A Year-by-Year History

1997

Unley Concert Band was founded in May 1997 by Bill Lawson – Inaugural President with Bill Kannussaar – Inaugural Music Director

  • On 21 February 1997 a “Proposal for the Formation of an Unley Concert Band” was submitted to Council. A grant of $5,000 enabled the foundation of the band.
    The first rehearsal held at Arthur Street, Unley 28 May 1997, 24 players attended.
    The inaugural concert held at Unley Civic Centre 14 September 1997 for a council function.
  • Unley Concert Band was founded to be a marching band and was the only marching concert band in South Australia in 1997.
  • The band was formed to provide the opportunity for school leavers with AMEB Grade 4 standard and above to continue playing their instrument. Many of the 53 band members in 1997 were senior secondary and tertiary students. Most of the band members were recruited from Concordia College.
  • In 1997, the Band played 15 well-received concerts, 11 in the Unley Council area. Community engagements included a Seniors Week Civic Reception, the Louise Place Fete, the Julia Farr Fete, and the Glenelg Pageant.
  • A Band initiative, Carols in the Rotunda, was conducted for the first time and is still a feature on the calendar in 2017

1998

  • The Band paraded in the Anzac Day City March for the first time. Later in 1998, the Band participated in the Credit Union Christmas Pageant
  • During 1998, the Band participated in many community functions, including the Unley Australia Day ceremony, Unley Way to Go parade, concert at the Julia Farr centre and Concordia College, Christmas Pageants, and the Carols in the Rotunda
  • Bill Lawson retired from the band (due to health reasons) in December 2000
  • Bill Kannussaar became President/Musical Director that same month

1999

  • The Band provided music for the Unley Australia Day ceremony
  • Jacobs Creek Tour Down Under – well appreciated performance by the competitors as they commenced the Unley leg of the race
  • Anzac Day march
  • The Band participated in a large number of community concerts, including the South Australian Policeman of the Year Dinner at Ayres House, the Unley Way to Go march, a Volunteers Week concert, and various community fetes and pageants

2000

  • The Band played the usual round of community performances, similar to those of previous years.
  • The Band became and Incorporated Association
  • Bill Kannussaar resigned the positions of President and Musical Director and moved to Port Lincoln in December 2000

2001

  • A variety of guest conductors assisted the band
  • Dr Kevin Cameron, Director of Music at Pembroke School, was appointed Musical Director in June 2001
  • David Corkindale was elected President at Annual General Meeting August 2001
  • The Band continued to perform for community events, including fetes, pageants, and community concerts

2002

  • The Band produced the first of many of its own formal concerts for the community at the Goodwood Community Centre
  • The Band commenced active contesting, winning the 2002 SA Band Association Concert Band Championship

2003

  • The Band wins the Open C Grade contest at the SABA Winter Championships (Willunga), and the Concert Band Championship at the Barossa Band Festival
  • The Band hosts a school band from Western Australia in December and produces combined performances

2004

  • The Band undertakes its first tour to the Australian National Band Championships at Launceston, Tasmania. The Band wins the Open C Grade Concert Championship by a record 95 points, and is placed 5th in Open B Grade. A number of soloists and ensembles are highly placed in the solo and party championships
  • A combined concert with the Hahndorf Town Band is held in the recently refurbished Unley Town Hall, given to a large audience
  • The Band is promoted to State A Grade, and wins the Championship against all other major community concert bands in SA
  • The Band wins the Concert Band section of the Barossa Band Festival for the second successive occasion

2005

  • Unley Concert Band performs a substantial concert to a full audience at the Unley Town Hall before Easter
  • The Band plays magnificently at Elder Hall for the Open B Grade championship at the Australian National Band Championships, achieving 3rd place. A number of Unley players win or are placed in the solo championships, and Unley wins the Open Quartet Championship
  • In November, Unley Concert Band wins the SABA A Grade Concert Band Championship for the second consecutive year
  • Bruce Raymond appears as guest conductor for Unley Concert Band’s first Cabaret Night at the Goodwood Community Centre
  • The Band participates for the first time in various Christmas Pageants, including Glenelg, Norwood, Blackwood, amongst others.

2006

  • The Band participates in the Unley Way to Go celebrations at Unley Oval
  • The second Cabaret night – Sounds of the Big Bands is held at the Unley Town Hall in May
  • Unley participates at the Hahndorf Town Band 80th Anniversary Contest and places second behind K&N
  • The Band performs in the Credit Union Christmas Pageant
  • Unley participates in the SABA State Championships at Tanunda. The Band wins the Concert Band Street March trophy, but loses the A Grade Championship to SA Police Rangers band on a countback.

