RAN Band Melbourne

RAN Band Melbourne Military Band 2021.
RAN Band Melbourne Military Band 2021.

Royal Australian Navy Band Melbourne, based at HMAS Cerberus, Westernport, Victoria, consists of approximately 35 full-time members under the musical direction of Lieutenant Andrew Stokes, and is complemented by a number of Naval Reserve Musicians as required.

RAN Band Melbourne continues a cardinal tradition of providing regular ceremonial support to Navy’s premiere training establishment HMAS Cerberus, and to the ‘Cradle of the Navy’, the Royal Australian Navy Recruit School. The band also routinely supports the Australian Defence Force School of Music and other Defence establishments around Melbourne, reaching as and far as RAAF Sale. Ceremonial support is most often provided as a full 35 piece military marching band and can additionally take the form of bugle calls, vocal support for national anthems, drum corps, fanfare teams and collaboration with the RAN Indigenous Performance Group - Bungaree.

Ceremonial support is not limited to within the state. Members periodically strengthen Reserve bands and travel to locations including Adelaide, Hobart, Perth, Cairns and Darwin in support of major fleet events.

RAN Band Melbourne also presents a wind band, allowing the band to showcase traditional and contemporary repertoire at concerts around Victoria and the country. The band’s musical capability is extended with its exciting big band and jazz ensembles, brass and woodwind chamber ensembles, as well as highly entertaining cover band.

RAN Band Melbourne actively supports the RAN at sea and on the international stage. Members of the band continue to deploy in HMA Ships supporting operations and deployments including Northern Trident, Indo-Pacific Endeavour and RIMPAC. Overseas deployments have seen members travel to the Middle East as part of Operations OKRA, HIGHROAD and ACCORDION. Other international representation includes travel to Turkey (Gallipoli), Timor Leste, the Solomon Islands and more as well as high profile representation at the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo in Scotland and Australia, and other military tattoos in Brunei, the United Arab Emirates, China and Hong Kong.

In addition to providing ceremonial support, RAN Band Melbourne maintains a strong relationship with the HMAS Cerberus, Mornington Peninsula and wider Melbourne communities. The band performs at many public events throughout Victoria, including but not limited to concerts, school workshops, community festivals, local commemorative services, Veteran, RSL and charity events and large sporting events.

To keep up to date with RAN Band Melbourne, like and follow our RAN Band Facebook page: www.facebook.com/RoyalAustralianNavyBand.

Band Officer in Charge, RAN Band Melbourne, Lieutenant Commander Andrew Stokes, RAN.
Band Officer in Charge, RAN Band Melbourne, Lieutenant Commander Andrew Stokes, RAN.

Band Officer in Charge, Lieutenant Commander Andrew Stokes, RAN

GradDipAppMus, MBA

Andrew joined the Royal Australian Navy as a Recruit Musician in March 1990. After initial training, Andrew performed with all three full-time Navy Bands in Sydney, Melbourne and Fleet Band onboard HMAS Jervis Bay. With promotion to Leading Seaman in 1995, Andrew was trusted with a number of leadership roles including Ensemble Leader for both Jazz and Rock Ensembles, and instructional duties at the Defence Force School of Music. Promotion to Petty Officer in 2000 saw Andrew posted to the Directorate of Music assisting with finance and asset control.

Since Commissioning in 2003, Andrew has held appointments of Assistant Director of Music - Navy, Officer-In-Charge of the Royal Australian Navy Bands Sydney and Melbourne, and Second-In-Command at the Defence Force School of Music.

Life in the Royal Australian Navy Band has seen Andrew perform all over Australia and many overseas countries including Turkey, France, Solomon Islands, China, Brunei, Greece, and the United Kingdom. Andrew has also deployed to the Middle East for Operation SLIPPER.

Andrew was promoted to Lieutenant Commander on 6 December 2021. In January 2022 he assumed command of Royal Australian Navy Band Melbourne for the second time, but as the first Officer-in-Charge in its elevated rank, following enhancements to the Band Officer Cohort.

Second in Charge, RAN Band Melbourne, Lieutenant Daniel McIlvride, RAN.
Second in Charge, RAN Band Melbourne, Lieutenant Daniel McIlvride, RAN.

Second in Charge, Lieutenant Daniel McIlvride, RAN 


Prior to his naval service, Daniel completed a Bachelor of Music (Classical Performance) at the University of Southern Queensland in 2008, and a Bachelor of Music Honours (Jazz Improvisation) at Monash University in 2011.

