Townsville’s popular 1 RAR Band is on the look our for 20 Reserve Members to join its ranks, in order to help the band meet the growing demand for public concerts.
Officer Commanding and Music Director Major Matt Chilmaid of the Band of the First Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (aka 1 RAR’s Director) said he was looking for a broad range of musicians, at varying levels, to grow the band.
Major Chilmaid said musicians interested in applying do not need formal qualifications in music, as the Australian Defence Force would assist in training successful applicants.
“Musicians just need to be able to perform music to a public standard,” explained Major Chilmaid. “It is helpful if they can read music and have some theoretical knowledge of what’s happening musically, however from the Army’s perspective musicians are just like any other tradespeople.”
Major Chilmaid warned applicants should expect a rigorous recruitment process, however the opportunity was perfect for people looking to study music while working part-time as an Army Reservist.
“These people are joining the Army, their trade just happens to be music. You’re still becoming a basic soldier and that requires fitness tests and basic training … you’ll be expected to maintain those skills and then be sent to the Band to make sure you’re up to the trade.”
Major Chilmaid is specifically looking for musicians who could help full a Big Band, with a keen interest in people who can play the trumpet, trombone, saxophone, clarinet, rhythm section, bass guitar, keyboard, lead guitar, and drums, as well as singers.
“I’ll also consider people who play a primary instrument different from these – such as the tuba – and are willing to learn, or who already know, how to play a secondary instrument,” Major Chilmaid said.
“I don’t always use a tuba – maybe six times a year – so I wouldn’t want to put anyone through the whole process for that; but if they were willing to develop new skills, this is a great opportunity.
“The first step is to come in and have an interview with me,” said Major Chilmaid.
“We’ll talk about what the Band does, how it works and the expectations of the band and the musician. I usually find there’s a fair amount of mythology around what we do, which I can sort out pretty quickly. Then I’ll issue some audition materials, give the musician a month or two to rehearse, and call them in for an audition.”
Musicians who are interested in learning more about joining 1 RAR, are encouraged to attend the North Queensland Army Open Day at Lavarack Barracks on 31 August 2019, where they can speak to Recruitment Officers and see firsthand what the Army’s various ensembles do.