RAN Band Western Australia

Royal Australian Navy Band Western Australia performs at the HMAS Nizam 73rd anniversary memorial service at Cape Leeuwin, Western Australia. Image by LSIS Bradley Darvill.
Royal Australian Navy Band Western Australia performs at the HMAS Nizam 73rd anniversary memorial service at Cape Leeuwin, Western Australia. Image by LSIS Bradley Darvill.

Royal Australian Navy Band Western Australia is based at the Defence Music Centre, Irwin Barracks, Karrakatta, with a compliment of 24 part-time and two full-time musicians under the direction of Bandmaster Chief Petty Officer Musician Brett Douglas.

The Band is administered by HMAS Stirling, Fleet Base West, providing musical support for not only the Fleet Base but the Royal Australian Navy, Defence community, and a variety of public events across Western Australia. Defence commitments regularly include supporting HMA Ship departures and returns from deployments, as well as a variety of ceremonial and commemorative events. This support is not just limited to HMAS Stirling but extends to number of other Defence establishments including RAAF Base Pearce. Ceremonial support often takes the form of a military marching band but can also take the form of vocal and bugle support to anthem/Last Post ceremonies, as well as drum corps support.

In addition to naval ceremonial support, the Band performs in a variety of ensembles including Big Band, Cover Band and Jazz Ensembles. Arrangers within the Navy Band allow the ensembles to keep its repertoire contemporary and often prepared for specific commitments.

RAN Band Western Australia consists of musicians from all walks of life and diverse back grounds, including a number of graduates from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA), Perth. This musical diversity allows the band to support a wide variety of events from commemorative services and community festivals to charity fundraising activities, always providing friendly and entertaining performances, with a diverse repertoire.

The band proudly supports Western Australia’s not-for-profit sector, performing regularly at charity fundraising events, including Walk for Prems and Variety and for Perth Children’s Hospital. It is also a strong supporter of community events like Margaret River Agricultural Show, Moondyne Festival and Fremantle Ports Maritime Day.

RAN Band Western Australia can be seen performing throughout regional Western Australia from Esperance to Exmouth, Busselton to Broome with regular Defence commemorative services including HMAS Nizam in Augusta and HMAS Sydney (II) in Geraldton.

Members of RAN Band Western Australia regularly support the Permanent Navy Force of the RAN Band, engaging in full-time contracts to support capability where required. This has seen Western 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.

To keep up to date with RAN Band Western Australia, like and follow the RAN Band Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/RoyalAustralianNavyBand.

 
Bandmaster, RAN Band Western Australia, Chief Petty Officer Brett Douglas.
Bandmaster, RAN Band Western Australia, Chief Petty Officer Brett Douglas.

Bandmaster, Chief Petty Officer Brett Douglas

Chief Petty Officer Brett Douglas joined the Navy in 2001 as an Able Seaman Flute player, posted to Royal Australian Navy Band Melbourne. Within the Royal Australian Navy Band, CPO Douglas has been afforded the opportunity to participate in numerous international deployments at sea, through Forces Entertainment operations and within RAN Band Sydney/Melbourne. Highlights include Operation CATALYST Middle East deployment 2006, Operation NORTHERN TRIDENT world trip 2009 in HMAS Sydney, and Indo Pacific Endeavour in HMAS Adelaide 2018.

While undertaking posting to Royal Australian Navy Band Sydney in 2012, PO Douglas was successful in applying for the Watch Leader position in STS Young Endeavour. During his four year tenure, PO Douglas attained his Limited Navigation Watch Keeping Certificate in 2015 allowing him to fulfil the role of Officer of the Watch and Sail Master in STS Young Endeavour. Further international travel opportunities were undertaken including Tall Ships race to New Zealand as part of 2013 Fleet Review and 2015 World Trip involving eight months sailing around the World.

PO Douglas secured a position at Defence Indigenous Development Program situated in Cairns in 2016 as a Recruit Instructor and Divisional Senior Sailor. The highlight from this posting was being able to utilise training from STS Young Endeavour in creating opportunities and positively shaping future Navy Sailors.

Posting to Royal Australian Navy Band Sydney in 2018, PO Douglas reconnected with music performance and was promoted to Chief Petty Officer in 2020 and subsequently posted as Bandmaster of Royal Australian Navy Band Western Australia.

 

RAN Band Western 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.

Big Band

The Big Band is the RAN Band Western Australia’s signature ensemble. Varying from 18 to 24 piece, this vibrant combination allows for significant musical diversity covering a wide range of genres and eras from Bublé to Beyoncé. This allows the band to cater for diverse audiences, providing musical support for the Royal Australian Navy, the wider Defence community and a wide range of public events across Western Australia.

The Big Band’s more traditional big band repertoire includes Duke Ellington, Glen Miller, Nat King Cole, Count Basie and Frank Sinatra, allowing one to dance along or simply close your eyes and revisit the big band era.

Including popular big band repertoire from Michael Bublé and Harry Connick Jnr, the ensemble also performs big band arrangements of more contemporary Australian and international performers like Guy Sebastian, INXS, Amy Winehouse, Cyndi Lauper and Ed Sheeran.

The ensemble can be seen performing around Western Australia and regularly supports community events like Margaret River Agricultural Show, Moondyne Festival and Fremantle Ports Maritime Day.

The Big Band has even supported events like the Royal Australian Navy’s International Fleet Review in Sydney.

Cover Band

The RAN Band Western Australia Cover Band is a high energy 6 to 12 piece ensemble specialising in a wide range of popular music. A traditional pop/rock group with expandable horn section facilitates a diverse musical capability; critical for its role supporting the Royal Australian Navy, Defence community and public events across Western Australia.

Performing a mix of Australian and International artists, repertoire ranges from Guy Sebastian, Tones and I, Paul Kelly, INXS, Hunters & Collectors to Bruno Mars, Cee Lo Green, Pink, Aston Merrygold and Taylor Swift.

Along with contemporary pop, the band revisits some timeless favourites from Van Morrison, Dusty Springfield, Wilson Picket, Tina Turner and Queen. Arrangers within the RAN Band Western Australia allow the ensemble to keep its repertoire contemporary, often prepared for specific gigs. The band also enjoy the musical twist of some fun Postmodern Jukebox arrangements.

The Cover Band can be seen performing around Western Australia, supporting Defence and public events alike. From entertaining Royal Australian Navy families as HMA Ships’ return from deployment, celebrating RAAF pilot graduations, performing as support for Western Australia’s not-for profit sector, to providing the half time entertainment for AFL fans at Optus Stadium, the Band has a set list for every occasion.