Marist Brass Band

Bendigo, Victoria

About Marist Brass

Marist Brass prides itself on being one of Central Victoria's great Brass Bands. Located in Bendigo, the band traces its origins back to 1910 and the Marist Brothers College. Those links remain today with the band hall located in one of the old classrooms.

Our bands regularly compete in local, state and national competitions, and perform at community events such as Australia Day, ANZAC Day, and the Bendigo Easter Festival among many others.

Our members are drawn together by their love of music as well as the joy of socialising with like-minded people. New members are always welcome, and we accept new players of any background, race, religion or nationality.

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If you play brass or percussion (or would like to learn!) please visit our band room ​on a Tuesday or Wednesday night, or contact us via email, phone or Facebook.

Everyone is welcome at Marist Brass!

Our Bands

Youth Academy

Tuesdays 5-5:45pm

Our Youth Academy program is ​designed specifically for young ​children who want to learn to ​play a brass instrument!

Open to all children ages 10+, ​the Youth Academy teaches ​ students how to read music, ​and how to play an instrument w​ithin an ensem​ble.

Youth Academy

Tuesdays 5-5:45pm

Our Youth Academy program is ​designed specifically for young ​children who want to learn to ​play a brass instrument!

Open to all children ages 10+, ​the Youth Academy teaches ​ students how to read music, ​and how to play an instrument w​ithin an ensem​ble.

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Adult Academy

Tuesdays 6-6:45pm

Designed exclusively for adults, ​this group is open to over 18s, ​ and is perfect for anyone who ​ has taken a break from music ​and wants to ease back into it, ​or those who want to learn to ​play a brass instrument for the ​first time.

No-one is 'too old'!


Marist Brass Band

Wednesdays 7:30-9:30pm

Marist Brass Band is our 'Senior ​Band', and competes at a 'C' ​Grade level at competitions.

A good understanding of music ​is required, and familiarity with ​your instrument is a must!

The 'Senior Band' is open to ​adults of all ages, and those ​aged 13-18 upon invitation.

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Learn to Play

Our Academy groups are designed to get you performing right from the start!

Rehearsing weekly, each group aims to perform in public at least 3-4 times a ​year. Performance opportunities include playing at the Bendigo Eisteddfod, the ​Marist Brass ‘Carols in the Cathedral’, parades, and other community events.

Academy students are also encouraged to perform individually

throughout the year. Opportunities can include busking at the

Eaglehawk Dahlia & Arts Festival, performing a solo at a competition or

public performance, sitting an Australian Music Examinations Board (AMEB) ​exam and much more! At times, Academy members are also given ​opportunities to play with the 'Senior Band' and sit alongside experienced ​musicians to further their musical education.

The cost is just $50 per school term,

which covers instrument hire, music, and tuition.


Claire McLean

Musical Director & Coordinator

Marist Academy Program

Claire grew up in the regional town of Taradale, and began taking piano lessons when she was just 7 years old. She took up the French Horn at 11, and over the next few years played with many school and community groups. Claire was also a member of the Australian Youth Choir for several years, a highlight being performing at Hamer Hall with the Vienna Boys Choir in 2003.

In 2006, Claire moved to Melbourne where she studied economics, mathematics and financial planning. Claire joined the Bendigo & District Concert Band and the Bendigo Symphony Orchestra after relocating to Bendigo in 2011. In 2013, she joined Marist Brass, and helped to establish the Marist Academy of Brass.

From 2015 through to 2020, Claire was Principal French Horn with the Victoria Youth Symphony Orchestra where she had the honour of playing Tchaikovsky's Fifth Symphony, which contains one of the greatest horn solos in orchestral horn repertoire.

Claire is currently involved in a variety of ensembles in Bendigo, including the Bendigo Symphony Orchestra and the Bendigo & District Concert Band, and has been in the orchestra for numerous musicals staged by Bendigo's Nexus Youth Theatre Company, the Bendigo Theatre Company, and Tribe Youth Theatre.

During the day, Claire works for a financial planning practice in Bendigo, and by night she teaches music privately to individual students. Claire has been secretary of Marist Brass since 2015, and plays Solo Tenor Horn in the Marist Brass Band.

Matthew Pankhurst

Musical Director

Marist Brass Band

Matthew is a highly experienced musician. He holds a Bachelor of Music and a Graduate Diploma in Performance from the ​Sydney Conservatorium. Matthew has performed with many of Australia’s professional orchestras, and has won eleven ​Australian solo championships and won the Victorian Champion of Champion twice. He competed at a number of ​international solo competitions.

Matthew is the Music Representative at Marist College Bendigo and is enjoying the challenges of building a school music ​program from the ground up. Matthew was previously the music coordinator at Bendigo Senior Secondary College, and ​many of his former students enjoy fulfilling careers in the music industry.

Matthew is also a highly skilled ensemble director. For ten years Matthew conducted the Bendigo Colleges’ Symphonic ​Band, and he has previously conducted the Marist Brass Band Bendigo. Under his direction the band placed second twice ​at the Australian National Band Championships. He has also directed stage bands, brass and woodwind ensembles with ​great success.

Matthew is also a passionate composer. His work “Threnody and Legend for Tuba and Piano” was selected as a test piece ​at the 2018 Australian National Band Championships.

Upcoming Events

Marist Brass & Marist Academy Present:

Make Music Day FREE Concert

Join Marist Brass in celebrating 'Make Music Day!

The bands will perform a selection of tunes from TV, musicals, pop hits, hymns, marches and more - there will be something for everyone.

Kids and families encouraged to attend!

Entry is FREE, and no bookings are required

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When: Saturday 24th June, 10am

Where: Bendigo Library

Cost: FREE

Suitable for: Everyone!

Facebook Event: Click Here!

Volunteers & Support

Marist Brass is run entirely by a group of dedicated volunteers. Our members spend many hours ​each week organising, planning, and coordinating rehearsals and events. Marist Brass is completely ​self-funded, and relies heavily on fundraising efforts, and the generosity of sponsors. No matter how ​big or small, your contribution is much appreciated, and will assist us in performing in Bendigo and ​surrounds for the years to come! Here are a few ways you can help:


We accept donations no matter how large ​or small, and tax-deductible donations can ​be arranged. All donations go straight to ​the band, and are used to purchase new ​music, repair and purchase instruments ​and much more.

Did you know that the instruments in our ​band can cost up to $25,000 each?

Help us purchase new instruments for our ​youth program, and donate today!

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In-kind support

From raffle prizes, performance venues hto ​handy-man jobs – we’re always looking for ​in-kind support!

In bigger news, our band room is in ​desperate need of a renovation, and our ​band trailer needs painting and outfitting ​so we can visit the wider community.

If you can help us out, we’d love to return ​the favour by promoting your business!

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As a small community group with ​limited resources, we are always on the ​lookout for volunteers to assist with ​things such as running raffles or selling ​tickets at our concerts.

We always need extra hands to help out ​with logistics on ‘gig days’, so even if ​you can’t make an ongoing ​commitment, we’d still love your ​support!

Contact Us

Download our Member Information Guide below for more information about joining, or contact the band today!

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Member Information Pack

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Claire McLean - Secretary

0448 000 975

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Marist Brass

PO Box 512, Bendigo, VIC 3552

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