Ped­alling band ready to blos­som

Central Otago Mirror - - NEWS - By MARY-JO TO­HILL

What’s red, with two wheels and makes a lot of noise? It’s not a fire engine, but the Be There Bi­cy­cle Band, and for the first time ever, they’ll be here to help cel­e­brate the an­nual Alexan­dra Blos­som Fes­ti­val. First es­tab­lished in 1892, the thenChristchurch Pro­fes­sional Bi­cy­cle Band was the first of its type in the world. Founded by Fred and Joshua Pain­ter, the group had to be dis­banded dur­ing World War I, and was not re­vived again un­til Brett Pain­ter, great-grand­son of Joshua and great-nephew of Fred, re-formed the band in 2009, along with the Pan­de­mo­nium Char­i­ta­ble Trust. ‘‘My job was to find the peo­ple to continue the pan­de­mo­nium on wheels,’’ Mr Pain­ter said. It was no easy feat, be­cause not only did the mu­si­cians have to play one-handed, they also had to be able to ride a bike. Luck­ily tal­ent was avail­able from the New Zealand Army Band and the Wool­ston Brass Band, with the new group mak­ing its de­but at the Eller­slie In­ter­na­tional Flower Show and on the chil­dren’s tele­vi­sion show What Now in 2012. Blos­som fes­ti­val-go­ers will be treated to Dix­ieland, war-time mu­sic and marches played by seven brass play­ers and two per­cus­sion­ists. ‘‘One of the main changes from the orig­i­nal band was to put the bass drum and snare drum play­ers to­gether on a tan­dem bi­cy­cle, rather than hav­ing a ded­i­cated rider on the front of the tan­dem bi­cy­cle for the snare drum player,’’ Mr Pain­ter said. ‘‘The com­bined phys­i­cal and mu­si­cal de­mands have proven to be quite a chal­lenge per­cus­sion sec­tion!’’ Fes­ti­val co-or­di­na­tor Martin McPher­son said that with the blos­som fes­ti­val less than three weeks away, tick­ets were avail­able this week at dis­count prices un­til Fri­day, Septem­ber 21. ‘‘The beauty of get­ting tick­ets be­fore the event is that you can buy them for your neigh­bours or out-of-town friends and fam­ily, and not pay gate prices on the day.’’

for the

On ya bike: The Be There Bi­cy­cle Band from Christchurch, will add a red splash to the Alexan­dra Blos­som Fes­ti­val for the first time this year.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.