Brass band tuned to win at na­tion­als

Kapi-Mana News - - WHAT’S ON - JARED NI­COLL

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.

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