Brass band tuned to win at nationals
Geoff Warren is feeling ‘‘nervously optimistic’’ about the Trust Porirua City Brass band’s chances of national stardom.
The 67-year-old cornet player was one of its founding members in 1970, and will compete as part of the band aiming to win the B Grade section at New Zealand’s 137th National Brass Band Championships held at Wellington venues, including the Michael Fowler Centre, from April 19 to 23.
The band has 35 regular players, and a youth band of about 20 players, so with family members and band supporters there should be more than 50 people attending.
Warren, a former Mana College student, got a call from band founder Louis Fox what felt like ‘‘a lifetime ago’’ in 1970 asking him to join.
The band’s repertoire had steadily grown over the decades.
Though sometimes the body would not take so kindly to the demands of playing an instrument as it used to. And gone are the days of performing before an All Blacks match at Athletic Park.
‘‘We’re learning pieces now we wouldn’t have dreamed of playing 15 to 20 years ago, the band wouldn’t have been capable.
‘‘It’s satisfying and it’s very testing. You’ve got to do a lot more parts. As you get older, the instrument doesn’t get easier to play.’’
The band are hoping to impress by performing two A-grade pieces at the competition: Dances and Arias, and The Essence of Time.
Dances and Arias is classical, and can be demanding on a band’s bass section - luckily for Porirua its brass band has a good one.
The Essence of Time is more modern, and Byrds music fans could well be thinking of Turn, Turn, Turn.
Trust Porirua City Brass band chairperson Sandra Jones said the band had regularly attended the national championships since 1971 and was looking forward to a home contest.
‘‘Trust Porirua City Brass will be competing in the B Grade section to be held at the Michael Fowler Centre.
‘‘The band has placed in the top three several times in this grade in recent years and are hoping to take out the B grade.’’
Wellington Brass will be seeking a record fifth consecutive title in the A grade.
Geoff Warren, a founding member of the Trust Porirua Brass Band, is hopeful of glory at the National Brand Band Championships.