Additions to band welcomed

From ODT 11 October 2019

A prizegiving concert last night was especially significant for St Kilda Brass as a new musical director was officially welcomed and four new copper timpani drums were put into use.

New musical director Shane Foster, formerly of Alpine Energy Brass in Timaru, had been working for both bands for the last 12 months but was now officially full-time with the Dunedin-based band.

St Kilda Brass co-chairman Peter McHenry said the “Friends and Family” concert was also the band’s first performance with four timpani drums, which were bought with the help of grants from the Lion Foundation and Otago Community Trust and together cost $30,000.

The drums sounded “fantastic” and opening number Through the Plains, by percussionist Paul Lovatt-Cooper, showed them off to great effect, Mr McHenry said.

“Our old ones were not of the quality that we need for our performances; we needed copper ones that are just that next level up,” Mr McHenry said.

“It’s a pretty major investment for us.”

The band had managed to sell its old set of timpani fibreglass drums to a group in Christchurch.

The concert was “really good” and was attended by 60 or 70 people.

Prizewinners were soloist of the year Harry Smith, who played the euphonium, bandsman of the year Mr McHenry, and the cornet section, which was named best section. Player of the year was Ian McCabe, on bass trombone.

Young Dunedin musicians selected to play among the top brass – ODT

Otago Daily Times 23 August, 2019

Four Dunedin brass musicians have blown away the judges, earning themselves recognition as some of the best young players in the country.

They have been selected to take part in the 2020 National Youth Brass Band of New Zealand.

University of Otago pharmacy student Logan Ford 20) will be the principal cornet player while computer science student Harry Smith (21) has been selected as the principal euphonium.

Both are St Kilda Brass Band members and have been selected for the band before.

Two Kaikorai Metropolitan Brass Band members, statistics student Anna Redmond (21) and Kavanagh College pupil Sebastian Hook (17) have been selected for the first time.

Miss Redmond plays the cornet and Sebastian plays the trombone.

The national band members are all under 23 years old and are selected from nationwide auditions.

All four said they were looking forward to a camp in Christchurch in January and a tour which would follow.

As the principal cornet player Mr Ford was not only the leader of his section but also looked to as the leader of the whole band.

“I guess it’s about knowing all your parts as well as you can and I’m probably expected to be a role model for some of the younger members of the band.”

The youngest of the group, Sebastian, said he was looking forward to playing alongside and learning from more experienced brass players.

After the camp. the band will tour the lower South Island, playing in Christchurch, Oamaru, Roxburgh and Invercargill.

From: Otago Daily Times, 23 August, 2019 (https://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/young-dunedin-musicians-selected-play-among-top-brass)

First report: 2019 National Contest, Hamilton 8-12 July

After a 40 year gap the NZ Championships returned to Hamilton.  St Kilda Brass under the baton of Peter Adams were there too.

The band’s accommodation split over two motels was ‘interesting’, familiar to many of Hamilton’s emergency housing recipients, and perhaps unchanged since that 1979 contest. 

The contest as usual opened with the solo and party events.  Saints achieved a trio of 3rd placings: Kerry Wood (Amateur Cornet), Keenan Buchanan (Eb bass) and Tony Van Alphen (Bb bass).  After intensive rehearsals with Drum Major Kerry Wood the band were disappointed that the heavens opened just in time for the Friday Parade of Bands.

This was probably the best organised contest I’ve attended in my own 38 years of playing.  Held at the Claudelands Event Centre, the raised stage was (personally) a pleasure to play on – not too dry, not too bouncy, and provided no worries of proscenium arches and disappearing percussion and tubas.  The chief adjudicator seemed to hear all the notes, particularly any of the less than totally outstandingly beautiful ones.  The warm-up rooms and pre-performance spaces were magnificent, and marshalling personnel friendly and efficient.  Final results were at the wrong end of the placings, but not egregiously unfair in a large and difficult field.

Particular thanks due to Peter McHenry for his amazing organisational skills, assisting musicians Jamie Lawson (Footscray Yarraville) and Mark Close (APO), and our regular out-of-towners: Kerry Wood (Auckland), Keenan Buchanan (Palmerston North), and David Froom & Matthew Toomata (Christchurch).

Onwards to Christchurch 2021…

History collecting

We recently received a visit from Claire Clark of Wellington and Alister McKenzie of Christchurch. They were searching the band room for our photo of the 1903 New Zealand Representative Band selected to travel to England. They are related to John McKenzie the Bass Trombonist in the 1903 Band. John McKenzie was Claire’s great grandfather and Alister’s great uncle. Claire is researching the 1903 Band’s history and was thrilled to find a copy of one of their programmes for sale on the internet from a Swedish bookseller! The 1903 New Zealand Representative Band had 6 bandsmen with Dunedin roots: Edward Kerr, Solo cornet, Kaikorai Band; J. McKersey Solo horn, late Dunedin Navals Band; Arthur Jones, 2nd horn, North-east Valley; James Flint, 1st baritone, North East Valley Band; Robert Pettit, 1st trombone, Kaikorai Band; John McKenzie, Bass trombone, Dunedin Navals Band; and Claude Davis, BB flat bass, Kaikorai Band.

