Nelson City Brass places second in first competition as B-grade band

Nelson City Brass places second in first competition as B-grade band

Nelson City Brass placed second in their grade at the National Brass Band Championships.

It was the band’s first competition in the higher grade, after being “promoted” to the B-grade last year.

Band member and secretary Wayne Jennens said the band was beaten in the competition by one point overall by Wanganui, who previously were an A-grade band a few years back.

“We have won the C-grade the last two years and it was a big step up into B-grade.

“The band performed strongly across both days and were pleased with their performances and rapt with the result.

“Given it’s the first year in the B-grade it’s a fantastic achievement and certainly resulted in a few bands sitting up and taking notice of Nelson.”

The Nelson City Brass Academy Band won first place in the Youth Grade at the competition.

Both bands were conducted by Nigel Weeks.

Band member Mike Ford won the Masters category, placed second in the Open Tenor Horn and was highly commended in the Champion of Champions event which pits all of the winners of the various instrumental solos against each other.

Kay MacKenzie placed second in the Open Soprano Cornet and Natania Ngawhau placed fourth in the Junior Trombone.

Ned Rainey won the award for the best soloist in the junior grade.

Jennens himself was named National Administrator of the year.

Nelson City Brass is made up of about 30 people, the youngest brass player being 15 years old and the oldest members in their late 70s.

He said the long term goal for the band was to become an A-grade band, but “we have to win in the B-grade first”.

“That’s the long-term ambition, the problem is that Nelson doesn’t have the pool to play it with like a big city has.

“So you’re restricted to who you have in town and who you can get to town to play.”

Article courtesy of The Nelson Mail.

By Nelson Mail