2007

  • The Band participates in the Unley Way to Go celebrations at Unley Oval
  • Unley participates at the 2007 Australian National Band Championships at Ivanhoe, Victoria, placing second in the B Grade Championship. Unley is the only concert band to participate in the Parade of Bands.
  • David Bremner, Principal Trombonist of the NZ Symphony Orchestra, is featured in a special concert with the Unley concert Band at Walford.
  • The Unley Concert Band celebrates its 10th Anniversary with a dinner attended by present and past players and Anniversary Contest. The contest, featuring Henley and Grange, Onkaparinga, Redbacks, and Unley, is won by Unley.
  • The Band performs a concert at the SA Museum as part of the Sundays are Fundays series
  • The Band performs in the Credit Union Christmas Pageant and a number of suburban events
  • Unley participates in the SABA State Championships at Scott Theatre, University of Adelaide, placing second in the A Grade Championship.

2008

  • The Band participates in the Unley Way to Go celebrations at Unley Oval
  • Soloists, a Quartet, and a Quintet represent Unley at the 2008 Australian National Band Championships.
  • The Band performs in the Credit Union Christmas Pageant
  • Unley wins the Size Music Shield for Solo and Party and Volunteer aggregate points.
  • Unley participates in the SABA State Championships at Elder Hall, placing second in the A Grade Championship.
  • The Band wins the Unley Spring Festival Contest (the Pollard Shield) from Onkaparinga, Holdfast Bay and Tea Tree Gully Concert Bands.
  • Unley wins the A Grade section at the Barossa Band Festival.
  • As usual, the Band participates in a number of Christmas pageants.

2009

  • The band performed with Jonathan Welch and the Tutti Ensemble at the Australia Day Council Luncheon
  • UCB performs a hugely successful pre-tour concert to the local community at the Unley Town Hall. They also played at a pre-Nationals concert at Scotch College
  • Unley placed second at the Australian National Band Championships in Sydney. Soloists and a quartet also represented the band at the competitions
  • The band completes a successful Tour of Belgium and France, representing South Australia at the Dawn Service in Villers-Bretonneux
  • Soloists and groups performed at the SABA Solo and Party events, many winning or placing in their sections. Nicole Molloy wins the Open Concert Champion of Champions for Unley.
  • Unley formed a partnership with the St Andrew’s School Band and performed a combined concert
  • Unley wins the B Grade competition at the SABA State Band Championships
  • UCB wins the Unley Spring Contest (the ‘Pollard Shield’) for the third year running
  • The Band is awarded the ‘Freedom to March’ in the City of Unley in a ceremony conducted by Mayor Richard Thorne.
  • Unley wins the Barossa Band Festival B Grade Concert competition, with a perfect score for the hymn. The band also performs well in the street march.
  • The Band participates in six local Christmas pageants.
  • UCB performs in an end of year christmas concert with the Tutti Ensemble.

2010

  • Unley is one of three marching bands in Adelaide to participate in a two-day filming of South Australian feature film Swerve in several scenes.
  • Unley plays an entertainment programme at Government House Open Day in the gardens.
  • Unley wins the Community Event of the Year, awarded by the City of Unley, for its service to the community and in Europe for Anzac services. UCB brass quintet were present to perform at the ceremony.
  • Unley is honoured at a reception at Government House by his Excellency Rear Admiral Kevin Scarce to commemorate the band’s achievements to date, particularly the band’s participation in commemorative services in France and Belgium in 2009.
  • Unley wins the Australian National Band Championship street march (the second best band on the day across all grades and bands) and places 2nd in B Grade for the on-stage championship at the Australian National Band Championships in Hobart. Many members of the band place in their respective solo sections and a quartet and quintet also represented the band in the party divisions.
  • Unley participates in the dawn service at Unley war memorial and the subsequent ANZAC Day march in the city.
  • The band is well represented at the SA Solo and Party Championships and many win or place in their divisions and two UCB ensembles also win their divisions. Sarah Byron (alto sax) wins the Concert Champion of Champions event.
  • Unley perform two very successful Broadway themed concerts with the Tutti Ensemble to rave reviews.
  • Several quartet and quintets and individuals from UCB perform as part of Library and Unley Council events throughout the year, including Friends of The Unley Library and several Citizenship Ceremonies.
  • Unley wins the Open A Grade Concert and Open B Grade Concert divisions at the South Australian Band Championships in Tanunda. The band comes second in the Gala Entertainment contest the same day.
  • Unley performs a concert with Mitcham City Brass at the Unley Town Hall to commemorate both bands’ victories at the State Championships. St Andrews School Senior Band also perform at this concert as part of the SABA Partnership for 2009/2010
  • Unley participates in a Remembrance Day service on 11th November for the Unley R.S.L.
  • Unley participates in seven Christmas pageants in Nov/Dec: Stirling, Adelaide Credit Union pageant, Norwood, Glenelg, Blackwood, Mount Barker and Mannum.

