Bold as brass hits right note

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By NI­COLA STE­WART ni­cola.ste­wart@wrcn.co.nz

It has been 16 years since Mata­mata Brass last at­tended a national com­pe­ti­tion – and it has been well worth the wait.

The Mata­mata Brass Band last month at­tended the New Zealand National Brass Band Con­test and came away national cham­pi­ons in their grade.

Com­pet­ing in the D Grade, they were up against three other bands from Hamil­ton, Master­ton and Nel­son.

They placed first in the sa­cred item and own choice cat­e­gories, third in the march and were named over­all cham­pi­ons for D Grade.

Mata­mata Brass pres­i­dent Bar­bara Hodgkin­son said the band was buzzing at the win and look­ing for­ward to com­pet­ing again in In­ver­cargill next year.

‘‘We are on a bit of a roll now, ev­ery­one’s so ex­cited,’’ she said.

‘‘I was stunned but de­lighted with how the team played to­gether on the day.

‘‘It has taken a long time for us to have enough depth and skill in the play­ers to per­form at that level.’’

Mu­si­cal di­rec­tor Blair Stan­bridge was also awarded a tro­phy for di­rect­ing the win­ning D Grade band.

Jessica Sch­weizer com­peted in the ju­nior solo cat­e­gory and won first place for flugel­horn, sec­ond for tenor horns, bari­tone and flugel­horn and sec­ond over­all in the ju­nior Cham­pion of Cham­pi­ons.

The con­test was held in New Ply­mouth over three days and top bands from across the coun­try were there to com­pete.

‘‘We were able to lis­ten to some of the higher grade bands and just ex­pe­ri­ence that whole va­ri­ety of skill lev­els,’’ said Mrs Hodgkin­son.

‘‘It gave the younger play­ers a taste of that level of com­pe­ti­tion.’’

Mata­mata Brass would like to thank Mata­mata Creative Com­mons for its sup­port in fund­ing tu­tor­ing for young play­ers.

Photo: TAM­MIE PITTWOOD PHO­TOG­RA­PHY

Out­stand­ing team ef­fort: Mata­mata Brass Band at the New Zealand National Brass Band Con­test.

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