Brass bo­nanza for Feild­ing

The Tribune (NZ) - - ENTERTAINMENT -

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.

PHOTO: FAIRFAX NZ

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.

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