 2011 

  • Unley travels to Loxton to participate in their Disney themed Mardi Gras parade.
  • Unley participates in a marching display and concert in the park at the Mannum leg of the Tour Down Under. Lance Armstrong signs the band’s bass drum.
  • Unley wins the South Australian Band Association Open A Grade Concert Band division of the State Championships. The band also wins the Concert Band street march in the same competition.
  • Unley competes for the first time in A Grade at the Australian National Band Championships, held in Adelaide. The band places 3rd overall, placing as high as 2nd in the on-stage march. The band also competes in the B Grade Concert Band division in the same Championships, losing the championship by a mere half a point. UCB also place first in the Parade of Bands for concert band, with a score that placed the band second overall across all bands in the competition. Many of the band’s soloists and ensembles win or place in their respective divisions at this championships.
  • Unley were the host band for Orchestra de Cuivre d’Amiens from France and many members billeted players from this band during their stay at Easter.
  • Unley participates in the dawn service at Unley war memorial and the subsequent ANZAC Day march in the city.
  • Many Unley members played in a special Anzac Day concert at the Adelaide Town Hall with the Orchestra de Cuivre d’Amiens (Brass Band), Knox Grammar Wind Ensemble and Adelaide Philharmonic Chorus.
  • Several members win or place in their respective divisions at the South Australian Band Association’s Solo and Party Championships, held at Prince Alfred College.
  • The band releases their first CD, “Uniquely Unley” for sale to the general public.
  • Darryl Pope, guest conductor, leads the band in a very successful cabaret evening “Red Carpets and Razzamatazz” at the Dom Polski Centre to an almost capacity audience.
  • Unley Concert Band feature in the “Out of the Square Matinee Series” in October 2011, performing 6 concerts in 5 days across suburban theatres to enthusiastic crowds.
  • Unley participates in a Remembrance Day service for the Unley RSL and City of Unley on 11th November.
  • Unley participates in seven Christmas Pageants in November and December: Stirling, Adelaide Credit Union Pageant, Norwood, Glenelg, Blackwood, Mount Barker and Mannum.

2012

  • Unley performs a marching display on the racetrack at Stage 3 of the Tour Down Under in Unley prior to the race.
  • The band performs four concerts “Angels in the Architecture (Unley Town Hall in April), “Stars and Stripes” cabaret (Norwood Concert Hall in June), “Classics For Band” (Unley Town Hall in August) and “Jubilation” (Unley Town Hall in December) to local audiences.
  • The band performs in a Pre-Nationals concert at Scotch College with four other SA bands
  • Unley Concert Band places 2nd in Open A Grade Concert Band section at the Australian National Band Championships in Melbourne. The band defends their Open A Grade Concert marching title for the 2nd time. Many soloists and ensembles win or place in their sections at the Solo/Party section of the championships.
  • Unley participates in the dawn service at Unley war memorial and the subsequent ANZAC Day march in the city.
  • UCB places 3rd at the Hahndorf Band Festival entertainment contest at St Michaels and performs admirably in the Parade of Bands event.
  • UCB perform at the Strathalbyn Band Festival to the usual enthusiastic crowd!
  • UCB has its most successful State Championships to date, winning both the A Grade Concert on-stage event, overall winner of the Parade of Bands against continually tough brass competitors and a clean sweep of solo and party events by more than 20 competitors. Sarah Byron (winner, Open Alto Saxophone) wins Concert Champion of Champions in the October, an event which featured four UCB champions.
  • Unley perform nine marching shows at the Royal Adelaide Show on consecutive nights.
  • Unley wins the Barossa Band Festival Entertainment competition against tough competitors.
  • The band participates in 6 local Christmas pageants: Credit Union Adelaide, Norwood, Glenelg, Blackwood, Mt Barker and Mannum
  • Tubist James Warren wins the inaugural Claude Hale Memorial Trophy for Bandsperson of the Year.