In 2009 Daniel was the Musical Director of the Royal Queensland Military Tattoo before moving to Melbourne in 2010 where he worked as a trombonist for the Australian musical Strange Bedfellows, performing alongside John Foreman, John Wood and Peter Cousens. During his time in Melbourne, Daniel has established himself as a versatile trombonist and maintains regular performances in the brass band and big band communities.

Daniel joined the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) Band Melbourne as a jazz trombone specialist in 2013. His military career has seen him deploy as a sailor to Afghanistan with Forces Entertainment in 2015 and on HMAS Adelaide as a part of Indo-Pacific Endeavour and Exercise RIMPAC in 2018. Commissioned as a Band Officer in 2020, Daniel took up a posting as the inaugural Second in Charge and Assistant Musical Director RAN Band Melbourne.

In 2022 Daniel successfully formed and deployed the latest evolution of the RAN Fleet Band in HMAS Canberra for Exercise RIMPAC 2022. This was the largest RAN band to deploy at sea in nearly 30 years.

RAN Band Melbourne 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.

RAN Band Melbourne Wind Band 2022.
RAN Band Melbourne Wind Band 2022.

Wind Band

The RAN Band Melbourne Wind Band is one of the premier ensembles of the unit, based at HMAS Cerberus, Victoria. The band performs regularly for audiences at a variety of venues throughout Melbourne and Victoria, under the direction of Lieutenant Andrew Stokes, RAN. The ensemble is suited to larger venues such as concert halls and theatres and features some of the finest musicians in the Australian Defence Force.

The ensemble showcases both traditional and contemporary wind band repertoire from a range of genres, including marches, traditional military band works, orchestral arrangements and contemporary works. Songs from musicals and popular tunes featuring vocalists regularly often featured to supplement the traditional instrumental format.

The Wind Band regularly performs Soundwaves concerts, which are held at the Band Studio, HMAS Cerberus. These monthly flagship concerts are free to the general public and attract a regular audience of young and old. Concerts often feature premiere performances of new compositions and arrangements by the RAN Band’s own musicians, these programmed in conjunction with significant works for wind and military band by acclaimed Australian and international composers.

Throughout its history, the ensemble has performed for thousands of audiences within Australia and around the world. Today, the wind band continues to uphold Navy’s proud traditions and provide support to the Royal Australian Navy.

RAN Band Melbourne Big Band 2022.
RAN Band Melbourne Big Band 2022.

Big Band

The RAN Band Melbourne Big Band is based at HMAS Cerberus in Victoria. Made up of 18 of Navy's finest jazz and commercial musicians, the ensemble performs a diverse repertoire of vocal and instrumental big band music, from dance band classics through to contemporary jazz orchestra compositions. A major focus is placed on featuring contemporary Australian compositions and arrangements, particularly those of our own musicians. The band continues to work in association with many acclaimed artists including James Morrison, Don Burrows and Katie Noonan.

Throughout its history, the band has performed for thousands of audiences within Australia and around the world.

Two exciting albums have been produced under the name of Admiral’s Own - ‘Compositions’ and ‘Straight Ahead’. These albums feature members of both RAN Band Sydney and Melbourne big bands. ‘Compositions’ showcases the talent of the jazz composers of the band and ‘Straight Ahead’ features our musicians highly developed arranging skills. The CD’s title ‘Straight Ahead’, a title made famous by the legendary Count Basie Big Band, shows respect to the greats of the genre and presents traditional jazz standards in a new, fresh way.

Both albums are available for direct download, free of charge from our website www.navy.gov.au/about/organisation/navy-band.

CDs can be requested (also free of charge) by emailing navy.band@defence.gov.au.

RAN Band Melbourne Jazz Ensemble 2022.
RAN Band Melbourne Jazz Ensemble 2022.

Jazz Ensemble

The RAN Band Melbourne Jazz Ensemble is based at HMAS Cerberus in Victoria. Featuring seven of Navy's finest jazz musicians, the group includes a rhythm section, trumpet, saxophone, trombone and vocalist.

The Jazz Ensemble performs a diverse repertoire of vocal and instrumental jazz, from classic jazz standards, swing, bossa-nova and samba, to New Orleans and boogaloo. The ensemble represents the Royal Australian Navy at community events, official Government functions, concerts and open days, and have entertained Prime Ministers and Royalty.

The emsemble plays for audiences within Australia and around the world, and performs at many Australian festivals including the Wangaratta International Jazz Festival and Tasmania's Devonport Jazz Festival. The group has supported and performed with many world renowned musicians including Don Burrows, James Morrison, and Katie Noonan, and continues a proud tradition of representing the Royal Australian Navy. 

RAN Band Melbourne Cover Band 2021.
RAN Band Melbourne Cover Band 2021.

