Musical Director – Expressions of Interest

Expressions of interest are invited for the position of Musical Director of St Kilda Brass in Dunedin

The Musical Director will lead the band in it’s annual contest and concert programme which is based around the university calendar year and will also train and develop current and future players

The successful candidate should be suitably qualified and experienced for the role, be forward thinking and innovative and have great people and leadership skills

The role will commence at the beginning of 2020

Expressions of interest are to be directed by 30 September 2019 to the Chairman, St Kilda Brass, email Chairman@stkildabrass.org.nz, phone 021-283-8611

Also advertised in the Otago Daily Times, BBANZ and the St Kilda Brass Facebook page.

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.

 

Blenheim National Contest – a recap

After a 4 year absence the SAINTS made a return to the national contesting stage to compete against eight other NZ bands and Darrebin from the West Island. Some members chose to fly, but most undertook the long (11 hour) journey by car or van on the Wednesday. Settling in, the Middle Park Motel was comfortable; challenging acoustics in our rehearsal venue were solved by the generosity of EBOP Brass in allowing us to share their church across the road.

Thursday: Sarah, Kerry, Jack, Logan and Keenan with Lee accompanying took part in the solo competitions. No-one (except Lee) was required to participate in Champion of Champions, but sterling performances all round.

Friday dawned fine and clear. The band marched 5 x 5 to a creditable 7th place behind Drum Major Matthew Dick. Light meals and resting saw a relaxed band reassemble for Draw 6 the Hymn (Reflections in Nature – Robert Redhead) and Test (39th Parallel – Peter Graham).

Saturday, Draw 7 the band played Philip Wilby’s Red Priest for the Own Choice Selection. Consistent judging over both sessions by Chief Adjudicator Russell Gray saw the band with a 7th overall placing. This was a good result, recognition of a worthy effort from such an inexperienced band.

Thanks are due to our out-of-towners – both professional and registered: Jamie Lawson (Footscray); the Invercargill contingent – Steve & Nina Gooding, Aaron Herman, Jack McKenzie and Matthew Dick; from the Wellington region – Erin Lee and Keenan Buchanan; from Christchurch – Dave Froom and  last but definitely not least ☺ Kerry Wood and Lee Martelli-Wood from Orcland.

Thanks also to van drivers Ian McCabe and Tony van Alphen, and Trish Gooding for assistance with victualling.
Special mention of course to the two Peters: the logistics whizz Pete McHenry without whom none of this would have been possible, and our conductor Peter Adams for his great personal and musical skills. PA is now taking a break from band to allow him to make best use of his University sabbatical. All the best Peter!

Review – Brass shines and voices sparkle in firmament

Knox Church
21 August 2016

St Kilda Brass Band under the direction of Peter Adams, performed an exciting array of brass arrangements and contemporary compositions before a medium capacity audience in Knox Church yesterday afternoon.

The band shared the stage with St Hilda’s Madrigal Choir and soprano Sophie Morris. Knox’s acoustics seem to mellow the sound of all performers except when Morris brought out the microphone.

In a programme titled “Among the Stars”, all groups are celebrated for the stars among them and best wishes for the competitions ahead. In an afternoon replete with highlights, sadly only the super novas get a mention here.

Arrangements of orchestral works for brass can present many extreme technical challenges.

But St Kilda Brass is admirably up to the challenge, if not equal to it.

The blurred moments in Roberts’ fiendishly difficult arrangements of Holst’s Mars and Jupiter are almost forgiven.

The band and its soloists fully redeemed themselves, however, with enchanting performances of Peter Graham’s swirling and sparkling Shine as the Light, and Cooper-Lovatt’s lilting Enter the Galaxies.

The items chosen by St Hilda’s Madrigal Choir, under the direction of Michael Grant, highlighted their soulful well-modulated sound for Anthony Ritchie’s He Moemoea, Britten’s Balulalow and Jenkins’ Adiemus.

They showed rhythmic energy in Banja’s Traditional Serbian Folk Song, though it could be improved with more slide than that encompassed by a Church of England sound.

Sophie Morris’ performances just keep on getting better.

She now has an impressive voice range and stylistic range, going effortlessly from the belle canto required in Dvorak’s Rusalka’s Song to the Moon and Puccini’s O mio babbino caro to Bernstein’s soaring Somewhere, Webber’s guttural Memory and Kander and Ebb’s raunchy All That Jazz.

Morris is definitely the ascendant star.

Final accolades go to the band’s performance of Barry Gott’s lightly exuberant and sweetly fluffy Lightwalk.

Marian Poole
Review taken from the Otago Daily Times (August 22, 2016)

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”.