2013

  • The band places third in Open A Grade Concert Band National Championships in Perth, Western Australia. Sarah Byron wins the Open Concert Champion of Champions and the band has six first places in the Solo and Party Championships.
  • The band performed a highly successful cabaret in a Disney theme at Dom Polski Centre.
  • We farewelled our long term Conductor, Dr. Kevin Cameron, who took up a post at Geelong Grammar School.
  • Unley wins A grade SA State Championships at Marryatville High School under the direction of interim conductor Robert Hower.
  • The band appointed Dr. Stephen Boyle as Music Director and perform their first performance with him in October, ‘Slip into Spring’.
  • Unley performs at the Australian Women’s Masters Hockey Championship’s opening ceremony at The Pines.
  • The band participates in 6 local Christmas pageants: Credit Union Adelaide, Norwood, Glenelg, Blackwood, Mt Barker and Mannum

2014

  • Unley performs at the start of Stage 4 of the Tour Down Under.
  • Unley undertakes several performances: Summon the Heroes Concert (April), South of the Border Concert (June), Strathalbyn Band Festival and the Carols at the Rotunda.
  • Unley competes at the Open A Grade Concert Band National Championships in Brisbane, placing sixth.
  • Unley wins the A Grade State Championships at Hahndorf. Alison Harris won Open Brass Champion of Champions. Jeff Hale was awarded Best Drum Major.
  • The band participates in 5 local Christmas Pageants: Credit Union Adelaide, Norwood, Glenelg, Blackwood and Mt Barker.

2015

  • Unley performs at the start of Stage 4 of the Tour Down Under.
  • Unley competes at the 2015 Centenary of ANZAC Australian National Band Championships in Sydney, placing third overall and winning the Hymn section. Dominic Meehan wins Open Woodwind Champion of Champions.
  • Unley performs a highly successful ‘Jazz Cabaret’ at Fullarton Park Community Centre under the direction of Alwin Kidney which featured jazz singer, Bianca Carbone. Later in July, the band returns to this venue to perform a concert of ‘Folk Songs and Dances’.
  • Unley successfully defends their South Australian A Grade Concert Band Title at Trinity College with a entertaining performance of Eric Whitacre’s ‘Godzilla Eats Las Vegas’.
  • The band performs a highly entertaining Halloween cabaret at Goodwood Community Centre called ‘Monsters and Magic’.
  • The band participates in 5 local Christmas pageants: Credit Union Adelaide, Norwood, Glenelg, Blackwood and Mt Barker.

2016

  • Unley performs at the start of Stage 4 of the Tour Down Under on Kind William Road Unley as a marching display.
  • Unley performs a pre-Nationals concert with Kensington and Norwood Brass and Payneham City Concert Band at St. Peter’s Collegiate Girls School.
  • Unley wins the Australian National Band Championships Open A Grade Concert Band Title at Trinity College, Gawler. The band also wins the Parade of Bands held in the main street of Gawler.
  • The band treated its audience to an elegant evening of classical music at their concert ‘A Classical Celebration’ at Concordia College.
  • Unley successfully raises over $6000 dollars for Cancer Council SA with their charity concert ‘Songs of Joy’ featuring Keith Conlon as a special guest host. 
  • Unley teamed up with Kensington and Norwood Brass to perform a Proms extravaganza in the beautiful Elder Hall.
  • Unley successfully defends its SA Band Championships A Grade Concert title at Immanuel College.
  • The band performs their first Cabaret ‘Top of the Pops’ at the Latvian Hall to a large audience, featuring music by some of the biggest rock and pop artists of all time.
  • The band participates in 5 local Christmas pageants: Credit Union Adelaide, Norwood, Glenelg, Blackwood and Mt Barker. The band also organises and performs at the Carols at the Rotunda in Unley Soldier’s Memorial Gardens.

2017

  • UCB performs at the start of the Santos Women’s Tour at Victoria Park Grandstand.
  • UCB performs for Sturt Football Club at their unfurling of the 2016 Premiership Flag.
  • UCB performs a Concert Series:
Pre-Nationals Concert with Kensington and Norwood Brass and Payneham City Concert Band (St Peters Girls School Arts Centre in March)
“20th Anniversary Concert” where (Concordia College in July)we welcomed back past musical director Dr Kevin Cameron and past members to perform.
“For the Young at Heart” (Fullarton Park Community Centre Banquet Hall in September)2 x kid concerts featuring the orchestral work  Peter and the Wolf transcribed for wind band.
“Curtain Up” (Latvian Hall in December)a Broadway themed cabaret with guest vocalists Andrew Crispe and Cherie Surman. 
  • Unley Concert Band places equal first in Open A Grade Concert Band section at the Australian National Band Championships in Launceston, losing the title on a count back. Many soloists and ensembles win or place in their sections at the Solo/Party section of the championships with Sam Webber (clarinet) winning the National Concert Champion of Champions.
  • Unley participates in the dawn service at the Unley Memorial Gardens and the subsequent ANZAC Day march in the city.
  • The band participates in 5 local Christmas pageants: Credit Union Adelaide, Norwood, Glenelg, Blackwood, Mt Barker. The band also organises and performs at the Carols at the Rotunda in Unley Soldier’s Memorial Gardens.
  • The band performs for the first time at the inaugural Mitcham Band Festival.
  • UCB perform at the Strathalbyn Band Festival to the usual enthusiastic crowd on a stormy August afternoon!
  • UCB has a successful SA State Championships, winning the A Grade Concert on-stage event. Jade McEvoy (winner, Open Flute) wins Concert Champion of Champions.
  • UCB participates in a Remembrance Day service for the Unley RSL and City of Unley on 11th November.
  • The band participates in 5 local Christmas pageants: Credit Union Adelaide, Norwood, Glenelg, Blackwood, Mt Barker. The band also organises and performs at the Carols at the Rotunda in Unley Soldier’s Memorial Gardens.
  • UCB farewells its Music Director of four years, Professor Stephen Boyle.

