The Melbourne Rainbow Band (MRB) turns 15 this year and will celebrate with the release of a new covers album, 15 & Fabulous.

The group will launch the album at an anniversary celebration at the Glasshouse Hotel, Collingwood tonight, Thursday, April 14.

The album will be the first MRB release since 1997 when the group produced Live in San Francisco and marks the group’s first studio-recorded album.

15 & Fabulous covers favourite tunes of band members including movie themes, musicals, classical, jazz and contemporary rock songs.

Vocalist and past MRB president Julie Leader has also lent her singing talents to the effort.
Band president Ben Boreham said the recording brought many past members back into the fold.

“The CD is testament to the band’s strength in musicianship as well as its sense of community,” Boreham said.

“The whole process was an amazing experience for all of the members involved, and a great team effort.

“We’re very proud of the result. It showcases the exceptional talent and dedication of our members.”

In other MRB news, the baton of musical director will be handed over from director of three years Mark Lyall to David Wisken.

Wisken has extensive experience in music and theatre, including working under conductors Chris van Tuinen and Marcus Stenz (Melbourne Symphony Orchestra), and Andrew Mott (Australian Defence Force Band).

Wisken said he was drawn to the band for the members’ passion and is looking forward to getting to know each musician’s strengths and weaknesses.

“Implementing long-term plans for the band, and also long and short-term goals for each musician, is something I will take great pride in seeing progress,” he said.

MRB will this month hold an open rehearsal for anyone interested in joining the band. The rehearsal will be held at the Will Sampson Centre, Henry St, Windsor on April 28.

The Glasshouse Hotel launch on April 14 starts at 7.30, with formalities at 8.15pm.

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