Brass bonanza for Feilding
When it comes to big band gatherings, Feilding is hot to trot. Hard on the heels of last month’s National Pipe Band Championships, comes the Central District Brass Band Championships.
Twelve bands from the southern North Island will take over the Feilding Civic Centre this Saturday and Sunday, as well as parading through Feilding streets at midday on Sunday.
The competition in three sections, includes the Wellington Brass Band, winner of the New Zealand National Brass Band Championships in Rotorua last year for the third consecutive time, as well as being 2015 Australasian champs.
Murray Coffey, stand-in musical director for hosts Feilding Brass, says the formidable Wellington band is easily favoured to win the District Champs as well, though there will be more than token opposition from the other six firstgrade bands in the section.
Palmerston North Brass, Wanganui Brass, New Plymouth Brass, Napier’s Bay Deco Brass, Trust Porirua Brass, and Hutt City Brass won’t bow down without giving a good account of themselves. Feilding competes in the second grade against Levin Brass and Masterton Brass, with New Plymouth’s Youth Brass and Wanganui Concert Brass battling out the grade-3 title.
‘‘The town does very well in bringing in these outside events,’’ Murray says, and the Civic Centre will be occupied from 1pm – 9pm on Saturday, and from 8.30am – 6pm on Sunday.
‘‘On Saturday the bands play their reflective or sacred item and their own choice test piece,’’ Murray explains.
‘‘On Sunday each band performs a 20 to 25 minute concert piece, and they are also judged on the street march, which the public get to see for free.’’
The street march will be the public highlight of the competition, with all 12 bands assembling in Manchester St opposite the saleyards, and marching via Eyre St to Stafford St.
Chief judge for the competition is Alan Spence from Whakatane assisted by Jeff Mulraney from Blenheim.
Admission to the competition hall is $5 for adult brass band fans, $2 for children and $10 a family.
Three times national champion band, Wellington Brass in street march mode. The band competes with 11 others, including Palmerston North and Feilding brass bands at the Central Districts Brass Band competition on this weekend in Feilding.