History of the DVCB

The Derwent Valley Concert Band Incorporated (DVCB) was formed in 1993 and is based in the picturesque town of New Norfolk which nestles on the banks of the Derwent River, 30 kilometres from Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.

The DVCB was established because of a perceived need for a local band to cater for musicians of all ages in the New Norfolk community and the wider Derwent Valley. Since the inaugural concert at New Norfolk in 1993, the DVCB has grown into a very active and versatile community banding organisation with four ensembles, the Development Band, the Community Winds, the Concert Band, and the Marching Band, catering for musicians of all levels of age, skill and musical experience. Currently there is a playing membership of over 80 musicians ranging in age from 6 to over 70 years.

The DVCB has an extensive repertoire suitable for a wide range of occasions and can also provide smaller ensembles as required. It performs regularly in the local and surrounding communities at a wide range of events such as: Australia Day celebrations, Government House Open Day, the Wooden Boat Festival, the Kempton Festival, Autumn in the Valley, the Anzac Day March & Service, the Hobart Christmas Pageant, New Norfolk Carols by Candlelight and Dark MOFO events. In addition, the Concert Band presents major public concerts throughout Tasmania, often in conjunction with other community groups, and competes at the annual Tasmanian Bands League State Championships and the Australian National Band Championships.

From early in its history, the DVCB has been given the opportunity to perform overseas at events and competitions. These tours involve members of all ages and, most recently, members from the Community Winds were invited to join the Concert Band on the tour to Malaysia in 2018.

For photos please visit our Gallery page.

Past tours include:

  • 2018 Malaysia
      Kuala Lumpur Premiered Pengertian Suite by Mia Palencia at Taylor’s International School. The concert was opened by Group Captain Wendy Horder, Defence Adviser to the Australian High Commission
      Ipoh Performed alongside the students of Sam Tet Secondary School as part of the International Amity Music Exchange Programme and Concert 2018 (IAMEPC’18)
      Taiping Premiered Taiping Suite by Paul Baker, and were given a guided tour of the city of Taiping that provided the inspiration for Mr Baker’s composition
      Penang Performed at Hin Bus Depot in Georgetown, an outdoor venue where the Band played alongside members of the Penang Philharmonic Orchestra and wind musicians from local schools. Opportunities for sightseeing in Georgetown-capital city of Penang and a UNESCO World Heritage Site
      Kota Kinabalu Hosted by the Kian Kok Middle School and presented a combined concert with the school band. Invited to be special guest artists at the Sabah Rotary Club Installation Night. There were many delegates from countries in the region, including the Australian Deputy High Commissioner
  • 2015 Europe
      Spain Performed twice in Malgrat de Mar. Sight-seeing in Barcelona
      Italy Marching and seated performances in Terranuova and Loro Ciuffenna with host bands Società Filarmonica “G. Verdi” di Terranuova Bracciolini and Società Filarmonica “G. Verdi” di Loro Ciuffenna and in Florence at the Piazza della Signoria. Sightseeing visits to San Geminiano and Siena
      Germany Combined open-air performance with the Sinfonisches Blasorchester from the Musikschule Hildesheim in Hildesheim. In Rastede the Band competed in the World Association of Marching Showbands (WAMSB) 2015 European Championships where the Band won the championship in the March and Standstill section and claimed the awards for best Drum Major and Best Conductor
      Denmark Participated in the ‘Street Parade’ and the ‘Wind Band’ sections of the WAMSB World Championships and the ‘Open Stage’ event at the inaugural Copenhagen Performing Arts Festival
  • 2012 Europe
      Austria Performed in Salzburg in the Kollegienkirche with Postmusik Salzburg and participated in the Mid-Europe Wind Orchestra Conference/Festival in Schladming
      Poland Reciprocal visit hosted by the Nadarzyn Wind Orchestra. Performed in Poznan, Kolo, Klodowa, Nadarzyn and Warsaw
  • 2008 Europe
      A month long tour to take part in a number of festivals and competitions. Although unsuccessful in qualifying for the World Marching Show Band Championships, the Band won numerous awards at the Rastede Days of Music Festival in Rastede, Germany, including Best Conductor and Best Drum Major
  • 2006 China
      Participated in the inaugural International Youth Band Festival in Beijing as part of the celebrations leading up to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. The Band received high praise for its marching display in the Wangfujing Street March and was very well received at the Festival performances at the Conservatorium of Music. The Band also performed at World Park and was invited to perform at the Festival closing ceremony
  • 2004 Denmark
      The only Australian band invited to take part in the celebrations for the Royal Wedding of Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary (formerly Mary Donaldson, born in Hobart, Tasmania!). The trip was an unforgettable experience highlighted by: a performance for visiting European Royalty at the SAS Radisson Hotel; the Street March on the day of the Royal Wedding; and performances at Tivoli Gardens, Roskilde, the Town Square and Sankte Helene
  • 2001 Europe
      Austria Performed in Salzburg and surrounds, hosted by Postmusik Salzburg (a band DVCB met in China), and at the Mid-Europe Music Education Conference in Schladming
      Germany Gained 10th place overall at the World Marching Show Band Championships in Potsdam
      Sweden Took part in the Eksjö Tattoo, giving concert performances and marching displays
      Denmark Visited Vordingborg, hosted by the Danish National Marching Band Association
  • 1999 China
      Guest band at the China International Band/Fashion Festival in Dalian. Also played in Beijing, including a performance at the Australian Embassy to mark the 12-month countdown to the Sydney Olympic Games
  • 1997 Canada
      Performed at the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede as part of an extensive concert tour of Alberta
  • 1994 Japan
      Invited by the Japanese Government in the Mie Prefecture to perform at the World Expo in the city of Ise

