Guam wins double gold at Australian music festival

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Posted on Jul 12 2019

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Team Guam took home gold awards at the 2019 Australian International Music Festival recently held in Sydney. (Contributed Photo)

Team Guam, consisting of the award-winning Guam Territorial Band—the official band of Guam—and the new Tumon Bay Youth Orchestra, both took home gold awards at the 2019 Australian International Music Festival held in the city of Sydney.

Additionally, the Guam Territorial Band was selected as a command performance group—one of four, out of over 60 groups representing the various genre of music presented at the festival—to perform at the closing concert and award ceremony last July 10 at the historic Sydney Town Hall. 

Sixty-two ensembles comprising over 1,300 participants from over 15 countries participated in this year’s 30th international festival. 

Guam has participated in this festival in 1993, 2005, 2009, 2014, and 2019. The Guam Territorial Band is a three-time gold award and command performance band. 

The Guam Territorial Band is co-led by William Brandon Aydlett and Joanne Matanane and was originally formed as the Governor›s Youth Band in 1976 to march at the inaugural parade of President Jimmy Carter. Their current membership spans a vast age range, from middle school student to senior citizens, and performs for many government functions around Guam. Since 2005 the band has spearheaded the Tumon Bay Music Festival, a showcase of young talent from the region. 

The Tumon Bay Youth Orchestra was formed in September 2018. Despite being a young ensemble, they managed to score well and win the hearts of audiences while performing in Sydney. Led by 13-year-old Justine Xu from St. John’s School as concert mistress and lead violin, the new ensembles looks forward to welcoming new young instrumentalists to join their ranks this fall.

Both groups have been in Sydney since July 4 playing at various venues including: Angel Place City Recital Hall, The Sydney Conservatorium, The Sydney Opera House, the (new) Chatswood Concourse Concert Hall, The Maritime Museum at Darling Harbor and the historic Sydney Town Hall (which is older than Carnegie Hall). 

Membership in both the Guam Territorial Band and the Tumon Bay Youth Orchestra is open to all interested. There is an age limit for the Tumon Bay Youth Orchestra, where members cannot be older than age 25 and should have three years minimum playing experience. For more information on the Guam Territorial Band email gtband@gmail.com. For more information on the Tumon Bay Youth Orchestra, email tbyoguam@gmail.com.

Both groups will be presenting public concerts around Guam at the end of July in conjunction with the 75th Liberation Commemoration. Team Guam returns to Guam early morning tomorrow, July 13, via a Philippine Airlines flight from Manila. (PR)

Team Guam visits the Taronga Zoo. (Contributed Photo)

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