RAN Band South Australia

The Royal Australian Navy Band South Australia.
The Royal Australian Navy Band South Australia.

Royal Australian Navy Band South Australia is based at the Navy Headquarters South Australia (NHQ-SA), Keswick Barracks in Adelaide, with a compliment of 18 part-time and two full-time Musicians under the direction of Bandmaster Chief Petty Officer Musician Simon Potter.

The Band provides a highly visible Navy presence in a state with otherwise low naval representation. During its history, the Band has entertained audiences both within South Australia and throughout the country, and is particularly versatile, providing a variety of musical support as required. The Band’s cardinal role is support naval ceremonial support to NHQ-SA. This most often takes the form of a military marching band but can also include vocal and bugle support to anthem/Last Post ceremonies and memorials, as well as drum corps support.

The Band can be seen around the state supporting events such as Anzac Day Dawn Services and parades, Australia Day and Freedom of Entry parades and RAN ceremonies, as well as a variety of Defence and public memorial services. Ship visits to the city, such as that of HMAS Adelaide see the Band supporting Ceremonial Sunsets, official functions, Freedom of Entry parades and ship open days.

In addition to ceremonial duties, the Band showcases several ensembles including Big Band, Cover Band, Jazz Ensemble, and brass, saxophone, and clarinet ensembles. These ensembles can be seen performing at variety of community events across South Australia, such as charity dinners and outdoor concerts, and numerous community events including popular Christmas carol concerts and pageants. Community engagement is central to RAN Band South Australia, hosting interactive school concerts, and performing at both small and large-scale public events including the Clipsal 500 V8 Supercars, and Australia Day concert and parade.

The Reserve Musicians represent a variety of occupations including secondary school teachers, arts administrators, a landscape gardener, an environmental health officer, a retail manager, as well as several full-time professional musicians, all whose skills and diversity enhance capability.

Members of RAN Band South Australia regularly support the Permanent Navy Force of the RAN Band, engaging in full-time contracts to support capability where required. This has seen South Australian musicians working both domestically and as part of deployments at sea, including IPE and RIMPAC, as well as international deployments and representation in the Middle East, Gallipoli, South Pacific and New Zealand to name a few.

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Bandmaster, RAN Band South Australia, CPO Simon Potter.
Bandmaster, RAN Band South Australia, CPO Simon Potter.

Bandmaster, Chief Petty Officer Simon Potter

Chief Petty Officer Simon Potter was born in Launceston, Tasmania. He enlisted into the Royal Australian Navy in February 1998 after completing a Diploma of Teaching and working as a Musical Instrument Technician. On completion of Initial Training Simon was posted to the Royal Australian Navy Band Melbourne as a Musician. Simon was promoted to the rank of Leading Seaman in 2001 and subsequently posted to RAN Band Sydney in 2006 on promotion to Petty Officer.

During his time at RAN Bands Melbourne and Sydney, Simon travelled with HMAS Torrens prior to decommissioning, HMAS Manoora to support RIMPAC, and to Crete as a bugler to support the Federation Guard’s commemorative duties for the Battle of Crete.

In 2007 Simon was posted to the Defence Force School of Music as an Instructor and returned to RAN Band Melbourne in 2009 where he deployed to Operation SLIPPER in 2011 and, on return, completed the Assistant Band Leaders’ course. Simon posted to RAN Band Sydney in 2016 and to Defence Force Recruiting in 2018, where he undertook duties of the Careers Coach, Defence Interviewer and Careers Promotion Team. In November of 2019 Simon was promoted to the rank of Chief Petty Officer and posted to the Royal Australian Navy Band South Australia as the Bandmaster.


RAN Band South Australia Ensembles

For correct Acknowledgement of RAN Band ensembles and naming conventions, please refer to the RAN Band Acknowledgement Guidelines.

To obtain official imagery and/or graphics of any of our ensembles, please contact navyband.pr@defence.gov.au.

Cover Band

The RAN Band South Australia Cover Band is the most visible of the unit ensembles and comprises a rock style rhythm section and vocalist, supplemented by a vibrant horn section (alto, tenor and baritone saxophone, trumpet and trombone). This combination facilitates great versatility of repertoire, meaning the ensemble can showcase a classic selection of music from the 60s all the way through to current Top 40 hits. The majority of tunes are arranged by the Band’s own musicians. Appearances include larger scale community and naval events including performances at the Clipsal 500 V8 supercars, the Royal Adelaide Show, HMA Ship open days, and the Adelaide Motorsport Festival.

Big Band

The RAN Band South Australia Big Band is the largest of the unit ensembles and comprises clarinet, alto, tenor and baritone saxophone, trumpet, trombone, rhythm section and vocals. The ensemble requires the skills of several multi-instrumentalists, and repertoire includes a variety of genres from swing classics to contemporary jazz arrangements. The size and nature of this ensemble makes it the perfect addition to a dinner, function or ball to name a few, providing subtle ambience, then taking centre stage for guests to dance away the evening. The ensemble can be seen supporting a variety of events across the state from charity balls to official functions at Government House.

Jazz Ensemble

The RAN Band South Australia Jazz Ensemble is a vibrant ensemble featuring combinations of trumpet, tenor and alto saxophone, trombone, rhythm section and vocals. This combination flexibility combined with style of repertoire makes it one of the most versatile ensembles of the unit, and suitable to support a wide range of events. The ensemble performs rich arrangements of jazz standards and original pieces composed by the band’s own musicians, facilitating atmospheric background music and/or music to dance to.

RAN Band South Australia Small Ensembles

These ensembles comprise small combinations of fine instrumentalists who perform a range of repertoire from classical pieces to more modern works. Instrumentation varies in these groups:

  • Brass Ensemble: from a trio, quartet, or quintet including trumpet, trombone, bass trombone, flugelhorn, euphonium and tuba.
  • Saxophone Ensemble: from a trio, quartet, or quintet including soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxophones.
  • Clarinet Ensemble: from a trio, quartet, or quintet combining of Eb clarinet, Bb clarinets, and bass clarinet.

These ensembles are particularly suited to small events, and in recent times have supported cocktail evenings, award ceremonies, memorial dinners, and small-scale community performances.