2018

  • UCB performs at the start of Stage 4 of the Tour Down Under on King  William Road as a marching display before the race.
  • UCB appoints Musical Director, Bryan Griffiths for 2018
  • The band competes at the Australian National Band Championships in Open A Grade Concert Band, placing third in Melbourne.
  • UCB performs a Concert Series:
Pre-Nationals Concert with Mitcham City Brass (St Peters, Blackwood)
March Madness (Concordia College)a marches themed concert
Early Classics for Band (Walford Anglican School for Girls)a pre-States concert
Concert for the Young (Unley Town Hall)a concert for children with proceeds donated to Save The Children
V for Villains Cabaret (Latvian Hall)a cabaret all about bad guys! 
  • The band performs for the second time at the Mitcham Band Festival and also performs at the Strathalbyn Band Festival.
  • Unley wins the Open A Grade Concert section at the South Australian Band Championships for the 8th year in a row. The band also wins the South Australian Marching Championship two weeks later held at the Royal Adelaide Showgrounds 
  • UCB participates in 5 local Christmas pageants: Credit Union Adelaide, Norwood, Glenelg, Blackwood and Mt Barker.
  • UCB also organises and performs at the Carols at the Rotunda in Unley Soldier’s Memorial Gardens with guest vocalist and host Eliza Dickson

2019

  • UCB performs a flashmob at Unley Gourmet Gala to a very enthusiastic crowd.
  • The band appoints David Lang as its musical director for 2019
  • UCB performs at the Sturt Football home match
  • UCB performs a Concert Series:
Last night of the Proms (Scotch College)
featuring the RubyTuesday Choir and guest artists The Raymond Sisters
We Got Rhythm (Concordia College)featuring Rhapsody in Blue performed by Thomas Saunders
Music for a Good Paws (Unley Town Hall)a charity concert to support Guide Dogs SA with an ‘Around the World’ flavour.
Going Solo (Scotch College)a concert featuring our talented members as soloists with the band. 
2019: A Space Odyssey (Latvian Hall)a sci-fi and space themed cabaret evening
Tis the Season (Unley Town Hall)with Burnside Youth Concert Band
  • UCB works with Maestros with a Mission in an advanced conducting training workshop over two days with three up and coming conductors. 
  • UCB performs at the Mitcham Band Festival for the third year running as the final band of the weekend and also at Strathalbyn Band Festival.
  • UCB wins the South Australian Band Association Marching Competition for the second year in a row at the Royal Adelaide Show. Several UCB soloists place first in their respective solo sections and Dominic Meehan wins Open Woodwind Champion of Champions. 
  • UCB participates in 5 local Christmas pageants: National Pharmacies Adelaide City, Norwood, Glenelg, Blackwood and Mt Barker.
  • UCB organises and performs at the Carols at the Rotunda in Unley Soldier’s Memorial Gardens, featuring guest musical director David Polain and singer Serena Martino-Williams. 

2020

  • UCB appoints Timothy Frahn as their musical director for 2020
  • Despite making preparations to attend the Australian National Band Championships in Perth, the event is cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic and subsequently UCB goes into COVID-19 hiatus from March until July. 
  • UCB performs:
Under the Full Moon (St. Peter’s Girls School Arts Centre)a Halloween themed concert with special guest violinist Natalia Beos
Taking Flight (Unley Town Hall in December)a live streamed concert of flight themed music with proceeds being donated to the Royal Flying Doctor Service
  • UCB participates in the National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant massed band at Adelaide Oval under strict COVID-19 guidelines