Brass band stoked on win

The Tauranga City Brass band celebrates its win in Hamilton on the weekend.

Tauranga City Brass is buzzing after taking home gold at a national competition in Hamilton last weekend.

The brass band won the C Grade division at the New Zealand Brass Band Championships on Saturday, July 13.

Musical director Steve Thompson says the band was fizzing when they found out they had won the competition.

“It was hugs all round when we won, spontaneous joy. For a lot of them, it was their first contest, so they didn’t know quite what they were capable of.

“They were quite surprised about what they were capable of achieving technique-wise.”

The band played three items in the championships – a sacred piece, a test piece and an own selection test piece which allowed them to show off their strengths.

They ramped up practice as competition approached, preparing their three pieces eight weeks in advance.

“You double your hours of practice coming into a contest, normally we are only a one-night-a-week band. Before the competition, we practised two nights a week and also at the weekend.”

Steve says the band is finally flourishing after struggling to gain bandsmen over the past couple of years.

They now have players ranging in age from 13 to 80.

“Going back a couple of years we went through some troublesome times and had a band of under ten players. We now have a band of about 26 or 27 which is pleasing.

“There’s quite a considerable age difference, and a range of women and men.”

Tauranga City Brass is looking for keen percussionists who may want to join the group.

“We are desperately short of percussion, we haven’t had a full percussion team for a long time.

“We have some great gear, but we just need someone to play it. So if there’s anyone out there who plays the percussion, they are welcome to come in and give it a go.

“It’s a very worthwhile pastime playing in brass-band, and if you get the bug, that’s it, you’re in.”

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