The Australian Youth Band and Drumline have gained a reputation as world class ensembles by touring Australia and different regions of the world numerous times. With the majority of these tours occurring in the past ten years, every new member of the band now joins with the expectation that they will have the opportunity to travel internationally once every two to three years. AYB has forged friendships with many musical groups worldwide and is always seeking new opportunities to perform to audiences on tours throughout Australia and overseas.
Hong Kong, 2016
AYB’s most recent international adventure was a tour to Hong Kong where we performed at various iconic locations including Stanley Market Plaza, Ocean Park, Festival Walk Shopping Mall and Hong Kong Cultural Centre Piazza. Of course, we also got loads of sightseeing done in between, including seeing Giant Buddha, going to Ngong Ping Village, shopping (how could we not?) and exploring Tsim Sha Tsui. The band was in Hong Kong from Saturday 25 June through Monday 4 July 2016.
– Performing at Ocean Park for hundreds of theme park attendees
– Our two flash mob style performances at Festival Walk Shopping Mall
In 2013, the Australian Youth Band cemented its reputation on the international stage after being invited to perform in the Chunghwa Clarion Shanghai Spring International Wind Music Festival.
The Australian flag flew high at the packed Zhengda Stadium events, as AYB joined bands from China, Austria, South Korea and Germany. Official delegates and other band directors praised AYB for its “enriched musicality”, “impressive and artistic routine”, and “wonderful arrangements of Chinese music”.
– Performing in a stadium filled with thousands of international marching band delegates
– Marching through the enormous crowds on Nanjing Road street parade
– Allowing students from high schools around Shanghai to conduct AYB
AYB toured Malaysia in 2012 for two weeks, performing at venues in Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh and Penang. The Malay people made AYB feel so welcome and the audiences at Putrajaya and the George Town Festival made us feel like royalty!
The band was praised in a message from the Australian High Commission in Kuala Lumpur: “We have received rave reviews on the AYB’s performances…”
– Performing for the Mayor of Kuala Lumpur and government officials
– Marching displays and concerts in high traffic areas, such as KLCC – Petronas Towers
– George Town Festival 2012
– Penang Town Hall Gala Concert
– Entertaining the thousands of viewers watching “Hello on Two” – a morning TV program
– Visiting students from Ipoh district schools
North America, 2010
In June 2010, AYB embarked on a whirlwind three-week tour of the west coast of the USA and Canada.
After touring the west coast of the US, the band flew north to Calgary, Canada for the world-famous Calgary Stampede. This event is the largest marching band festival in the world, attracting 1.2 million visitors every year. AYB performed in the Calgary Stampede Parade (all 6 kms of it!) and also had the opportunity to watch presentations by elite marching bands from around the globe.
– Receiving rave reviews from around the continent:
“All in step, nice and tight musically, very loud!…Great Band! Great energy musically, great uniforms and for a small band, good sound!…This is an excellent band. Very strong musicians in each section. Great work, great preparation, fantastic leadership.”
Calgary Stampede parade judges
“By far the most musical group I have seen perform in the 7 years I have been working at Disney Arts.”
Melanie – Disney Representative
– Winning the absolutely fabulous visiting contingent award in the San Francisco Pride Parade
– Being one of the few bands to continue playing to the end of the 6km Calgary Stampede Parade
The Australian Youth Band was selected to form the Victorian contingent of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Orchestra, a 2008-piece international ensemble which performed at events in the lead up to and throughout the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympic Games. This trip provided our young musicians with another excellent opportunity to represent Victoria and Australia on the international stage. The Victorian contingent took its place in the ‘Green Hub’ alongside musicians from New South Wales, Queensland, Japan and Guam.
– AYB had the honour of being in the first international musical ensemble ever permitted to perform in Tiananmen Square
– Performed on the Great Wall of China with fellow musicians a part of the green contingent
– Provided pre-games entertainment at an Olympic live site in Tianjin
New Zealand, 2007
The 2007 New Zealand tour was not only the band’s longest overseas tour to date, it was also the band’s first self-generated overseas tour. Our Musical Director approached venues to request to perform; while a tour committee assisted with organising accommodation, transport, activities, and meals. Over the two weeks, AYB toured to Auckland, Rotorua, Wellington and Christchurch.
– Hearing the amazing acoustics while performing in Christchurch Cathedral
– Performing to guests visiting the Te Papa Tongarewa Museum, the national museum of New Zealand in Wellington
– Participating in stomach-churning activities, such as Zorbing, Agrojeting, Shweebing, and Bungy jumping
In 2005, the Australian Youth Band was invited by the Beijing Tourism Bureau and Beijing Dongcheng District Municipal Government to participate in the Beijing International Youth Festival. AYB was Australia’s sole representative at the festival, among more than a dozen other youth bands from regions including North and South America, Europe and Asia.
The theme of the festival was “Singing the Olympic Theme Song Together” and was part of the promotional celebrations in the lead up to the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Over the eight days, the group of 54 members not only had the opportunity to represent Australia on the international stage, but we were also able to visit attractions of world significance such as Tiananmen Square, the Great Wall (including being the only band selected to perform there!), Beijing Olympic Stadium, palaces, temples and museums.
Then known as the McDonald’s Melbourne Youth Band, we travelled to Japan in 1998 where we competed as Australia’s sole representative in the World Marching Band Festival in Kanagawa. This was the first overseas trip for the band and allowed us the opportunity to compete at a high level, representing our city, state, country and sponsor on the international stage. The Festival saw 15 bands from around the world competing in a display of precision marching and diagrammatic manoeuvres in front of a capacity crowd of 10,000 at the Yokohama Arena. Our band was awarded third place – an outstanding effort considering the standard of the bands involved.
During non-performance time, our members had some extraordinary opportunities to sample Japanese cuisine, go shopping in the stunningly-illuminated streets of Tokyo, and take in views of Mt Fuji from within the Hakone National Park.