Claire would like to put together bios of each of the 26 bandsmen and the Conductor to recognise their place in history. She is also interested to find descendants of the bandsmen.  If you have any information please contact Claire at tandc.clark@outlook.com.

 

Caversham Community Action – ODT

Courtesy of ODT – 8 November, 2015

At the site of the former Carisbrook stadium, Dunedin artist Aroha Novak had created temporary art installation The Brook Project, which will be on display for eight days.

The installation included more than 100 embroideries relating to the economic, social and political history of the Carisbrook site. They were attached to the wire fence that surrounds the site.

About 60 people turned out for an event that featured everyone from Tahu and the Takahes to the St Kilda Brass Bandits, who used items including road cones to make their music.

Ms Novak said she was pleased “all these people have come together to help produce this vision that I’ve had”.

‘Youthful vitality’ earns top position – ODT

Courtesy of ODT – 15 July, 2014.

Contagious virtuosity helped Dunedin musicians win the band of the year award at the 2014 New Zealand Brass Band Championships in Invercargill.

Musical director Peter Adams said the virtuosity of St Kilda Brass Band leader Steve Miles was ”contagious” and instilled the confidence in the band to win the top prize at the national championships on Friday.

Mr Miles won soloist of the year award playing a euphonium. “A trumpet on steroids,” said Kimberley Johnston, who won the Brass Bands Association of New Zealand administrator of the year award.

Mr Adams said the band’s contemporary programme – including Enter the Galaxies, Valero, Carnival Cocktail, Misty and The Dreaded Groove and Hook – “reflected the youthful vitality and energy” of the band’s University of Otago student base.

Band chairman Errol Moore said the open ensemble was won by himself, Mr Miles, Harry Smith, and John McAdam. Jess Schweizer won the junior flugel championship.
Shawn McAvinue – ODT

City musicians land telling blows – ODT

Courtesy of ODT – 14 July, 2010.

Three Dunedin musicians are national champions after the New Zealand Brass Band Championships in Dunedin at the weekend.

The triumph was all the more remarkable for Rose Evans (16), of St Kilda Brass, who won the junior flugelhorn section at her first attempt.

“I was really pleased. It was my first national title and my first national competition,” she said yesterday.

At the other end of the scale, Fred Knopp (82), of St Kilda Brass, won the masters (75-84) cornet for the fourth time.

“I usually mainly get seconds and thirds, so it was nice to get a first,” he said.

John Lewis (36), representing Daelwool Auckland Brass, won his fourth open championship cornet title.

“It’s been a difficult couple of years. There’s been a lot of upheaval in my life, but things are settling down again and I’m really pleased with the way I’m playing at the moment,” he said yesterday.

“I’ve got a busy year ahead with CD recordings and concerts in Auckland and more contests in Australia later in the year.

Somewhere in between, I hope to fit in a few concerts here in Dunedin.”

Other successes for local musicians were. -Tim Walsh, of St Kilda Brass, was second in the open tenor trombone; Rene Spoors, of St Kilda Brass, was third in open Eb bass; and John McAdam, representing Pelorus Trust Wellington Brass, was third in the open baritone section.

The 130th New Zealand Brass Band Championships featured 27 bands and nearly 1000 musicians.
Nigel Benson – ODT

Band place chance to make mark in music – ODT

Courtesy of ODT – 29 July, 2009,

Three Dunedin secondary school pupils may need more than a couple of band-aids when they head to Burnham Military Camp later this year for the New Zealand Secondary Schools Brass Band.

Gregory Thomson (John McGlashan College), Kalie Eathorne-Gould (Kavanagh College) and Rose Evans (Bayfield High School) are among the 47-strong band which will meet in September.

The course is available to the best secondary school players available for each instrument. Gregory (15) was selected to play Repiano Cornet, Kalie (16) was selected to play 2nd Cornet and Rose (15) will play 1st Flugel.

Not only will they receive musical training from leading members of the New Zealand Army Band, they will also be put through their paces in the field and train on the same concourse as New Zealand’s military personnel at Burnham during the week-long course.

The band’s members will also be given master-classes on conducting and arranging music for brass bands, but the main goal for the ensemble will be to prepare for a concert with the New Zealand Army Band at the Christchurch Town Hall for the city’s primary school pupils.

The trio join a long line of prominent brass musicians who made their humble beginnings in the NZSSBB and went on to play in some of the world’s top musical ensembles.
John Lewis – ODT