Alistair's infatuation with Big Band music started in primary school when he saw the Mt Lawley Blues Band play. This inspired him to attend Mt Lawley S.H.S and join the band, which gave him the opportunity to play in a section with legendary Count Basie saxophonist Frank Foster. He took further inspiration from this experience, focusing his studies toward jazz and was given the opportunity to direct the Blues Band for 2 years, his first challenge studying the music and reading scores. At the age of 15, Alistair was accepted into WAAPA and joined WAYJO, with which he toured to the USA, meeting his idol Sonny Rollins. During this time Alistair achieved runner up in the James Morrison Scholarship which gave him the opportunity to play many performances with James and took his musicianship to a new level. Alistair joined his first professional Big Band with the Mace Francis' Orchestra. He stayed with this band for 9 years, further adding to his knowledge of Big Band music, whilst simultaneously performing with HipMoToast Big Band, led by Perth sensation Libby Hammer. During his professional 5 KYSB Musical Directors at 30th Anniversary Concert P a g e | 19 19 | P a g e years, Alistair has had the opportunity to play with the likes of Tom Jones, James Morrison, Frank Foster, Don Burrows, Booker T, Grace Knight, Joe Chindamo, Dionne Warwick and Troy Roberts. Taking up musical directorship of the KYSB Intermediate band in 2011, Alistair has brought his musical understanding and concepts to the band, guiding many great musicians to play at a high level and love the experience. He continues to seek new challenges for the members and gives them the opportunity to play styles and genres they may otherwise not have the chance to play.
Leah Van Der Meulen
Leah Van der Meulen is a Perth-based multi-faceted musician and band leader; finding her passion for music through the Bass Guitar in 1997. Leah is an accomplished Electric and Double Bass player, performing professionally since 2001 in bands such as, Junkadelic Brass Band, the Darling Buds of May, Harry Deluxe, 3 aces Down and Endeavourous where she has also had the opportunity to tour around Australian and internationally. Leah is Assistant Musical director of the Kalamunda Youth Swing Band, Band Leader for Junkadelic Brass Band and Musical Director for cabaret show "A Saucy Little Secret" since 2012, twice touring the show to Melbourne. Leah teaches double and electric bass and directs junior and senior string ensembles at Ursula Frayne Catholic college - receiving "outstanding" awards for catholic performing arts. In 2016 Leah started directing the Junior Band after being a member of the organisation for 18 years. With Leah’s leadership and dedication to the role she hopes to see the band grow in confidence and size using her musical knowledge as a teacher and her passion as a musician.