like to thank all of our helpers for the day, particularly Joseph Yu for his arrangement of the West Coast song and Michael Mathers for leading the band as drum major.

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Darebin City Brass Annual Cabaret Concert

Our annual cabaret concert will be held on the 10th of November at the Preston Town Hall. This year’s event will feature performances from all three of our bands, including the Jack’s Juniors in their first performance with new director, Hannah Trewartha.

This year, the Cabaret will celebrate and pay tribute to the contributions made to the brass banding movement by four legends of our organisation: Peter Caldwell, Robin Ford, the late Jack Kelly OAM and the late Fred Lenne.

Beer, wine and soft drink will be available from purchase from the bar, while tea and coffee will be provided free of charge. Please do not BYO drinks, however, feel free to bring along some food to eat during the night.

Tickets may be purchased from the trybooking website. Book a table before the 3rd of November using the promo code DCB2018 to receive 10% off the price.

TICKET PRICES:

Adult – $25

Concession – $20

Family – $80 (2 adults, 2 concessions)

Table – $220 (Up to 10 people)

Doors will open at 7pm on the night, with the concert beginning at 7:30pm.

For all updates on the cabaret, please follow the event on Facebook. Any queries about the event can be directed to the secretary: secretary@darebincitybrass.com