    See also Reflections on the Derwent Valley Concert Band’s Malaysia Tour 2018

    See also Reflections on the Derwent Valley Concert Band’s Europe Tour 2015

    In addition to its numerous overseas trips, highlights of the DVCB’s history include:

  • 2017
    • The Band made two major purchases; a drum kit and vibraphone. These items were made possible by major donations and fundraising
    • Australia Day Award for Contribution to the Derwent Valley, awarded to Andrew Castles and Jessica Taylor for the DVCB Spring School 2016
  • 2016
    • Frances White, a highly experienced music educator, was appointed as the new Conductor of the Development Band following the departure of Susan Reppion-Brooke
    • Formation of the Community Winds (formerly known as the Intermediate Band) to which Andrew Castles was appointed Conductor
    • Following Jim Taylor stepping down as Assistant to the Chief Conductor, Andrew Castles has been appointed to the role
    • Lyall McDermott travelled to Chicago to be the DVCB delegate at the 2016 Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic
  • 2015
    • The DVCB’s first Spring School was held on Saturday the 24th and Sunday the 25th of October. This intensive band weekend, organised by Andrew Castles and Jessica Taylor, has since become an annual event
    • Life Memberships were bestowed upon Lyall McDermott and Jim Taylor for their significant and distinctive service to the Band
  • 2014
    • Made the purchase of a new custom-made trailer, thanks to the generous donation of $5,000.00 from Jane James towards its cost – we thank Jane for her extraordinary generosity
    • Layton was invited overseas in April to meet with other Band Administrators from around the world hosted by Mr Mai Thanh Son, Head of Foreign Affairs at the Conservatorium of Music in Ho Chi Minh City. In August, he visited Malgrat de Mar in Spain at the invitation of Ester Gil, Director of the International Music Festival held in Spain every October
  • 2013
    • The Development Band was successful with a grant application for the Young Stars Award and received money to fund the purchase of extra instruments
    • On Friday the 25th of October, His Excellency the Governor of Tasmania, Mr Peter Underwood and Mrs Frances Underwood hosted a Reception at Government House for present and former members of the Band and supporters, to mark the Band’s 20th Anniversary – the Band’s Wind Quintet performed to the guests
    • Volume two of “Music in the Valley” by Jane Hodgetts, edited by Damian Bester, was launched by Mr Ross Butler, former Principal of the New Norfolk High School. The book accounts the history of the Band from 2003 until 2013
    • Life membership was bestowed upon Layton Hodgetts recognising his unwavering dedication to the Band and all its pursuits since its formation
  • 2012
    • Presented three concerts as part of the preparations for the Band’s July visit to Austria and Poland
    • Visit from Fred J. Allen, Director of Bands, Stephen F. Austin State University, Texas. Mr Allen is a renowned composer and clinician. He was guest conductor at the concert in St David’s Cathedral, Hobart
  • 2011
    • The DVCB hosted the Polish Nadarzyn Wind Orchestra from Poland on a five-day visit which included a series of concerts and social gatherings
    • Performed Requiem by Fryges Hidas with the Don Chorale in Devonport
    • Awarded the Australian Government Volunteer Grant
    • Launched the DVCB Major Sponsorship Programme
  • 2010
    • In conjunction with all Tasmanian bands, the DVCB was involved in hosting the Yamaha National Band Championships which were held in Hobart. The Band’s Music Director, Layton Hodgetts, was Chairman and Convenor of the event which attracted 5000 musicians from Australia and South-East Asia. The Band also assisted with the hosting of the Senior Wind Symphony from Mahidol University in Thailand which was the guest band at the Championships
    • David Schmidt stepped down from the position of Chief Conductor of the Concert Band. Lyall McDermott and Jim Taylor were appointed as Chief Conductor and Assistant Conductor, respectively
  • 2009
    • The DVCB’s founder, Layton Hodgetts OAM, stepped down as Conductor of the Concert Band after 16 years due to an escalating number of interstate and overseas commitments on global band-related matters. Mr Hodgetts remains as Music Director and continues to be closely linked to the artistic leadership team
    • David Schmidt, formerly Assistant Conductor, and Drum Major of the Marching Band, was appointed Chief Conductor
    • Lyall McDermott, a long-standing member of the Band, was appointed Assistant Conductor
  • 2007
    • The Derwent Valley Development Band commenced rehearsals under the baton of Susan Reppion-Brooke
    • A 15-year licence was secured on the Council-owned Memorial Hall in New Norfolk as a long-term base for the DVCB. The hall provides both a rehearsal and performance venue with seating for over 200 patrons
  • 2003
    • Hosted Postmusik Salzburg on a reciprocal visit to Tasmania
    • Performed as a guest band at the Australian Marching Championships in Hobart
    • Named as the Derwent Valley Icon for the ensuing three years
  • 2001
      Gave the Australian premiere performance of Requiem by Fryges Hidas in conjunction with the Tasmanian Chorale, conducted by the eminent Hungarian conductor, Piroska Varga
  • 1997
      Participated in the Olympic March in Hobart in the lead-up to the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games