Nelson City Brass Band takes out regional contest

07 June 2016

Nelson City Brass took an unexpected win at the Nelson-Marlborough West Coast regional brass competition over the weekend.

The C grade band won the overall competition with three first place wins, one second and one third in various sections.

Band secretary Wayne Jennens said the band had put in a lot of work but did not expect to place as highly as they did.

“Marlborough is always the top band, they are an A-grade band, Timaru are a B-grade band, we’re a C-grade band and so for us to actually beat Marlborough is quite an accomplishment,” he said.

“We were quite ecstatic. It certainly made all the hard work that we put in worthwhile.”

Jennens said the band’s overall score was 30 points ahead of some other bands, which was “unheard of”.

“We wanted to use it as a platform for the nationals, just to gauge where we were at so we certainly exceeded all expectations,” he said.

“It’s just a matter of keeping our feet on the ground, not getting too big headed over it. We’ve got to build from what we’ve achieved and go to the next level.”

Jennens said the band have been under new conductor Nigel Weeks who helped them to victory.

“Nigel’s been there since the beginning of this year and he’s made a huge difference.”

Competition adjudicator Kevin Dell said he was impressed by the “technical ability of the band, the quality of the sound they produced and the musicianship displayed”.

The band were excited to take the unexpected win but it seems beating Marlborough was the best part of the weekend.

“It was certainly quite an achievement, we’ve never beaten Marlborough in the competition, they’re two grades ahead of us,” Jennens said.

“Everyone’s come home on a high.”

Nelson City Brass now look to the national competition at Napier in July.

Article written by TASHA LEOV from Nelson Mail.

Nelson players in national band heading to the Netherlands

17 April 2016

Photo credit to MARTIN DE RUYTER

The National Band of New Zealand is heading to the Netherlands to take part in the Brass Band World Championships in July 2017.

The 33 piece ensemble, with members from all over New Zealand including Nelson, will be performing in Kerkrade, a Dutch town on the border with Germany.

New Zealand composer Gareth Farr will write a work as part of the programme that will be performed the Netherlands.

Last year the band did a three week tour of China and South Korea, tour organiser Nigel Weeks, of Nelson, said. Weeks will be joined on the tour by Nelson musicians Steve and Alice Rudhall.

For the 2017 adventure, the band will rehearse for two long weekends in June and October and in April 2017, and right before they leave.

The band members are excited about the next tour as they will be playing against some of the best brass band in the world, said Weeks.

The band, first formed in 1953, has a record of international success with international tours visiting Great Britain, Canada, the United States of America, the Netherlands, France, Russia, Greece, Japan, China, South Korea and Australia.

The National Band showcases New Zealand’s best brass and percussion players, selected from 50 community bands throughout the nation, and its unique brass repertoire at international concert and contest events.

Article written by SARA MEIJ from Nelson Mail.