Cover Band

The Cover Band is one of RAN Band Melbourne’s most requested ensembles. The band features some of Navy’s top commercial musicians and performs songs from the 70s, 80s, 90s and current Top 40 charts. The ensemble is extremely versatile, delivering a variety of genres from disco, Aussie rock, pop and dance music. The core group comprises piano, bass, drums, guitar, vocals and brass but can provide a number of ensemble variations depending on the requirement, including the engaging acoustic ensemble.

Royal Australian Navy representation at charity and community events plays an important role in the group’s schedule. Defence Community Organisation events, the Red Hill Show, Formula one Grand Prix and Australia Day Celebrations are just some of the events the band has supported in recent times. The ensemble also regularly provides entertainment for ADF members and their families at events such as ships balls, open days and family nights.

The Cover Band holds a valued reputation throughout Australia and overseas, with their engaging and dynamic energy on stage always keeping guests entertained and the dance floor filled.

RAN Band Melbourne Woodwind Quintet 2022.
RAN Band Melbourne Woodwind Quintet 2022.

Woodwind Quintet

The RAN Band Melbourne Woodwind Quintet is a small, yet versatile, chamber ensemble consisting of flute, oboe, clarinet, horn and bassoon. The repertoire typically performed by this group dates from the 18th century to the present day. Due to its mellifluous blend this ensemble is highly suited to providing background music at events such as formal dinners and commemorative services.

The group, featuring some of Navy’s most accomplished classical musicians, undertakes performances in a variety of venues, including Parliament House, Government House, HMAS Cerberus Officers’ Mess or in many an HMA Ship. The Woodwind Quintet also performs chamber recitals in many locations, such as historic homes, retirement villages, community centres, churches and local markets.


RAN Band Melbourne Brass Quintet 2022.
RAN Band Melbourne Brass Quintet 2022.

Brass Quintet

The RAN Band Melbourne Brass Quintet is a versatile ensemble that performs high quality brass music for a variety of occasions. The ensemble offers a variety of musical styles, including marches, show tunes, hymns, light classical and popular music. The group consists of five musicians, incorporating two trumpets, horn, trombone and tuba, and is well suited to outdoor performances due to the tone and projection of the instruments. This makes the ensemble a perfect choice to support events such as small memorial services and garden parties.

RAN representation at official and community events plays an important role in the Brass Quintet’s schedule. Commemorative services at St Paul's Cathedral, Governor of Victoria investiture and awards ceremonies, Officers' mess dinners and other formal occasions are just some of the events they have supported in recent times. The ensemble has featured in concerts, performed recitals and provided background music at numerous venues throughout Victoria, including Government House, community hubs, formal dining rooms and outdoor locations.

RAN Band Melbourne Acoustic Ensemble 2022.
RAN Band Melbourne Acoustic Ensemble 2022.



Clarinet Ensemble

The Royal Australian Navy Band Melbourne Clarinet Ensemble is a versatile and vibrant chamber group based at HMAS Cerberus on the Mornington Peninsula. The ensemble varies in size depending on the situation, from an intimate quartet up to ten of Navy’s finest woodwind specialists! With the larger ensemble listeners will enjoy the full spectrum of clarinets, including the tiny Eb clarinet and two bass clarinets! Thanks to its versatility, the clarinet ensemble can support a wide variety of community, charity, veteran, Defence, and Government events, from a nursing home performance, to cocktail parties, dinner functions and the concert platform. The mellow sounds of the clarinet are well suited to indoor performances. However, with increasing size, the ensemble would float lush sounds around gardens and atriums. The clarinet ensemble’s repertoire can be tailored from background music to concert performances. If playing background music it could be jazz arrangements, classical music or pop songs, but for a more traditional concert, audiences could also hear some tango, folk music or contemporary classical music.


RAN Band Melbourne Acoustic Ensemble 2022.
RAN Band Melbourne Acoustic Ensemble 2022.

Acoustic Ensemble

The RAN Band Melbourne Acoustic Group is a highly requested and diversely experienced musical ensemble. The group includes members from the larger cover band and features lead vocals, guitar and percussion. The popular group adds a contemporary relaxed element to official ADF functions and public events. With soulful vocals and intricate harmonies, the ensemble covers a range of styles including folk, rock, pop, funk, and today’s top 40 tunes. The group has performed at numerous public and official events and regularly represents Navy and the ADF at various charity functions.

Recent performances include; Red Cross Blood Donation Drive, hosted by the Governor of Victoria, performing for Defence members and their families at the Defence Community Organisation family day at HMAS Cerberus and supporting health and well-being initiatives of recruits and trainees on-board with performances at the Junior Sailors Café and various social functions.


Join RAN Band Melbourne

Full details about joining the Band can be found on the Join Us page.