John Edgecombe – in memoriam

John won his first NZ trombone title at the age of 15 in 1954. He arrived in Dunedin from Te Awamutu in the very early 1960s at the invitation of the Roslyn Mills Kaikorai Band. His early contributions included teaching, conducting their junior band and playing as principal trombone before taking up the baton in 1966 at the age of 27. Under John’s direction the band won National Championships in 1969 and 1970.John was appointed as Conductor of St Kilda Brass in 1975. He took a break in 1979 and took up the baton again between 1984 and 1989. He was Band Chairman in 1981 and 1982. And while with St Kilda won three NZ trombone titles in 1978, 79 and 84. He won Champion of Champions in 1978John set the standard for trombonists in New Zealand with 8 Championship wins over 30 years.

His leadership and influence within the Dunedin brass band scene and with St Kilda Brass cannot be underestimated.Condolences to Jenny, Nicola, Kathryn and their extended families.

New Life Member – Errol Moore

At the recent AGM, 24 June 2021, the band voted to award a new life membership to Dr. Errol Moore.

Peter McHenry awarding life membership to Errol Moore. June 2021

Errol joined the Band in 1990. Set out below is a summary of his wide-ranging contribution to the Band since then.

  • As one of New Zealand’s top Euphonium players representing St Kilda in winning National Solo Championships in 1993 and 1994 and as a member of National Bands of New Zealand in 1995 and 2003.
  • Providing considerable artistic support to Peter Adams in the early 1990s as a rehearsal conductor and in coaching individual players and sections in a period of significant contest success for the Band. Also willingly acting as a ‘fill-in’ conductor whenever asked in a variety of circumstances over the past 31 years.
  • As Musical Director from 1996 to 1998 guiding the Band to placings in New Zealand A Grade Championship events and stepping in again in 2021.
  • As a committee member through the mid-1990s and as Chairman of the Band in 2014/2015.
  • As a willing and reliable contributor of time and effort to a myriad of non-musical tasks.
  • As a willing participant in fund raising efforts with such organisations as DCC and Community Trust of Otago.
  • As a tutor working with promising young Band members both in a professional and a voluntary capacity. 
  • Establishing and running “All Brass Class” which currently has around 30 learners across all brass genres. Two players from this programme joined the Band in 2020; both of whom were selected for the National Secondary Schools Band.

Congratulations Errol – let this fuel the fire for another 30 odd years.

It’s all happening in 2021

Goodbye 2020 and welcome 2021 and the chance the perform!

The Saints have lined up an exciting start to the New Year making up for the cancelled events in 2020. We start the year with something different:

“The Rat Pack Gig”

The Saints will join up with guitar, piano, dancers, and singers to provide cool entertainment at the Dunedin Town Hall on the February 12. The event is to support the Otago Medical Research Foundation.

April 17-18 Dunedin will hold the annual Art Festival and the The Saints will be involved in street art music for:

“The Java Dance Gig”

What’s happening in the band room?

This year our conductors’ team will include Kenneth Young (Leading NZ conductor and composer, and current Mozart Fellow at the University of Otago), he will lead St Kilda in the Otago / Southland Provincial contest, April 10-11 in Invercargill.

Associate Professor Peter Adams will make a welcome return to lead the Rat Pack Gig.

They will be supported by Dr. Errol Moore in what is shaping up to be an impressive triumvirate of musical leadership.

This year we are inviting new and returning students to join St Kilda Brass, the premiere Brass Band in Dunedin and the only A grade Brass Band in NZ to have retained it’s A grade status since its inception ….The Saints.

We also invite any current or new Dunedin based Brass and Percussion players wishing to play at an A grade level to please get in touch

We offer top quality Instruments and tuition to fully develop your playing and have an exciting and interesting year of new music making to look forward to.



Phone: Peter McHenry (021 283 8611)

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 (

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


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