The 20th annual Best of Brass championships will bring 15 bands, and world-renowned musicians to Maryborough this weekend.
The 20th annual Best of Brass championships will bring 15 bands, and world-renowned musicians to Maryborough this weekend. Alistair Brightman

Bands to battle it out

WORLD-CLASS musicians are flying in to the Fraser Coast ahead of the 20th annual Best of Brass extravaganza this weekend.

Renowned euphonium player Riki McDonnell will arrive this morning from New Zealand to take part in the musical celebration.

He will host workshops at high schools in Maryborough and Hervey Bay tomorrow, before performing as a soloist at Saturday's gala concert at the Brolga Theatre.

"He's one of the best euphonium players in the world," Maryborough Brass Band president Bryce Whitaker said.

"It will be a real treat for the children to hear someone in that class."

Mr McDonnell will also perform a duet with one of the older generation of Maryborough players, Cliff Nicholls, on Saturday night.

"Cliff was the top player in Australia in his time," Mr Whitaker said.

"He's in his eighties now, and he's still playing."

Mr Whitaker said 15 bands from Cairns to Toowoomba and the Gold Coast would compete in this year's championships.

Brisbane Brass and Brisbane Excelsior Band will do the first half of the program at the concert on Saturday, with the second half set to star the New South Wales Fire and Rescue Band and international talent in the form of the Precision Marching Team.

"These are some of the best bands around, nationally and internationally," Mr Whitaker said.

"That's why it's called the Best of Brass."

The Sunday morning street march will start at the Royal Hotel on Bazaar and Kent Sts at 8.30am, when Mary Heritage and Mr McDonnell fire the time cannon.

The bands will then march through Kent and Adelaide Sts to the town hall green.

After the march, bands will head back to the Brolga for an on-stage concert march and the Own Choice Test Selection.

For more information call Bryce Whitaker on 4121 2736.


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