On a Sunday in February, the Royal Australian Navy Band Melbourne, together with hosts Geelong Concert Band and the students from Geelong Grammar School and Christian College Geelong, performed a concert entitled ‘All Bands on Deck’.
The concert and preparatory workshops saw the band, which is based at HMAS Cerberus in Victoria, integrate with school and community groups on the other side of Port Phillip Bay, part of Navy’s commitment to engage youth, community, and as it turned out, demonstrate the link between these and the current Navy family.
The day was extra special for Navy Band clarinettist Able Seaman Musician Constantine Karatenislis, who was raised in Geelong and attended Christian College during his school years.
He nicknamed the joint concert a “blast from the past”, as he is coincidentally a former member of the Geelong Concert Band.
Able Seaman Karatenislis, commonly known as ‘Costa’, joined the Navy band in 2018, having completed his studies at Monash University in 2017.
He was the first Navy Musician to attend the new Musician Initial Entry Training Course at the Defence Force School of Music, Simpson Barracks, and he is a self-confessed ‘clarinet nerd’.
Costa enjoys the specialist role of playing the Eb clarinet and the inherent leadership responsibility that this high-pitched instrument requires.
“I relish the technical challenges that the instrument provides.
“I’m proud to represent the Royal Australian Navy through my passion for music,” Able Seaman Karatenislis said.
The morning included a workshop that gave the students a chance to rehearse with the professional musicians of the Navy Band.
Workshops of this kind can be a springboard for many young musicians to work hard in order to reach their potential goal of becoming a musician in the Defence Force.
The day was summed up perfectly by Dr Kevin Cameron, Musical Director of both the Geelong Grammar School Band and the Geelong Concert Band, when he said “the students were buzzing!”
This excitement was reaffirmed by Lieutenant David Coit, Band Officer in Charge of the Royal Australians Navy Band Melbourne.
“It was a brilliant afternoon of first-rate music making from all the ensembles.
“The Royal Australian Navy Band enjoyed working with tomorrow’s professional musicians in this sharing and inspiring environment,” Lieutenant Coit said.